Friday 24 February 2017

Seal rescued from N-power station

An Atlantic grey seal was spotted in a power station's cooling water intake chamber
An Atlantic grey seal was spotted in a power station's cooling water intake chamber

An Atlantic grey seal found itself in a tricky spot when it became trapped in a nuclear power station's water intake chamber.

Workers at EDF Energy's Hinkley Point B site in Somerset spotted the seal swimming around in the pool of water. Although the seal, named Celia by staff, was unharmed, she was unable to swim out by herself.

Employees set up a recovery team under emergency controller Nick Wall to rescue the seal.

Staff were watched by the RSPCA as they designed a cradle made from scaffolding and netting to catch the errant mammal.

Mr Wall said: "We set about designing a suitable cradle to extract the seal safely. Our visitor though, who we quickly dubbed Celia the seal, seemed in no hurry to leave as there were plenty of fish around for her."

After five days the recovery team's perseverance paid off and the grey seal was caught and lifted to safety.

After being given a once-over from a local vet, Celia was released from a beach a few miles to the west of the power station.

Watching the rescue was Michelle Orriss, from the power station, who used to work at a seal sanctuary.

She said: "It was great to see the care and thought that went into rescuing the grey seal. It was very much a team effort to look after Celia and return her back to the sea."

The supply of cooling water is needed for the power station's two reactors and was unaffected, an EDF spokesman said.

Press Association

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