Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Endangered species and unintended (good) consequences with cooling water channels (YahooNews)

(Wilfredo Lee/AP)
It sounds like the plot for a Syfy movie of the week, but the moral of the story is more heartwarming than terrifying: There's anunexpected newfound harmony between a nuclear power plant and a 15-foot-long endangered species of crocodile.
The Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant in southeastern Florida has been so good to the American crocodile that the reptile was recently taken off the endangered species list. But the croc's newly thriving condition has nothing to do with nuclear power itself; rather the  species has cottoned to the 168 miles of manmade cooling canals that surround the plant, adopting the system as a new natural breeding ground.
"The way the cooling canal system was designed actually turned out to be pretty good for crocodile nesting," said John Wrublik, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "It wasn't designed for crocodiles, but they've done a very good job of maintaining that area."

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