Scientists at the University of Bristol are working with the energy industry to develop an ‘early warning tool’ to predict the sudden, en masse appearance of jellyfish swarms which can cause serious problems by clogging the water intakes of coastal power plants. The University of Bristol team, led by Drs Sally Wood and Erica Hendy from the School of Earth Sciences, will be developing their ideas by working with EDF Energy at its Torness power station. Torness supplies around a third of Scotland’s electricity and was offline for a week in June 2011 following a precautionary shutdown of both reactors after a blockage of cooling filters caused by a swarm of moon jellyfish. Dr Sally Wood, said: “The aim of the project is to develop a robust tool for the rapid evaluation of the likelihood and scale of jellyfish ingress at Torness based on simulated patterns of historic bloom dispersal within the North Sea from the last 20 years. “To achieve this we will be translating previous research using a state-of-the-art marine dispersal modelling system to simulate the transport of jellyfish blooms by ocean currents, incorporating specific biological behaviours of jellyfish.”The project, which has been funded by the National Environment Research Council (NERC) and EDF Energy.
Bristol University 11th Oct 2016 read more »