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BUCHANAN, NY - MARCH 18: A boat moves along the Hudson River in front of the Indian Point nuclear power plant March 18, 2011 in Buchanan, New York. Mario Tama—Getty Images
Mario Tama—Getty Images

An operator at a nuclear power plant says bird poop may be to blame for a shutdown the plant experienced in mid-December.

Entergy Corp. says bird “streaming,” the technical name for our bird waste, likely caused a disturbance on outdoor electrical transmission lines and led to the shutdown of a nuclear reactor. The company sent a report on the shutdown at the Indian Point reactor to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in February, CBS News reports. The reactor is on the Hudson River, 50 miles north of New York City.

The bird incident was the latest in a string of issues at the Indian Point reactor, which has experienced a fire, a power failure, and a radioactive water leak in the past year. Operators at the Indian Point reactor told CBS News they could not remember another incident involving a bird, but animal disturbances are not uncommon along electrical transmission lines.

“Squirrels are the biggest offenders,” a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman said.


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