Damian Carrington – Power stations to get early warning against jellyfish invasions

Invasions of jellyfish have proved adept at shutting down power plants in recent years. But an early warning tool is now in development to alert power stations to incoming swarms which block the cooling water intakes of coastal plants.

EDF’s Torness nuclear power plant in Scotland was closed for a week in 2011 after a mass of moon jellyfish invaded and the company is now working with researchers from the University of Bristol to tackle the problem.

Jellyfish swarms have also closed nuclear and coal power plants in Sweden, the US and Japan in recent years, and the new forecast tool is being designed to work in all oceans. Israeli power stations have also had jellyfish problems, while thePhilippines suffered a massive blackout in 1999 after 50 truck loads of jellyfish had to be removed, and a US nuclear-powered warship, the USS Ronald Reagan, was incapacitated when visiting Australia in 2006.

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