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California nuclear plant taken offline after jellyfish-like creatures clog water intake

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The Diablo Canyon power plant in California was forced offline after a massive collection of salps clogged the facility's water coolant intake structures.

Salps (Shutterstock)
Salps (Shutterstock)

Operators at the Diablo Canyon nuclear facility in California have been forced to shut the plant down after numerous waves of sea salps — small creatures that bare some resemblance to jellyfish — overwhelmed the coolant water intake systems. Salps have the ability to reproduce asexually and thus can multiply in rapid succession, presenting a serious problem under the right weather conditions. Unfortunately that's exactly the scenario Diablo Canyon faced last night when winds began directing swarms of the gelatinous beings into the plant's coolant water intake structures.

Thankfully, it seems there won't be any electricity-related consequences while the facility remains offline. California officials claim existing reserves and favorable weather forecasts will help minimize any shortages resulting from the loss of resources. Residents might not notice anything different in the days ahead, but the incident strikes us as another reminder of the drastic and immediate impact mother nature can have on modern technology. For all of our advancements, we're still vulnerable to the unexpected.