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Jellyfish causing a Scottish nuclear power station to close down its reactors

Jellyfish causing a Scottish nuclear power station to close down its reactors? It’s no flight of fancy
By Ron McKay   You think that those darned jellyfish are just a holiday problem in the Med? It turns out they’ve been getting in and clogging up the water-cooling intake pipes at Scotland’s sole active nuclear power station at Torness, outside Dunbar, resulting in the reactor having to shut down in an emergency procedure.

A commercial drone company called RUAS has asked the Civil Aviation Authority for what’s called a Temporary Danger Area to be applied around the site so that its pilots can fly spotter drones out to sea to log the

 invaders and sea kelp in an early warning system, so that the station’s water intake can by reduced and expensive total closure averted.

If this is granted it will apply from December until the end of February, and lots of drones will be buzzing about like hornets.

The application says:

“The issue is on a regular basis they are affected by either jellyfish blooms or marine ingress including microalgae, that are blocking the intake of the Nuclear Power Plant.

“As a result, the reactor overheats due to the lack of water intake which cools the reactor, creating the need for the reactor to be shut down entirely as an emergency procedure. This has implications when they need to reactivate the reactor which is costly and time consuming.”

This doesn’t sound at all healthy to me. The company also wants permission to fly the drones, or BVLOS, the acronym for beyond visual line of site, meaning that the pilots on the ground will be playing with their joysticks and watching they don’t hit seagulls or boats on a video screen.

Just the kind of task you could do from the pub.

October 25, 2021 - Posted by | environment, UK

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