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Articles by Thomas Stackpole

Thomas Stackpole is an editorial fellow in Mother Jones' Washington, D.C., bureau.

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Last weekend, the world’s largest boiling-water nuclear reactor, Sweden’s Oskarshamn plant, was paralyzed after a bloom of moon jellyfish clogged plant’s cooling systems, forcing it to shut down. According to the New York Times, the jellyfish had been cleared out of the plant’s pipes by Tuesday, and engineers are preparing to restart the reactor. Odd as it sounds, this is actually a pretty common problem (yes, really).

Luc Viatour

“The last time this happened [at this plant] was in August 2005, when we had to shut down Oskarshamn-1 because of a jellyfish invasion,” a spokesperson for EON SE, the company that co-owns the plant, told Bloomberg. “This situation is caused by a huge amount of jellyfish, just one is definitely not enough to cause problems.”

Jellyfish blooms — the term for giant swarms of jellyfish — have also been responsible for nuclear shut downs in California, Florida, Israel, Scotland, India, and Japan, where one plant has reported removing as much a... Read more

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