Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Power Earth Japan Science Technology

Millions of Jellyfish Invade Nuclear Reactors 280

Posted by timothy
from the what-we-need-is-a-good-jellyfish-recipe dept.
oxide7 writes "A nuclear reactor in Japan was forced to shut down due to infiltration of enormous swarms of jellyfish near the power plant. A similar incident was also reported recently in Israel, when millions of jellyfish clogged the sea-water cooling system of a power plant."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Millions of Jellyfish Invade Nuclear Reactors

Comments Filter:
  • I for one (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:10PM (#36708882)

    praise our new jellyfish overlords.

  • by mrxak (727974) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:10PM (#36708884)

    I have a theory that jellyfish are alien invaders, here to xenoform our planet. They love basically everything we do to the planet, from pollution to overfishing to global warming. This is just further evidence, but by shutting down nuclear reactors, the only current viable alternative to fossil fuel power plants, they ensure we use more coal and oil power plants, contributing to the environmental change they love.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Think about it, within a relatively short time on earth we've multiplied to the billions, with no indication of stopping. We're like the grey goo of nanotech horror, or flying penises of second life!

      -Matt

      • by mrxak (727974)

        Except we're clearly from this planet. If you wanted to argue the jellyfish are trying to stop us from spreading to other planets, you may be right. Their efforts thus far to change our environment to suit their own purposes have been quite effective, and may end up destroying us.

        We better start fighting back now. Countries such as Germany are already under the influence of jellyfish. We should look for distinctive jellyfish sting marks on the necks of their lawmakers who voted for the nuclear power ban.

        • by KDR_11k (778916)

          I blame the East Germans. They'll happily push the "non-toxic" jellyfishes out of the way while bathing, they probably deposit brain control chemicals in people!

        • by youn (1516637)

          Except we're clearly from this planet.

          actually many theories exist that life originated from a collision with an asteroid that had the building blocks of life... if this is true then you could argue human life is extra terrestrial in origin and thus the original terra forming program is already spreading to other parts of the universe through out the years

      • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @12:39AM (#36709166) Homepage Journal

        Historically, we didn't have a population problem. China reflects the population growth of the entire world. Until about 1850, population growth was a stable thing, growing fractionally every century or so. After about 1850, we saw this exponential growth.

        The reason I picked China as the example, is that China has made a conscious effort to control population. One couple, one child. Negative population growth, which should put China comfortably within the land's capability to support their population within the next 100 years or so. (Sorry, no, I haven't researched projected population figures - I'm just guesstimating that 100 years from now, China's population will be (very roughly) about 1/4 what it is today.)

        Roughly half of the rest of the world still practices unrestrained population growth - all of Islam, all of the Catholic people, and much of the third world no matter their religion, politics, or anything else.

        I think it's past time that some of those people were brought up to date on the results of unrestricted procreation.

        • by decora (1710862) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @01:06AM (#36709264) Journal

          they have profoundly disrupted the balance between male and female, leading to social unrest and massive mental health problems.

          the idea that there is insufficient land is bogus as long as we are paying farmers to not grow things. there is plenty of food, the problem is distribution and marketing. we throw away food every day from supermarkets and restaurants, and people go to jail if they try to dig in the trash for food to eat. there is no food shortage, there is a shortage of low-priced food, and that has nothing to do with the supply of land (except maybe as it relates to ethanol). it has to do with things like the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index Fund and other investment banks and hedge funds attempts to manipulate food markets for profit . . . something that is very old, a good 20th century example being the potato market and NYMEX.

          the problem with 'population control' is that someone has to decide what 'sort of people' are 'better' - nobody who thinks they know the answer to that should ever be in any position of power because it is amongst the basest, most primitive and violent impulses of the human species, to 'wipe out the other clan'.

          see also. eugenics. t4. genetic health courts. etc etc.

          • by mrxak (727974) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @01:17AM (#36709306)

            You're exactly right, that we produce enough food to feed everyone. Inadequate packaging and storage, as well as inadequate distribution channels, corrupt governments, and plain old poverty keeps a lot of it getting to where it needs to go. Much of it spoils before reaching market and much of it gets used as a political and social weapon.

            Just recently the UN FAO said we need to double our food output by 2050, when population is expected to reach 9 billion. Well, ignoring the fact that math doesn't make sense, it's missing the point. We can produce food for 6.5 billion right now. Production will need to increase to meet the demands of another 2.5 billion people, but the problem isn't production and never was. So long as there isn't enough refrigeration, pest-resistent procedures and packaging, and the roads and governments in place to distribute it adequately, production is irrelevant.

            • by rtb61 (674572)

              We produce enough food, is hardly a sound reason to continue reproducing to the point were we do not produce enough food. At the moment with by far the majority having a bare minimum of access to the resources we exploit and produce, those resources are already being stretched to their limits.

              So any judgements should be based upon an equitable share, we all gain pretty much equal access to the resources of the planet, defining what limits need to be put in place to ensure long term livability for human s

          • the idea that there is insufficient land is bogus as long as we are paying farmers to not grow things.

            You might be able to use it now, but that might make it completely unusable in future. Land needs to recover, they'd worked that out in the middle ages.

            • by Zumbs (1241138)

              the idea that there is insufficient land is bogus as long as we are paying farmers to not grow things.

              You might be able to use it now, but that might make it completely unusable in future. Land needs to recover, they'd worked that out in the middle ages.

              ... which is why modern farming use fertilizers ;-) Oil is a key ingredient in making fertilizers, so if we ever should burn out our oil supply, we better find an alternative, though. Mulching is not enough.

              • Some alternatives:
                - South-America's ancient cultures used charcoal (which they made by burning trees without oxygen) as a fertilizer.
                - In ancient Egypt they used floods of the Nile to fertilize their fields.
                - In several places volcanic ashes have been used.
                - Also animal dung has been used as a fertilizer.
                - It is also effective to use different plants in different years as they have slightly different needs.
                - One should also remember that currently a lot of fertilizer is going with the rain down to the sea,

              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                ... which is why modern farming use fertilizers ;-) Oil is a key ingredient in making fertilizers, so if we ever should burn out our oil supply, we better find an alternative, though. Mulching is not enough.

                The problem however is that using the land for oil fertilizers kills the soil and makes it incapable of growing food crops again without massive infusions of some other fertilizer. The other problem is that we currently waste the best fertilizer we have — our poop! It should not be called waste, but that's what we do with it in the developed world.

                • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @07:45AM (#36710376) Journal

                  You might be surprised to know that we don't throw away all human waste.

                  We buy tandom truck loads (~10 cubic yards) of recycled waste from the waste treatment plant for $125 delivered, consisting of composted wood chips, leaves and sterilized human waste sludge. Many municipalities all over the US sell it. Cost varies from $10 to $15 a yard. This is only slightly cheaper than regular compost, at $15 to $20 a yard. We stack it up and let it "cook off" for another year before using in the garden, although it isn't actually required. This is deep, rich black compost that works perfectly to condition soil for lawns or gardens, and is far superior to standard "compost" you buy due to a higher manure content.

                  I have also seen people buy just the sterilized effluent for spray fertilizing fields for animal feed. Very powerful stuff. Many waste treatment plants are expanding their ability to produce, as it is a profitable venture, which is reflecting in the fact that the price has gone up as demand has, at least here in North Carolina.

                  So we don't actually waste our poop in America, like others believe. It is rapidly becoming a PROFITABLE product that makes the community money and reduces landfill usage. We still aren't doing this with all human waste, but we are well on our way as it is rapidly gaining acceptance. If my little town of 20k people are doing it, then any city can. I would be shocked if 90% of human waste isn't done this way within 10 or so years, as it makes money, grows great plants, and costs less than landfilling the material.

                  • by drinkypoo (153816)

                    So we don't actually waste our poop in America, like others believe. It is rapidly becoming a PROFITABLE product that makes the community money and reduces landfill usage.

                    There are a couple problems with this though. One is that the process is incredibly wasteful. Another is that it is only done in a tiny minority of cases. Most of the time it's just landfilled or even incinerated. And even where it is not the processing is horribly wasteful, even though there are alternatives, like AIWPS or simply using composting toilets which are as simple as can be and which save water to boot.

                    Small towns are overwhelmingly more likely to be using a rational process because the money in

          • by omfgnosis (963606)

            the idea that there is insufficient land is bogus as long as we are paying farmers to not grow things.

            That's only logically true if the land on which nothing is grown could replace the food that is being grown on land that is being cleared (for instance, in the Amazon) for food production. The amount of land subsidized not to grow is about 34 million acres. From various sources, I'm seeing anywhere from 6 to 47 million acres of Amazon rainforest alone being cleared for food production each year. Taking the lowest figure for granted, that 34 million acres of unfarmed land could effectively produce "sustainab

        • by mrxak (727974)

          I think you'd be surprised how many Catholics use artificial birth control.

          • It might not be all that surprising to learn that the majority of Catholics do NOT use birth control. There is a reason that Mexico and other Latin American countries are overpopulated, and poor. There is a reason that the illegal aliens in the United States are rapidly repopulating the South West, while the white man is actually seeing negative population growth.

            I'll accept that a lot of Catholics in wealthy, educated nations might be practicing birth control methods, but those Catholics are a minority o

        • Until about 1850, population growth was a stable thing, growing fractionally every century or so.

          You mean the population on a particular date would be, say, x% more than it was a year previously?

          After about 1850, we saw this exponential growth.

          You mean where the population on a particular date would be the base population at some time in the past, multiplied by some number, let's call it ((100+x)/100), raised to a power which corresponds the number of years after the base?

          I wonder what biological mutation

          • Not subtle enough. The biological mutation you refer to didn't happen. Instead, advances in the field of medicine pretty much wiped out the most common causes of death.

            Now, if you're finished mocking, you might actually do a Google search, to see what the earth's estimated population levels were for tens of thousands of years in the past. There most definitely was population growth, all through history and pre-history. But, that growth, overall, was stable. Only in the 1800's do we see that "population

        • " all of Islam, all of the Catholic people, and much of the third world no matter their religion, politics, or anything else."

          You mean like Italy (total fertility rate:1.3), Spain (1.3), Hungary (1.3), Slovakia(1.3), Turkey (2.15), Algeria (1.75)?

          But hey, don't bother with the facts!

        • by Qbertino (265505)

          The reason I picked China as the example, is that China has made a conscious effort to control population. One couple, one child. Negative population growth, which should put China comfortably within the land's capability to support their population within the next 100 years or so. (Sorry, no, I haven't researched projected population figures - I'm just guesstimating that 100 years from now, China's population will be (very roughly) about 1/4 what it is today.)

          And it will have a man/woman ratio of 1 to 0.6.

          • A culture's desire for a male or a female offspring is pretty much a separate issue from population control.

            However - the fact that the balance is in favor of male offspring only helps to cut the population faster. One couple, one child. It most definitely requires a female to form a couple. So - she has one child, and the extra guy doesn't. I have no problem with that. Seems to me that the males in China would start working hard to make themselves attractive to the females, so that they don't end up a

    • by Antisyzygy (1495469) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:27PM (#36708938)
      Many Jellyfish and Fish compete in their ecological niche. Because people the world over are over-fishing the sea, it leaves room for more jellyfish to snatch the food the fish would otherwise eat. Furthermore, Jellyfish are also nearly nutrition-less so people do not try to catch them. So, we have a collection of species of animal that have less predation vs. their main competitor and more food to eat, so they tend to thrive. Its not really a good idea for us to continue to ravage the sea life without regard to their continued survival. Coal and Oil plants really don't affect the Jellyfish as much.
      • by zill (1690130) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:33PM (#36708948)

        Furthermore, Jellyfish are also nearly nutrition-less so people do not try to catch them.

        Most Asian cuisines have Jellyfish dishes. Some US fisheries even export Jellyfish to Asian countries.

        • by mrxak (727974)

          Luckily they have no regard for their own lives, as TFA clearly shows they're willing to use suicidal tactics to get us to shut down our alternative energy sources that will halt their advance. If they did care more, they might be pissed off that we're eating them.

        • by Guppy (12314) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @12:13AM (#36709106)

          Most Asian cuisines have Jellyfish dishes. Some US fisheries even export Jellyfish to Asian countries.

          The problem is, preparation of Jellyfish for food is very time and labor intensive, due to the absurdly high water content that needs to be dealt with. Asians eat it, but not as a major dietary protein source like fish. So while it may support some small Jellyfisheries, there will never be huge fleets capable of making a dent in their populations.

          • by MassiveForces (991813) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @12:39AM (#36709164)
            ...absurdly high water content, some protein... hmm how about we use them to fertilize the desert?
            • Huh. Interesting idea, but would it work?

            • by RsG (809189)

              I wonder if the reason we don't use them as fertilizer has to do with salt content. Residual salt buildup, wherein the salt content in agricultural soil gets fractionally higher each year, is a problem already; if jellyfish fertilizer exacerbates it, that might be why nobody's tried it.

              Desalinating something before you use it adds quite a lot of energy to the requirements.

              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                Desalinating something before you use it adds quite a lot of energy to the requirements.

                It's not a big deal if you have empty space, which we do, and sun, which generally coincides with the empty space here. In Japan it's a bit trickier.

        • See Guppy's post below. You can eat jellyfish, but the nutritional content is almost nil. You have to heavily process jellyfish to make it nutritional, and even then it is nowhere near the same level of nutrition as fish. You can catch a single fish like a Salmon and feed a man for a few days, or catch several hundred jellyfish and feed the same man for a couple hours.
          • You can catch a single fish like a Salmon and feed a man for a few days, or catch several hundred jellyfish and feed the same man for a couple hours.

            Um, I'll take the fish, please?

      • by mrxak (727974)

        Increasing water temperatures do correlate with increased jellyfish populations, and they do better in depleted oxygen waters, which pollution causes. More fossil fuels do result in increased jellyfish numbers, it's been shown in a number of scientific studies.

        They ARE xenoforming our planet, and we have limited time to stop them before they begin constructing saltwater-filled vehicles to roam the lands and take over.

      • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:49PM (#36709018) Homepage
        I was with you up to the last point.

        When carbon dioxide dissolves in this ocean, carbonic acid is formed. This leads to higher acidity, mainly near the surface, which has been proven to inhibit shell growth in marine animals and is suspected as a cause of reproductive disorders in some fish.
        ...
        The oceans currently absorb about a third of human-created CO2 emissions, roughly 22 million tons a day. Projections based on these numbers show that by the end of this century, continued emissions could reduce ocean pH by another 0.5 units. Shell-forming animals including corals, oysters, shrimp, lobster, many planktonic organisms, and even some fish species could be gravely affected.

        http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/critical-issues-ocean-acidification/ [nationalgeographic.com]

      • by GooberToo (74388)

        The jellyfish explosions have been created by two things. Firstly, from massive over fishing in Asian waters. Secondly, from massive waste runoff in oxygen rich fresh waters from China. Its almost completely a problem of both Japan and China's making.

        • We are creating or have created similar problems. Consider the fact that crab and lobster fishing requires you throw away crabs/lobsters below a certain size. That is selective pressure on their species to encourage smaller animals. Also consider that in my home state (Montana) they introduced the Mysis which killed all the salmon. Furthermore, Americans want to eat fish that other nations import. We may care about what happens in our waters but we certainly don't bitch too much about where or how certain m
          • by TheLink (130905)
            Yeah, people should be eating the smaller and younger crustaceans/fish/molluscs not the older fertile ones.

            The norm for them for the past few hundred million years is the fertile ones spawn in the thousands/millions and a few survive to fertile adulthood, the rest get eaten or die for other reasons.

            Us eating the big ones is messing things up.
    • by stms (1132653)

      I for one welcome our new radiated Jellyfish overlords.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Further evidence – it's systematic. They did it to Torness nuclear plant in Scotland recently too http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-13971005 [bbc.co.uk]

  • Sayonara Fishies (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:11PM (#36708888) Homepage Journal

    We over-fished the oceans, and now jellyfish have all that extra food available to themselves to grow like weeds. Don't act surprised.

    • by turing_m (1030530) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @01:12AM (#36709292)

      How is this flamebait? What Tablizer says is true. The fish that are the normal predators of jellyfish have been overfished, along with a lot of the smaller fish they feed on. What results is an abundance of the food that jellyfish eat along with an absence of predators (including the human predator), which causes a surge in jellyfish numbers.

      • The flamebait or troll mod is not there to catch flamebait or trolls but to label things as "I don't want to hear this". Take tuna, it is easy to see it is over fished as it has become harder and harder to catch. The people who want to continue catching with no restrictions don't even bother denying it, they just don't want to deal with it. They want their tuna now, if that means no tuna tomorrow, so be it.

    • by prefec2 (875483)

      Well then. We have to eat jellyfish now and overfish them too. ;-)

  • by chill (34294) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:12PM (#36708892) Journal

    They're just the advance troops sent by the aliens in The Abyss [imdb.com]!

  • Didn't this hit the regular news over two months ago? What's new this time?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:25PM (#36708926)

    The Torness reactor was shut down on June 28th because jellyfish clogged the seawater inlet filters.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/30/jellyfish-shut-nuclear-reactors-torness

  • Up Next... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:41PM (#36708980)

    Up Next:

    Radioactive Jellyfish spotted

    Up Next after that:

    Man stung by radioactive jellyfish, gains superpowers. New crime-fighting "Jellyman" reduces world crime considerably.

  • Not surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:41PM (#36708982) Homepage

    A friend of mine used to work as a deep diving welder. Things get pretty cold when you've got that much water between you and the sun, so they'd pump down warm water from the surface to let the divers stay under for as long as possible.

    Some of the divers discovered they could get even warmer by sticking the hoses into the neck of their wetsuit. After a few weeks of doing so, a number of jellyfish swam near the surface. You can probably guess what happened next -- one of them got sucked into the pump and shot through the hose, straight down the back of his wetsuit and settling right between his legs.

    It took a few days before he was able to walk after that, and probably a week more before he could do it comfortably. I guess he was lucky they weren't a more deadly variety, and that he had a buddy nearby to help him surface and remove his wetsuit.

    • Re:Not surprising (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 10, 2011 @01:22AM (#36709322)

      Cool story bro

      Your story would go over better if it were not so obviously fabricated.
      1) Deep waters welders: We almost always wear dry suits not wet suits.
      2) When we do wear wetsuits (short shallow dives in warm water) we want the water in our suit to remain constant because our body heat warms it up and it is trapped inside the suit providing insulation. You would be stupid to break your seal to pump in other water as you would loose body heat that way.

  • US Navy vs Jellyfish (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ikedasquid (1177957) on Saturday July 09, 2011 @11:45PM (#36709004)
    Jellyfish clogging marine heat exchangers is a common problem at sea, but is of particular concern for US Naval vessels using nuclear propulsion. Typically the only fix is to open the exchanger and manually clean the stuff out. Some ships have a capability to flush with either low pressure steam or reverse flush with firemain water (although the firemain is now also likely to contain jellyfish). How these multi-billion dollar machines are designed without a method for removing dead jellyfish is beyond my comprehension.
  • One thing we know how to do is kill stuff. One thing Chinese chefs know is to make dish out of almost anything.

    Invite some Chinese chefs and take care of the bidnis.

  • Now they are gonna blame any new problems in the nuclear reactor on the Israeli jellyfish.
  • IANANE (I Am Not A Nuclear Engineer), but why is raw sea water being used for cooling water, where it can be blocked by jellyfish?

    Or raw lake water, for that matter? ISTR a similar almost-problem at the Davis Besse reactor in Ohio from the (invading) zebra mussel trying to plug things up.

    Certainly both sea water and lake water are cheap and plentiful, but if using them allows living creatures to foul the works and cause actual problems (instead of simply costing more money) is it really worth the convenien

    • I think it's a multiple stage cooling system. The reactor's excess heat is transferred from the internal cooling loop, to ponds, the ponds are cooled by a separate cooling loop - into yet another pond? Then the pond is hooked up to an open ended system that pulls cool water from the sea, dumping warm water back into the sea. The reactor is isolated from the sea by a couple of stages, but ultimately, the excess heat has to go SOMEWHERE other than another closed loop system.

    • Thermal pollution has been a problem with nuclear power plants. Whenever you change the conditions in a chaotic system the results are not usually predictable. You may force the system into whole new orbits or it may fly away to some other orbit or it may just shoot off to infinite. Mathematically speaking that is. In this case, warm water expelled from the plant caused lifeforms that do well in warm water to do better. They started moving closer to the source because they thrive in even warmer water yet. T
    • If you can come up with some other economical way for a typical 2-reactor plant to dump 6 gigawatts of leftover heat, by all means share.

      I admit I'd be curious to see the calculations for a forced air cooled heat exchanger... it'd need to draw in roughly 50000 cubic meters of air per second, assuming an exhaust temp of 120*c is acceptable.
  • Jellyfish heaven
    In the big blue sea
    Where it's too cold to surf
    And it's too warm to ski
    Jellyfish Heaven
    Is full of dead
    Jellyfish

    People always saying
    "I won't eat jellyfish
    'Cause they ain't got no bones
    And you can't make a wish"
    People always shouting
    "Don't go swimming near those things!"
    But when they're close to dying
    You can hear them sing

    Jellyfish heaven
    Is not like Japan
    Jellyfish heaven
    Is not like Thailand
    Jellyfish heaven
    Is a lot
    Like LA

  • SHUT
    DOWN
    EVERYTHING
    Seriously, I think the planet is trying to to tell us "You can't contain the nuclear garbage you're making, stop it"

    • by rubycodez (864176)
      There is no such message, and anthromorphizing a dead rock in space with a molten center, or the biosphere, is just a psychosis.

      The spent fuel isn't garbage, it's a gold mine of energy that we can use later to get seven times more power than we have thus far extracted, leaving behind isotopes that will decay on a short scale.

      If we stopped power generation as you suggest, human life span would drop to half or more its current value. Overall the industrial age has blessed us with more life, health and
      • Yes, anthromorphizing the planet is a bad thing.

        I mean, it is just a big rock falling into the sun (and missing).

        It could not care less about if he can sustain or not an environment for some life forms. Life forms famous in the galaxy for only being able of either thinking "OMG we are all gonna die" or thinking "These changes do not affect to ME and automagically everything is going to be ok always".

    • by ctid (449118)

      Why do you think that the planet is trying to tell us anything? If the planet is trying to communicate with us, why does it use swarms of jellyfish as its medium?

    • If the planet can control jellyfish to send us a message... why doesn't it just control us? People don't go far enough when idealizing their world. "In a perfect world, I could have both steak and pasta!" No, in a perfect world, even if you still needed to eat, you wouldn't need to limit yourself to just those two choices. Since it's perfect, you wouldn't make the mistake of limiting yourself either.
  • Right out of fiction (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Daetrin (576516) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @01:09AM (#36709280)
    So we've got a creature with tentacles infiltrating a nuclear power plant in japan. All we need now is for them to get exposed to some of the radiation and we'll be all set for some real live bad hentai.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday July 10, 2011 @02:01AM (#36709418)

    Nuclear reactors running amuck, millions of jellyfish swarming to stop them - this is just a promotional gimmick for the next Hayao Miyazaki film.

  • At least I think this was the "Ponyo" plot. It's very difficult to figure out what that was actually about. Sometimes I think that animated Japanese films stray, just a bit, from conventional western story telling forms. A bit.

A motion to adjourn is always in order.

Working...