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Posts Tagged ‘Torness nuclear plant’

Jellyfish force UK nuke plant shutdown

Posted by feww on June 30, 2011

Swarms of jellyfish invade Torness nuke plant (Scotland) knocking reactors offline

Two reactors at EDF Energy’s Torness nuclear power plant on the Scottish east coast remained shut after swarms of jellyfish clogged the plant’s cooling water filters yesterday.

Located about 50km east of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, and owned by France’s EDF Energy, the Torness Nuclear Power Station was commissioned in 1988. The plant’s two reactors have an installed capacity of about 1,360 MWe. Photo: license details.

“We are working to clear the jellyfish from the waters near the power station. This work, as well as monitoring the area for more jellyfish, is ongoing,” a spokesman for Britain’s largest nuclear power operator, EDF Energy, said.

Swarms of Jellyfish

“There are suggestions from some science data that over the past few years there has been an increase in swarms of jellyfish. It’s possible it’s linked to climate change,” said a plankton ecologist who specializes in jellyfish research at the Marine Scotland Science laboratory in Aberdeen.

“Overfishing of small fish which feed off jellyfish leaves them less exposed to natural predators and gives them more room to reproduce, the Marine Biological Association said.”

Previous Incidents at Torness Nuke

In August 2006, both units were forced to shut down after the water filters in the cooling system were blocked by seaweed.

For other reported incidents at the plant see:

Probability of a Nuclear Disaster by Country

The following probability figures are calculated by FIRE-EARTH on April 8, 2011

  • Japan (880)³
  • United States (865)
  • France (855)
  • Taiwan (850)
  • Belgium, China, Finland, India,  South Korea, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Armenia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania,  Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain,  Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico,  South Africa, Canada (810)
  • Germany, Sweden, Netherlands (800)
  • Switzerland  (750)


  1. The list represents a snapshot of events at the time of calculating the probabilities. Any forecast posted  here is subject to numerous variable factors.
  2. Figures in the bracket represent the probability of an incident occurring out of 1,000; the forecast duration is valid for the next 50  months.
  3. Probability includes a significant worsening of Fukushima nuclear disaster, and future quakes forecast for Japan.
  4. A nuclear incident is defined as a level 5 (Accident With Wider Consequences), or worse, on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). See below.
  5. Safety issues considered in compiling these lists include the age, number of units and capacity of nuclear reactors in each country/state, previous incidents, probability of damage from human-enhanced natural disasters, e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, wildfires, flooding… ]
  6. The  Blog’s knowledge concerning the extent to which the factors described in (3) might worsen during the forecast period greatly influences the forecast. (Last UPDATED: June 26, 2011)

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