Wednesday, July 06, 2011

r'lyeh rises


Video - Nyarlathotep
Reuters | An invasion of jellyfish into a cooling water pool at a Scottish nuclear power plant kept its nuclear reactors offline on Wednesday, a phenomenon which may grow more common in future, scientists said.


Two reactors at EDF Energy's Torness nuclear power plant on the Scottish east coast remained shut a day after they were manually stopped due to masses of jellyfish obstructing cooling water filters.

Nuclear power plants draw water from nearby seas or rivers to cool down their reactors, but if the filters which keep out marine animals and seaweed are clogged, the station shuts down to maintain temperature and safety standards.

Britain's Office for Nuclear Regulation said power plants follow a pre-planned programme when these situations occur.

Latest plant availability data from network operator National Grid showed Torness reactor 1 would return to service on July 5 and reactor 2 on July 6, but operator EDF Energy was unable to give a restart date.

Operators often take the opportunity presented by an unplanned stoppage to carry out maintenance work.

"We are working to clear the jellyfish from the waters near the power station. This work, as well as monitoring the area for more jellyfish, is ongoing," a spokesman for Britain's largest nuclear power operator, EDF Energy, said.

Scientists say jellyfish obstructing nuclear plants is a rare occurrence in Britain, though it has happened more often in other countries such as Japan.