Environmental studies

Fennovoima has conducted environmental monitoring and environmental and nature conservation studies on land and at sea since the very early phase of the project.

Dust is one of the environmental impacts of construction. Dust is continuously measured at Hanhikivi headland. Photo: Jarmo Tyyskä 

So far, almost 90 studies have been conducted at the Hanhikivi headland and its surroundings. Environmental monitoring and studies ensure good knowledge of the status of the environment of the Hanhikivi headland.

The studies continue until the commencement of the construction of the power plant, and some will continue during the entire life cycle of the power plant. The studies provide information that is necessary for applying for permits, as well as for the design of the buildings and structures. As we want to ensure the neutrality of the research results, we contract external research and consultants to conduct the necessary studies.

On the land area, drillings and geophysical investigations have been carried out, with which the levels and characteristics of the bedrock, the ground water level and the thickness of soil layers have been investigated.

These studies provide information, for example, for the designing of the routes for the cooling water tunnels of the nuclear power plant. Also studies of e.g. vegetation and habitat type studies and different kinds of fauna studies related to birds, bats and moor frogs, for instance, have been implemented.

In the sea area, Fennovoima has commissioned water quality monitoring since 2009. The seabed near the Hanhikivi headland has been studied by carrying out seismic refraction surveys, drilling and aerial studies. Also, aquatic vegetation and benthic fauna have been studied by surface-supplied diving. The fish fauna in the area has been studied e.g. in several fishery research, reproduction studies and impact assessments on fish stock.

Fishery subsidies and compensations to professional fishermen were EUR 0.07 million in total in 2016.

Sea grayling investigation

Based on the obligation of the environmental permit of the nuclear power plant, we also conducted a separate investigation regarding sea grayling, which is a critically endangered fish species in 2016. The Liminkaoja river, located about 2 km south of the Hanhikivi headland, is a spawning area for sea grayling. The purpose of the investigation was to identify if sea grayling also spawn in the marine area near the Hanhikivi headland. A similar investigation has been done by Fennovoima once before, in 2012. The investigation included e.g. a survey of professional fishermen, experimental fishing and observation of sea grayling fry. No sea grayling spawning in the marine area nearby Hanhikivi headland has been observed, in spite of comprehensive studies. In 2017, Fennovoima will continue fishery and fishing industry monitoring as required in the water permits. In addition, a survey of free-time fishermen will be carried out.

Sea grayling