June 16, 2011
photos: Seal rescued from cooling chamber at Hinkley Point
at Hinkley Point B nuclear power station, near Burnham-On-Sea,
showed their adaptability when they had to rescue a stranded seal
An atlantic grey seal was spotted swimming around in the power
station's cooling water intake chamber.
seal, although unharmed, was unable to swim out again by itself.
supply of cooling water is needed for the power station's two
reactors and was unaffected.
The station set up a recovery team under that week's emergency
controller, Nick Wall, to ensure safe rescue of the seal.
Energy staff and contract partners from Cape Industrial Services
and Spence Crane Hire worked together on a plan to extract the
seal without causing her distress.
local RSPCA was also called to the site to advise on welfare issues.
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.
Following a once-over from a local vet, Celia was
then released from a beach a few miles to the west of the power
station. The spot was chosen as it was far enough away and on
the out-going tide so as to minimise the risk of the seal returning.
Michelle Orriss from the power station, who herself used to work
at a seal sanctuary, said: "It was great to see the care
and thought that went in to rescuing the grey seal. It was very
much a team effort to look after Celia and return her back to
a check by a vet, the seal was released onto a beach
seal entering the Bristol Channel after its rescue
the seal was released a few miles to the west of Hinkley Point