Field Evaluation of the Impact of Fish Return to Thermal Plumes

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Field Evaluation of the Impact of Fish Return to Thermal Plumes

ASA has recently been awarded an Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) contract to evaluate the behavior and impact to fish when they are returned to thermal plumes. Site-specific constraints may require a long fish return to get impinged fish back to the waterbody. Longer fish returns are costly to construct, require increased maintenance, and have the potential to increase fish injury and mortality. At a number of facilities, the closest location to return fish back to the source waterbody (after collection from a traveling water screen) may be the thermal discharge, however, little is known about fish behavior when exposed to the thermal plume. During this field evaluation, ASA will replicate the return of fish to a thermal discharge through two seasonal release events (summer and winter) within the thermal plume at an operational power plant. Acoustic tags equipped with temperature sensors will be surgically implanted within each fish to record exposure temperature and location of fish. Outcomes from this study will provide timely and valuable information to support identification of acceptable impingement compliance alternatives at the proposed site as well as other EPRI member facilities.

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