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Full Version: Jellyfish Invasions Force Shutdowns at 3 Separate Nuclear Plants
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A nuclear power plant on the coast of Israel was forced to shut down this week when its seawater cooling system became clogged with jellyfish. A similar incident temporarily disabled two nuclear reactors at the Torness power station on the Scottish coast last week. A week before, a reactor in Shimane, Japan was crippled by yet another jellyfish infiltration.

Amid speculation that warm waters and ocean acidification - both driven by climate change - are boosting jellyfish populations, are these three incidents signs of a growing trend?

"The several [power plant incidents] that happened recently aren't enough to indicate a global pattern. They certainly could be coincidental," said Monty Graham, a jellyfish biologist and senior marine scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab off the Gulf Coast of Alabama.

Graham said there have been dozens of cases of jellyfish causing partial or complete shutdowns of coastal power plants in the past few decades, as well as shutdowns of desalination plants. Steve Haddock of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Research Institute said a power plant in Australia was shut down by jellyfish as long ago as 1937. Such events aren't surprising; all these plants draw water out of the ocean, and they are already fitted with filtration devices called flumes that remove jellyfish and other debris.


[Image: jellyfish.jpg]
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