Jellyfish Sabotage Swedish Nuclear Power Plant

Moon Jellyfish (aka, ocean nights), Image by Nathan Scheck,

Moon Jellyfish (aka, ocean nights), Image by Nathan Scheck,

by Earth First! News

On Sunday, operators of the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in southeastern Sweden scrambled nuclear reactor number three after a smack of jellyfish clogged the pipes.

Marine biologists suggest that this phenomenon could become more common

“It’s true that there seems to be more and more of these extreme cases of blooming jellyfish,” said Lene Moller, with the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment. “But it’s very difficult to say if there are more jellyfish, because there is no historical data.”

Jellyfish are becoming a larger problem for nuclear power plants, that’s for sure. Last year, Diablo Canyon nuclear facility shut its reactor due to big blobs of sea salt, which are like jellyfish. Also, Oskarshamn had to shut it’s first unit due to jellyfish in 2005.

The reactor at Oskarshamn is 1,400 megawatts of output—the largest boiling-water reactor in the world—and all reactors are built on the same technology as Fukushima Daiichi.

The species that shut the plant down was the moon jellyfish.

“It’s one of the species that can bloom in extreme areas that . . . are overfished or have bad conditions,” according to Moller. “The moon jelly likes these types of waters. They don’t care if there are algae blooms, they don’t care if the oxygen concentration is low. The fish leave . . . and (the moon jelly) can really take over the ecosystem.”

One commentator noted, “Jellyfish show more spine than [the] NRDC”

The Natural Resources Defense Council, which has opposed new nuclear power plants, could not be reached for comment.

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