Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
Earth Syst. Dynam., 8, 265–282, 2017

Special issue: Multiple drivers for Earth system changes in the Baltic Sea...

Earth Syst. Dynam., 8, 265–282, 2017

Research article 12 Apr 2017

Research article | 12 Apr 2017

Assessment of extreme hydrological conditions in the Bothnian Bay, Baltic Sea, and the impact of the nuclear power plant “Hanhikivi-1” on the local thermal regime

Anton Y. Dvornikov1, Stanislav D. Martyanov1, Vladimir A. Ryabchenko1, Tatjana R. Eremina2, Alexey V. Isaev1, and Dmitry V. Sein3 Anton Y. Dvornikov et al.
  • 1The St.-Petersburg Branch of the P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 1 Liniya V.O., 30, 199053, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 2Russian State Hydrometeorological University, Malookhtinsky Prospect, 98, 195196, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 3Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Postfach 120161, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany

Abstract. The results of the study aimed to assess the influence of future nuclear power plant Hanhikivi-1 upon the local thermal conditions in the Bothnian Bay in the Baltic Sea are presented. A number of experiments with different numerical models were also carried out in order to estimate the extreme hydro-meteorological conditions in the area of the construction. The numerical experiments were fulfilled both with analytically specified external forcing and with real external forcing for 2 years: a cold year (2010) and a warm year (2014). The study has shown that the extreme values of sea level and water temperature and the characteristics of wind waves and sea ice in the vicinity of the future nuclear power plant can be significant and sometimes catastrophic. Permanent release of heat into the marine environment from an operating nuclear power plant will lead to a strong increase in temperature and the disappearance of ice cover within a 2 km vicinity of the station. These effects should be taken into account when assessing local climate changes in the future.

Final-revised paper