Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is shut down. Not because of any natural disasters or technical device issues, it is because of jellyfish-like creatures.
Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) said large numbers of sea salps entering the plant’s cooling water system caused the shutdown of the one nuclear reactor that was operating at the time. The other reactor shut down early this week for a scheduled refueling outage.
On Tuesday, the utility lowered the reactor’s output to 15 percent as a result of the salp influx. The unit was later ramped up to 24 percent before being shut down entirely.
The unit will not restart until conditions are favorable to do so, plant officials say.
Salps are small barrel-shaped plankton called tunicates, similar to jellyfish, that can grow to nearly four inches in length. They move by pumping water through their bodies. They often float in the water in string- or rope-like fashion.