Environment News Service

AmeriScan: June 29, 1999

ANCHOVIES SHUT DOWN NUCLEAR PLANT

A school of anchovies shut down a North Carolina nuclear power plant on Monday. Brunswick Unit 2, on the Atlantic coast near the South Carolina border, shut itself down automatically after all four of its water intake screens were clogged with the tiny fish, and its coolant pumps lost suction. The pumps take water directly from the ocean through a canal to cool the plantís nuclear reactor. The plant using moving screens, called traveling screens, that normally brush fish off of the intake areas. Fish saving devices move the fish away from the screens and send them back down the canal toward the ocean. "From time to time, there are fish impingements on these traveling screens that are more than the system can handle," said Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Ken Clark. The run of anchovies that overwhelmed the plant has now subsided, and the plant, which was not damaged, is being restarted.

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