Biomass and number of fish impinged at a nuclear power plant by the Baltic Sea
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The main aim of this study was to investigate the number and biomass of impinged fish at Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden, located on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Of particular interest was the number of impinged individuals of the critically endangered European eel (Anguilla anguilla) which is regularly caught in the cooling system. Another aim was to determine the comparability of the results from Forsmark and results from impingement studies in other types of waters. Cross-systems studies make it possible to (1) estimate fish loss at plants where fish is not counted, and (2) to predict changes in fish loss from changes in electricity production or cooling water use. In 2010, 31,300,000 fish with a total biomass of 62,600 kg were impinged at Forsmark. In 2011, 27,300,000 fish weighing 38,500 kg were impinged. The maximum peak in total fish number and biomass occurred in spring. The most critical period for herring was in late summer and early autumn. Regarding eel, the largest impingement losses were recorded in November. The number of fish agreed with earlier established quantities of impinged fish in both freshwater and marine ecosystems. The study also estimated that 1,300 critically endangered eels could survive at Forsmark each year if a fish return system would be constructed to allow the passage of fish from the plant back to the Baltic Sea.
KeywordsFish Impingement Nuclear power Eel
Comments from two anonymous reviewers have greatly improved previous versions of the manuscript. We are also thankful to the Forsmark Power Group (Forsmarks Kraftgrupp AB) which has voluntarily financed the data collection and has shared these data with us.
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