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McGuire Nuclear Plant Shuts Down To Investigate Fish Clog

Duke Energy has shut down both units at its McGuire nuclear power station on Lake Norman because fish clogged a strainer at the point where water enters the plant. Duke spokeswoman Valerie Patterson says the plant shut down as a precaution while a team investigates how bluegills got into a small, man-made pond on the property. Nuclear plants require a lot of water. Duke chemically-treated the pond a year ago to eliminate the fish. "It's clear some deeper analysis needs to be done," says Patterson. "That's why we assembled a special team to conduct a very thorough investigation, not so that we only resolve this issue, but certainly do whatever measures we need to to prevent a reoccurrence." Duke had a similar problem in 2007. The Catawba Riverkeeper has expressed concern about fish getting into the pond before. The environmental group says there needs to be a limited flow between Lake Norman and the nuclear plant pond in order to preserve the lake's ecology. The company says it has plenty of other plants it can draw on while McGuire's units are down.