June 20, 2011 / 3:28 PM / 8 years ago

UK nuclear plant rescues seal from cooling water pool

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - An Atlantic Grey Seal was rescued from a nuclear power plant water pool in Somerset last week after it got trapped in the facility while chasing fish, the nuclear station operator said.

The seal, dubbed Celia by power plant staff, was unharmed and rescued from the pool after five days.

“She was quite happy in there with lots of fish, she was already getting quite fat,” a spokeswoman for the Hinkley Point nuclear plant owner EDF Energy said.

Staff from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the nuclear plant’s emergency team built a cradle and hired a crane to lift Celia from the pool.

She was released back into sea from a beach a few miles west of the power station to prevent her from returning.

Most nuclear power plants draw cooling water for nuclear reactors from the sea or nearby rivers.

It is common for fish to enter the so-called water intake chamber, but only a few seals have ever found their way into the pools.

Reporting by Karolin Schaps, editing by Paul Casciato

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