Russia’s Kola nuclear plant uses UV light to treat wastewater

Russia’s Kola nuclear power plant is using ultraviolet light to clean wastewater instead of chemicals.

Pilot testing of the new system is underway as part of the plant’s environmental programme.

Two new ultraviolet (UV) disinfection units have been installed at the treatment facilities, which can process up to 400 cubic metres of water per hour.

Each UV module has 18 lamps which remove microorganisms, viruses and bacteria from the wastewater without the use of chemicals containing active chlorine.

This represents “a new culture of water use on the territory of the Kola Arctic”, said Kola station director Vasily Omelchuk.

Kola NPP is one of the most significant water users in the Murmansk region, using more than one billion cubic metres of water annually for cooling and other purposes. Most of the water used by Kola does not need to be treated and is returned to Lake Imandra.

At the sewage treatment plant, about 700,000 cubic metres of water is purified each year.

Imandra Lake is the only place in the European North where it has been possible to acclimatise sturgeon and effectively engage in their commercial breeding because the cooling water discharged by the plant is slightly warmer.