Fish Guidance Systems Limited

Doel Power Station - Case Study

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Courtesy of Fish Guidance Systems Limited

  • Location: Belgium
  • Project Date: 1996
  • Project: Doel Nuclear Power Plant
  • Product: Spa
  • Species: Herring and Sprat

Electrabel approached Fish Guidance Systems Ltd in 1996 to help reduce the numbers of fish that were being drawn into Doel 3&4 intake, as the entrained fish were creating both environmental and operational issues for the station. The main species being affected were herring (Clupea harengus) and sprat (Sprattus sprattus), both members of the clupeid family and so expected to respond

Doel Nuclear Power Station is located on the River Scheldt, close to Antwerp in Belgium and is operated by Electrabel. The station comprises four pressurised water reactors (PWR); Doel 1&2, which each produce 433 MW, were commissioned in 1975; Doel 3, which produces 1006 MW was commissioned in 1982, while Doel 4 produces 1039 MW, and was commissioned in 1985. Doel 1&2 share a common intake, which is connected to the shore by a concrete jetty, while the intake for Doel 3&4 is located approximately 250m offshore, with an underground tunnel connecting to the onshore screens. The intakes can be seen in the photo below, separated from the outfall by the breakwater. Electrabel approached Fish Guidance Systems Ltd in 1996 to help reduce the numbers of fish that were being drawn into Doel 3&4 intake, as the entrained fish were creating both environmental and operational issues for the station. The main species being affected were herring (Clupea harengus) and sprat (Sprattus sprattus), both members of the clupeid family and so expected to respond well to an acoustic fish deflection (AFD) system. In 1997, following acoustic (PrISM) modelling, a SPA system was designed and installed on the offshore cooling water intake. The Sound Projectors were positioned so that they create a repellent sound field close to the water intake openings, so that the fish are deflected into the streamlines of the main river flow that passes the intake.

To allow servicing of the fish deterrent system whilst the station is still operating, deployment frames were installed to lower the Sound Projectors into their optimum position and to allow them to be raised for routine inspections and maintenance. The acoustic installation has undergone a number of evaluation trials by researchers from Belgium’s Leuven University. The independent trials have shown a reduction in the target species of up to 98%, with an overall reduction for all fish species of:

  • 80% – Herring (Clupea harengus)
  • 98% Sprat (Sprattus sprattus)
  • 97% Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)
  • 89% Gobies (Gobidae)
  • 75% Overall reduction
  • 80% (Nov. 1999 trial)

The system was originally supplied on a lease purchase base, with the maintenance of the system included as part of the lease cost. Since the lease period ended in 2007 FGS has continued to provide a service contract for the system, ensuring it is maintained on an annual basis. Please contact us for a copy of the independent trial results for this system.

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