More use to the mechanical seals workers were amazed to find a pinniped swimming around a cooling tank.

EDF’s Hinkley Point B power station near Bridgwater, in Somerset, had an atlantic grey seal, dubbed Celia by workers, in its cooling water intake chamber last week.

The seal, which was eventually removed in a specially built cradle, spent five days eating fish and swimming in the tank under the watchful eye of station staff.

To Celia out the station set up a recovery team under emergency controller, Nick Wall, with support from the RSPCA.

Celia is lifted out of the cooling chamber

Mr Wall said: “We set about designing a suitable cradle to extract the seal safely.

“After five days the recovery team’s perseverance paid off and the grey seal was caught and lifted to safety.

“Following a ‘once-over’ from a local vet, Celia was then released from a beach a few miles to the west of the power station.”

Luke Walsh

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