It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie but it’s true. Jellyfish have forced both nuclear reactors at Torness power station to shut down. The offending free-swimming members of the phylum Cnidaria species were discovered obstructing cooling water filters and the plant’s operator, EDF, said they shut down as a precautionary measure.
EDF have stated that there is no danger to the public but it would take at least a week before Torness is operational again. The gas cooled plant also relies on sea water to ensure it operates safely. The filters that are designed to prevent seaweed and marine animals entering the cooling system had become clogged with jellyfish and the plant has been shut down to comply with safety procedures.
An EDF spokesman said, 'At no time was there any danger to the public. There are no radiological aspects associated with this event and there has been no impact to the environment.'
No one knows why the jellyfish would congregate there. A few weeks ago an Atlantic Seal settled in at EDF’s Hinkley Point nuclear station in Somerset after apparently ‘chasing fish’. Are these creatures trying to tell us something?