Jellyfish Cause Shutdown At Massive Swedish Nuclear Power Plant

jelly

The New York Times reports on how the world ends:

In an episode that evokes B-grade sci-fi movie plots, but actually reflects a continuing global problem, nuclear engineers in Sweden have been wrestling with a giant swarm of jellyfish that forced the shutdown of the world’s largest boiling-water reactor.

The plant’s operator said that a huge cluster of moon jellyfish clogged the cooling water intake pipes at the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant on the Baltic Sea coast, forcing the complex’s 1,400-megawatt Unit 3 to shut down.

Nuclear power plants are often placed next to large bodies of water, so jellyfish clogs are a recurring problem. The plant had a similar episode in 2005.

The Oskarshamn nuclear power plant uses the same technology employed at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, where a powerful earthquake and tsunami in 2011 caused the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

, ,

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Before the panic sets in…its worth mentioning that Sweden isn’t famed for its regular tsunamis and isn’t well known for massive earthquakes either. Of course…even if they were, if they follow the protocals and do what Japan didn’t (ie: sacrifice the plant and immediately shutdown instead of clinging to the potential profit and avoiding costly repairs) it could still turn out okay. Fukushima is more of a lesson in human greed than a lesson in nuclear failure.

  • Lisa-ann Gershwin

    For more info on jellyfish behaving badly — and why it’s our own fault — check out the new book Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean

21