Thursday, February 4, 2016

Power Glitch Kills Pennsylvania Carp

An  operational glitch at a York County power plant on the banks of the Susquehanna River this weekend led to the destruction of more than a thousand fish, but company officials stress chemical contaminants played no part in the incident.

Jim Hurd, who lives just minutes away from the York County power plant at Brunner Island along the Susquehanna River took this photo of dead fish in the water on Sunday.
From this sample of 4 in the photo, I'm going to hazard a guess that the majority of the fish killed were Common Carp. The fish is a widespread invasive originally from Europe and Asia. It is widely regarded as a nuisance.
Todd Martin, a spokesman for Talen Energy, which owns Brunner Island Steam Electric Station in York Haven, said the glitch at the plant was completely thermal and had nothing to do with chemicals.

According to Martin, at approximately 2 a.m. on Saturday the electrical generation plant was down-powering one of its units when the unit unexpectedly shut down.

As a result, the water that had been used in the operation was not properly processed - in temperature - before being discharged into the river.
Cold shock is a well known problem when industrial heat producers shut down suddenly in cold weather. Fortunately, nuclear power plants are not especially prone to cold shock, as nuclear fuel continues to produce heat long after the reactor is shutdown. Another excellent reason for a nuclear future.
"Basically the fish that were in the discharge canal were unfortunately shocked by this incidental early shut down," Martin said.

Martin explained that the water from the plant returned to the natural ambient temperature of the river faster than is typical, so in essence, the water - which would typically be warm - discharged into the river cold, shocking fish that are attracted to the canal's warm waters. The water discharged had changed by 13 degrees in one hour, he said.
Carp are not a particularly popular gamefish in the United States. They are not considered particularly edible (although they are used to make gefilte fish, and are prized in Asia). They also do not typically take lures, and take things like dough balls and mulberries as bait. But as you can see from the photos, there are some dedicated carp fishermen (and fisherwomen) who see huge fish in local dirty waters as an opportunity.

I'll bet you're shocked I have pictures of pretty girls holding carp. Rule 34 of the internet.

"Rule 5 Sunday: Super Bowl L"  is ready at The Other McCain, courtesy of Wombat-socho.

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