Sustainability

Environmental impact of the Hanhikivi 1 project

Hanhikivi 1 is a project that contributes to combatting the climate change. The climate benefit of the Hanhikivi 1 materializes during the decades of electricity production without harmful greenhouse emissions. We ensure that all work at the Hanhikivi 1 project site is carried out respecting the environment and the well-being of the local residents.

The life-cycle environmental impact of nuclear power is minor. Before the commissioning of the Hanhikivi 1 plant, the direct environmental impacts of the project are related to the construction activities carried out on site. After the commissioning of the plant, the most significant environmental impact is related to the heat load caused to the sea by the cooling water of the nuclear power plant.

The environmental risks of the Hanhikivi 1 project are managed proactively

The environmental matters of the Hanhikivi 1 project area are managed in accordance with ISO 14001-certified environmental management systems. Fennovoima, the plant supplier RAOS Project, and the plant supplier's main contractor Titan-2 are responsible for the compliance of their own project area operations. In addition, Fennovoima monitors the operations of the entire project area.

The management of the environmental impact of the area is based on the proactive identification of environmental risks. The main identified environmental risks are:

  • chemical and oil spills
  • the spread of turbidity in the sea area of the Hanhikivi peninsula
  • noise nuisance from blasting

Together with RAOS Project and Titan-2, Fennovoima ensures that the adverse impacts caused by the construction are as small as possible. All contractors working in the project area also follow a comprehensive risk assessment and management procedure. In addition, all those working in the area must be aware of the unique features of the nature of the Hanhikivi peninsula, the restrictions on movement in the area, and know precisely the environmental instructions on the site.

Fennovoima monitors construction activities' progress, guides environmental management together with the RAOS Project and Titan-2, for example, through weekly site tours and targeted environmental inspections, and guides contractors to better environmental management.

The environmental impact of Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant's construction

There are extensive protected seashore meadows, overgrowing shallow bays, and gloe lakes, which have become isolated from the sea on the Hanhikivi headland. There is a Natura 2000 conservation area approximately two kilometers from the plant area. Areas of high natural value have been left outside the plant area already at the construction planning phase.

We monitor the state of the environment together with RAOS Project in accordance with a jointly agreed environmental monitoring program. In addition to the environmental monitoring required by the permit conditions, we also carry out voluntary monitoring of the environmental impact. This allows us to ensure that we have comprehensive knowledge of the state of the environment in the Hanhikivi headland.

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING 2020

Air quality No increased volume of dust outside the project area. We monitor the quality of the air, especially in close proximity to nature conservation areas.
Noise Noise limit was exceeded once.
Seawater quality No changes in water samples caused by construction activities.
Turbidity Increased turbidity caused by heavy rainfall and storms were detected again during monitoring activities. The values exceeded twelve times the limit where work must be interrupted, but no construction work was in progress at the time. Breakwaters and a protective embankment built in the sea area limit the spread of turbidity from the construction area.
Fish stock The monitoring covered the fry production of whitefish, vendace, and Baltic herring. No changes that were clearly caused by water construction work could be detected in the collected fry production data.
Oil and chemical leaks Four oil spills that were considered significant took place in the project area. The term "significant spill" refers to an incident that would have caused damage to the environment had the correct preventive actions not been performed.

PROTECTED SPECIES AND NATURE CONSERVATION AREAS

Seashore meadows No follow-up monitoring of seashore meadows took place in 2020. However, more specific monitoring of Siberian primrose, a plant growing in the seashore meadows, took place. It was observed that there were fewer plants at certain locations but more in others, and that the Siberian primrose had naturally spread to new areas.
Gloe lakes The security measures taken during studies on the settling pond failed, which caused the water level of the western gloe lake to rise above normal level.
Relocated species No significant changes were detected during the studies. There are still moor frogs in the project area. The transfer of yellow iris to a new habitat has been successful and the plants have already started to mix with the naturally occurring yellow irises.

Construction waste is utilized as energy or material 

Efficient sorting and recycling, as well as appropriate processing, are important parts of the management of the environmental impact of the waste generated on site. 

Most of the waste generated at the construction site is regular construction waste: metal, wood, concrete, rocks, biowaste, paper, cardboard, glass, or electrical and electronic waste. Our goals are to utilize 70% of our construction waste as materials and to utilize a total of 90% of our construction waste either as materials or in energy production.