Critically endangered eels and other fish are getting sucked from the sea into the cooling chambers of nuclear power stations and killed in their thousands.
That’s according to a study recently published in the magazine Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, based on a study at the Swedish nuclear power station Forsmark (pictured).
Researchers looked at the number of the snake-like European eels (Anguilla anguilla) and other fish caught over two years at Vattenfall’s plant.
During 2010 and 2011, 58,600,000 fish weighing a total of 101,100 kilos were sucked up. Out of this, 1943 European eels were caught in 2010 and 1166 in 2011.
The study estimated 1,300 of the endangered eels could survive at Forsmark each year if a fish return system was built to let fish swim from the plant back to the Baltic Sea.
Almost nine in ten nuclear plants in the world draw water from natural resources – seas or rivers – to cool reactors.
Last year a female grey seal was rescued from Wylfa nuclear plant’s cooling system in Wales.