Electrified bird bum bomb shuts down US nuclear power plant

Excrement short-circuit fingered for fowl play

Juvenile Bald Eagle
Big bird ... Artist's impression of what the power plant bomber may have looked like (Photo: Joan Robins)

In a bizarre turns of events, a large bird shut down a nuclear power plant after it crapped on vital equipment.

The Indian Point Energy Center runs two nuclear reactors in south New York state. It emerged this week that on December 14, the plant went into emergency shutdown after a power surge in its transmission lines. Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered an investigation, and an avian deposit has been fingered as a likely culprit.

"Damage was caused by a bird streamer. Streamers are long streams of excrement from large birds that are often expelled as a bird takes off from a perch," said plant officials, the New York Post reports.

"If a streamer contacts an energized conductor, the electrical current may travel through the streamer back to the bird or pole/transmission tower. The result may be a bird electrocution, power outage, and/or line trip."

The culprit has not been identified, other than saying it was a "large bird," which is understandable given the amount of, er, material needed to cause the shutdown. It is not known if the feathered fecal flinger survived the incident. [Perhaps it was a vulture? – ed.] ®

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