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
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.