Fennovoima is conducting a radiological environment baseline study in the vicinity of the Hanhikivi 1 construction site.
The radiological environment baseline study is utilized to assess the natural radiation level in the environment surrounding the Hanhikivi 1 plant site area, and the potential effects the construction and operation of the nuclear power plant may pose to the natural radiation level in the environment throughout its entire lifecycle.
We started the radiological environment baseline study in the Hanhikivi peninsula already in 2012, before the water engineering works began. The baseline study will continue until the operation of the Hanhikivi 1 plant begins. We will implement the study in three phases, and currently we are going through a stage, during which the effects of construction work on the marine environment are monitored. We take samples of seawater, sinking matter, benthic fauna, and aquatic flora. According to the analysis results, the construction works have not affected the natural radiation level in the area.
In 2022, a three-year study period of extensive marine and terrestrial environment monitoring in the vicinity of the Hanhikivi 1 construction site will begin. We will take samples e.g. from groundwater and surface water, fish, berries, ferns and cereals, and dairy products. In addition, we will start the whole-body countings of nearby residents. The whole-body countings look at how much gamma radiation is emitted from people.
This autumn we are preparing for the study period starting in 2022. We are installing monitoring equipment in the terrain in the vicinity of the Hanhikivi 1 construction site, and we are sending a letter concerning the whole-body countings to a target group of nearby residents.
The baseline study and related measures are based on a research program prepared by Fennovoima and approved by the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK). The obligation to carry out the research is specified in STUK’s regulatory guides on nuclear safety and security section C.7 Radiological monitoring of the environment of a nuclear facility.
Do you want to learn more about the topic? Radiochemist Mervi Söderlund is in charge of the implementation of the radiological environment baseline study. In her article she also talks about the management of radioactive releases’ in Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant.
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