Jellyfish-Like Creatures Shut Down Nuclear Plant

Sea salp invade Diablo Canyon

By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 27, 2012 2:58 PM CDT

(Newser) – A horde of jellyfish-like animals has forced the shutdown of a nuclear power plant in California. The gelatinous creatures, 2 to 3 inches long, are called sea salp. The crisis began Tuesday, when workers at the Diablo Canyon plant discovered that screens which take in cooling water were clogged by the critters, reports the San Luis Obispo Tribune. “The conditions got to the point where we had to shut it down,” says the chief nuclear officer. “So we’ll have to wait until the salp situation clears up.”

Sea salp can reproduce sexually and asexually, and "you can have millions in a couple of days," explains a marine biologist. The only other nuclear power plant in California also is currently offline, because of leaks in the generators, but the state does not expect any shortages of electricity.

Diablo Canyon power plant in 2001.
Diablo Canyon power plant in 2001.   (AP Photo/Phil Klein, File)
This photo provided by the Diablo Canyon Power Plant shows salp floating amid kelp at the power plants.
This photo provided by the Diablo Canyon Power Plant shows salp floating amid kelp at the power plants.   (AP Photo/Diablo Canyon Power Plant)
Diablo Canyon power plant in 2008.
Diablo Canyon power plant in 2008.   (AP Photo/Michael A. Mariant, File)
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