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Fish Diversion System Barrier Net

Effective fish protection and algae interception at cooling water intake structures

Project Objective

The project objective was to design and install a cost-effective fish protection system to reduce impingement mortality of fish at Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.

Kinectrics Solution

A total of four (4) different options were identified to reduce fish impingement at Pickering NGS including: i) a barrier net, ii) barrier net + partial acoustics, iii) stand-alone acoustics and, iv) a combined acoustic + strobe system. Based on an analysis of operating experience, costs, benefits, and potential effectiveness, it was concluded that a barrier net represented the preferred technology to reduce fish mortality at Pickering NGS.
Kinectrics provided a turnkey solution by designing, fabricating, and installing a 2,000 ft. barrier net around the Pickering Nuclear station’s cooling water intake channel in Lake Ontario. 


The Pickering NGS barrier net is composed of four main systems including: i) Anchoring System, ii) Groyne Connection, iii) Net System and, iv) Navigational System. The barrier net was designed to fulfill two important functions: protect fish by keeping them away from the intake channel, and intercept algae, thus minimizing the impact of algae influx on plant operations.
Project Success
Construction began on the barrier net in July 2009 and was completed in October 2009—ahead of the original schedule.
Third party hydroacoustic evaluation of the Pickering NGS barrier net (North American Journal of Fisheries Management 34:287-300, 2014) concluded net effectiveness was 75%, 98% and 100% for spring, summer, and fall periods, respectively, and 98% for the three seasons combined. These studies were supported by data from impingement monitoring at the station, which indicated that impingement biomass had been reduced by greater than 80% for each of the first 3 years after installation, when compared with fish impingement levels before installation of the barrier net.


USEPA Clean Water Act Section 316(b)

Barrier nets can be an effective alternative for reducing fish impingement mortality at power plant intakes and have the potential (either alone or in combination with other technologies, management practices and operational measures) to meet the Clean Water Act, Section 316(b) BTA performance standard for impingement mortality (19-May-2014).