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Environmental Impact of nuclear power

The main environmental impact of nuclear power consists of construction of the plant, fuel procurement and of the thermal load of the cooling water discharged into the sea during operation. Nuclear-based electricity production does not create carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas emissions. When reviewing the entire production lifecycle, the climate impact of operating nuclear power is similar to that of wind, solar or hydropower.

In 2016, the Loviisa power plant’s thermal load on the sea was 56,741 TJ. According to temperature measurements, cooling water has increased the surface water temperature by 1−2 degrees Celsius at a distance of one to two kilometres from the cooling water discharge location. The thermal load on the waterway could be reduced by integrating a nuclear power plant with combined heat and power (CHP) production, which would also greatly increase the efficiency of the power plant.

High level nuclear safety and radiation safety are key factors in managing the environmental impacts of nuclear power. Loviisa nuclear power plant has a high level of safety, and we develop the safety and availability of the plant based on the principle of continuous improvement. In 2015, no safety significant events were reported at Loviisa power plant (on INES, The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale of the Internation Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA). More information about nuclear safety and environmental impacts of Loviisa power plant can be found from Nuclear safety at Loviisa power plant and Environmental impact of Loviisa power plant.