Environmental Impacts During the Operation Phase Are Minor
The operations of the nuclear power plant have minor environmental impacts. The most significant impact is caused by the cooling water in the immediate vicinity of the cooling water discharge channel. The temperature of the cooling water raises approximately 10 degrees Celcius before it is discharged back to the sea.
The sea area in front of Hanhikivi headland is open and scarce. According to the studies, the warm cooling water accelerates the growth of aquatic vegetation, which creates progress similarly to eutrophication. Since the cooling water will be discharged into an open sea area, the eutrophication caused by the nutrients will be marginal.
The significant raise of water temperature is limited to the immediate vicinity of the discharge channel and the cooling water has estimated to have local impacts on fishing and fish stock. However, the local warming up of surface water is not estimated to have a significant adverse impact on the fish stocks of the area because the deeper water layers are cooler and fish can actively seek suitable temperatures.
The most concrete impact of cooling waters on fishing will occur in winter when unfrozen areas and thin ice will restrict ice fishing to the north and east from Hanhikivi. As the possibilities for ice fishing are reduced, the possibilities for longer-term open sea fishing and winter fishing in the open sea will improve.
In June 2016, Fennovoima was granted an environmental and water permit that covers all of the activities and emissions during the operation phase. You can read our press release here.