Wildlife

Wave of Prawn Deaths Baffles Chile City of Coronel

Thousands of dead prawns have washed up on a beach in Chile, sparking an investigation.

Hundreds of dead crabs were also washed ashore in Coronel city, about 530km (330 miles) from the capital, Santiago.

Fishermen suggested the deaths may have been caused by local power stations that use seawater as a cooling agent. The power firms have not commented.

Experts are looking into water temperature and oxygen levels and other details to explain the deaths.

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On a lighter note:

A Rat May Have Caused Outage at Fukushima

A rat may have been to blame for a power cut that knocked out cooling systems at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, in an episode that highlighted the jerry-rigged nature of the fix.

Equipment keeping used nuclear fuel at a safe temperature in four different pools was out for up to 39 hours from Monday, with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) admitting their recovery work was sometimes less than perfect.

The incident served as a reminder of the precarious state of the plant two years after the tsunami which sparked meltdowns in three reactors, spewing radiation over the land and sea and forcing tens of thousands from their homes.

“We suspect a small animal may have caused a short circuit in a switchboard” leading to the outage and disabling cooling systems for spent fuel pools, a spokesman for TEPCO said.

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