Our environment

Check out the Loviisa power plant environmental report 2021

Loviisa power plant environmental report: Our environment 2021

In Finnish

Clean energy production and sustainability are at the core of Fortum’s strategy. In 2021, the Loviisa power plant generated a total of 8.2 TWh (net) of carbon-free power, corresponding to more than ten per cent of the energy generation in Finland.

As a producer of clean energy, the Loviisa power plant and carbon-free nuclear power play a significant role in mitigating climate change. The greenhouse gas emissions over nuclear power’s lifecycle are equivalent to those of wind, hydro and solar power.

As a result of the Loviisa nuclear power plant’s electricity production, Finland emits about 6 million tonnes less carbon dioxide emissions compared to the equivalent amount of fossil fuel-based electricity.

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, our most important task has been to ensure the health and safety of our own employees and contractor employees and to secure the continuity of operations.

The safety condition of the power plant remained good, and both the production and equipment availability was at a very high level. Excellence in plant safety is an absolute prerequisite of safe and efficient operations for employees and the environment, and it is a sign of professionalism.

In 2021 we stayed within all permit limits in terms of environmental impacts.

Radiation safety

The annual collective radiation dose of the Loviisa power plant’s own personnel and external contractors in 2021 was the lowest in the plant’s operating history. This shows that long-term work in radiation safety produces good results.

Emissions of radioactive effluents into the environment in 2021 were, as in previous years, significantly lower than the limits set for nuclear power plant emissions.

Based on emissions and meteorological data, the estimated radiation dose to the surrounding population was about 0.2% of the set dose limit. The radiation dose to the surrounding population from radioactive substances originating from the Loviisa power plant accounted for only a minor increase compared to the radioactive dose from other sources (like, e.g., radon and medicine).

The radiation monitoring programme carried out in the power plant surroundings occasionally detected radionuclides originating from the plant, but the concentrations detected were very small.

Waste management

Waste management at the Loviisa power plant is comprised of two separate areas: waste management for the non-controlled area and waste management for the controlled area. All waste generated in the controlled area is treated as radioactive. Waste generated outside the controlled area can be treated as waste from a conventional industrial plant.

The goal of conventional waste management is to prevent the production of waste and to reduce the amount of landfill waste through effective sorting. In 2021 about 695 tonnes of waste was transported from the power plant area. Of this, 22% was landfilled,
56% was reused as materials or energy, and 14 % was treated as hazardous waste.

Waste generated in the controlled area is divided into three categories: Low-level waste (maintenance waste), intermediate-level waste (liquid waste), and high-level waste (spent fuel). Maintenance waste is either cleared as non-active and treated as conventional waste or disposed of in the final repository located at a depth of 110 metres in the power plant area. Also the solidified liquid waste was disposed of in the final repository.

Thanks to efficient sorting and packaging, the amount of maintenance waste for final disposal in 2020 accounted for a small share. Liquid waste is purified and released into the sea or stored and solidified in concrete and then disposed of in the final repository. Spent fuel is stored to await final disposal in Eurajoki.

Cooling water

The power plant’s most significant environmental impact is the thermal load on the sea caused by the cooling water, which heats up by about 10 degrees as it passes through the plant. In practice, two-thirds of the thermal energy produced by the reactor ends up in the sea with the cooling water. According to temperature measurements, the discharged water raises the temperature of the sea water during the growing season by about 1-2.5 degrees within a 1-2 kilometre range from the discharge point.

The cooling water discharge area remains unfrozen throughout the winter. The size of the open water and thin ice area depends on winter temperatures. In 2021, the power plant used a total of about 1,394 million m3 of sea water for cooling, and the thermal load on the sea totalled 57,337 terajoules.

In accordance with the environmental permit, the amount of cooling water released into the sea should not exceed 1,800 million m3 per year or 56 m3/s. The cooling water’s thermal load on the sea may not exceed 60,000 terajoules annually. The limits set by the permit were not exceeded in 2021.

Service water

The process and domestic water required by the power plant is sourced from Lake Lappominjärvi, which is located about 5 kilometres north of
the power plant.

The water is purified before use at the water plant, and the water used as process water is additionally treated at the demineralisation plant. The total volume of water withdrawn from Lake Lappominjärvi in 2021 was about
137,841 m3.

According to the service water withdrawal permit, the power plant can withdraw up to 180 m3/h of water from the lake for a short period of time and a maximum of 150 m3/h per quarter.

Wastewater

The domestic wastewater generated is treated at the power plant area’s biological-chemical wastewater treatment plant, to which about 18,375 m3 of wastewater was piped in 2021.

In accordance with the environmental permit, domestic wastewater must be treated so that the biological oxygen demand (BOD7ATU) of wastewater discharged into the sea does not exceed 15 mg/l, and the total phosphorus concentration does not exceed 0.7 mg/l, calculated as annual averages. The efficiency of the treatment process must be at least 90% for both variables.

According to the monitoring results, the treatment plant reached results compliant with the conditions of the permit: the biological oxygen demand of treated wastewater in 2021 was 1.4 mg/l on average, and the total phosphorus concentration was 0.16 mg/l. The load caused by domestic wastewater in 2021 was 3.1 kg of phosphorus, 654 kg of nitrogen and 179 kg of solids.

The environmental permit of the power plant does not set any limits for the process wastewater load. However, the nutrient load caused by the process wastewater is monitored through samples taken in accordance with the monitoring programme.

The load caused by process wastewater in 2021 was 5.6 kg of phosphorus, 1279 kg of nitrogen and 40 kg of solids. The power plant’s share of the total load in the Hästholmen sea area in 2021 was about 1% phosphorus and about 5% nitrogen.

Environmental incidents

No permit limits were exceeded at the Loviisa power plant in 2021, nor were there any breaches of permit conditions.

Key figures 2021

Occupational safety
Occupational incidents 2021 2020
Own personnel 1 1
External personnel 3 2
Observation reports (no.) 1,440 1,380

 

Personnel
  2021 2020

Own personnel

532 525

Temporary employees

women

men

3%

15%

85%

3%

15%

85%

External personnel    

Fortum’s technical support in Espoo

Permanent contractors

Summer workers

During annual outages

70

100

82

ca. 650

170

100

81

ca. 800

 

Emissions
  2021 2020 Permitted annual emissions
Emissions into air      
Noble gases, TBq
(Kr-87 equivalent)
5.5 5.1 14,000
Iodine, TBq
(I-131 equivalent)
0.0000006 0.0000005 0.22
Emissions into water      
Cooling water, million m³ 1,394 1,328 1,800
Thermal load into the sea, TJ 57,337 54,586 60,000
Tritium, TBq 14.3 16.1 150
Other radioactive nuclides, TBq 0.0001 0.0002 0.89

 

Wastewater
  2021 2020
Annual load caused by domestic water    
Biological oxygen demand, kg 26 66
Chemical oxygen demand, kg 195 655
Phosphorus, kg 3.1 3.1
Nitrogen, kg 654 932
Solids, kg 179 180
Domestic wastewater volume, m3 18,375 19,443
Annual load caused by process wastewater    
Phosphorus, kg 5.6 2.3
Nitrogen, kg 1,279 929
Solids, kg 40 74
Process wastewater volume, m3 225,315 210,580

 

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