Entrainment Studies

  • Kevin G. Sellner
  • Michael E. Kachur
  • Marcia M. Olson
Part of the Lecture Notes on Coastal and Estuarine Studies book series (COASTAL, volume 23)


Passage of estuarine water and phytoplankton through the cooling system of the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in the summer months of 1977–1981 resulted in frequent reductions of phytoplankton densities particularly during periods when flagellated taxa dominated total cell numbers. Entrainment-induced reductions in chlorophyll were observed on only four occasions, however. Phytoplankton productivity as oxygen evolution or 14C-uptake was even more susceptible to the effects of passing through the cooling system. Inhibition of productivity was observed during periods dominated by flagellated cells and generally occurred with ambient water temperature ≥25°C. Results from track autoradiography employed in 1981 indicated that carbon fixation in the commonly observed flagellate Cryptomonas acuta was significantly depressed during July, August and September. In contrast, the dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum and the diatoms Cyclotella caspia and Thalassionema nitzschioides were not affected by entrainment. Although entrainment affects Cryptomonas and flagellate-dominated assemblages in the summer there are no detectable effects of power plant operations on cell densities or productivity in flagellate-dominated waters in the vicinity of the power plant.

Transitory exposure of estuarine Zooplankton to the elevated temperatures of CCNPP entrainment and discharge plumes was generally non-lethal. In the species selected for study the survival rate after entrainment was 65 to 100%. The effects of temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen levels upon entrained organisms were also analyzed.


Phytoplankton Assemblage Zooplankton Abundance Electric Power Research Institute Ambient Water Temperature Total Cell Density 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin G. Sellner
  • Michael E. Kachur
  • Marcia M. Olson

There are no affiliations available

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