Assessing the Impact of the Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company (Severonickel) on the Environment.

Tropina, Yulia (2011) Assessing the Impact of the Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company (Severonickel) on the Environment. (Master thesis), State University of St. Petersburg, Russia ; University of Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Russia ; Hamburg, 57 pp.

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Monchegorsk geographically located in the central part of the Kola Peninsula. Production units are situated on one industrial area, located in the central part of the Kola Peninsula in the north-western basin of Lake Imandra. Residential zone consists of Monchegorsk and Moncha city (district of the city), located at a distance of 3-6 km from the plant.
Severonickel located in the Lake Nyud and until 1995 had few sewage in the northern part of the lake. Environmental work has led to a reduction of sewage in the northern part of the lake. Now Severonickel has one discharge of wastewater from the process tank (the southern part of Lake Nyud) through overflow pipe of the dam.
Mining, concentrating and smelting units are concentrated at Nickel and Zapolyarnyi sites.
Refinery units are concentrated at the Monchegorsk site. The loading of refining units is provided by recycling of their own matte and the "GMK" Norilsk Nickel " matte.
The main production of Severonickel is the imported copper-nickel processing to produce the products the non-ferrous metals and concentrates of precious metals.
The impact of smokes goes from a great variety of anthropogenic factors. Before construction the city to coal-mining complex, this region have been exposed to fire and selective felling only. In conjunction with logging in these areas there were the impact of other factors: smoke, pollution, mechanical damage to vegetation and soils, and in some cases, changes in the moisture regime, which was expressed as a change in groundwater levels and changes in drainage of soil by compaction, mixing, creating structural supports and the removal or carrying in the organic substrates (peat extraction, landfills making, mixing or removal of top soil horizons, etc.). Now overall, the area was covered with 3593 ha fire, and felling - 5283 ha, which is respectively 58.5% and 86% of study forest area in the past (6142 ha).
Imandra Lake is the largest water object in Murmansk region for fishing and drinking purposes, with an area of 885 square km. The highest concentrations of metals and sulfates are in a winter low flow. During the summer high water and summer low water, the content of pollutants decreases by dilution of sewage by runoff.
The annual average concentration of sulphate varies at the level of high pollution. Maximum concentrations of petroleum products and organic substances are 2 MPCs, aluminum, lead, potassium, ammonium and chloride - MPC.
In the area of the negative impact of plant "Severonickel" there are rivers Travyanaya and Kumuzhya. In the river Travyanaya the copper content is at an extremely high level. The concentration of nickel ranges from high to extremely high level of pollution. The northern part of lake Nyud also receives industrial waters from farm "Monchegorsk", as well water of rivers Kumuzhya and Travyanaya that are contaminated by atmospheric emissions of the plant and have a high content of nickel and copper. Sulfate-chloride solutions contain 15 normalized contaminants. Among 15 ingredients entering the water objects, the most dangerous are water-soluble metals (nickel, copper, cobalt). They have a direct toxic effect on living organisms and are capable of accumulation in their bodies, causing long-term consequences.
The wastewater treatment of plant from heavy metals was introduced in 1995 and acts even now with the lime milk method. Milk of lime is used as a reagent to precipitate heavy metals in the hydroxide form. Achievement of the MPD in sulphates and dry residue is only possible after the decision of the utilization of saline effluent. MPD of suspended matter can be achieved through filtering or putting coagulant.
Water purification of the sedimentation tank to the MPD standards can be reached after the following events:
1. Reduction of the secondary contamination of sewage water;
2. Modernization of the total runoff treatment schemes;
3. Stoppage of informal dumping of storm water from the industrial area;
4. Reducing the production flow;
5. To make a decision how to recycle the saline flow;
6. Modernization of the plant flowsheet.
In the atmosphere the most dangerous are emergency salvo emissions of chlorine. Accident is a situation in which there was a release of chlorine out of the shop - the consumer of chlorine and there was a danger of infecting the adjacent territory of other departments, the territory of the plant, its communication nets, as well as Monchegorsk and other cities.
Activities for periods of adverse weather conditions are developed for the main pollutant - sulfur dioxide. In these periods the pollutant emissions are reduced mainly by institutional activities, and, then, the sources that give the greatest contribution to air pollution. The overall efficiency of the measures for the first mode of sulfur dioxide is 15%, the second - 29.78%, 63.11% for the third one, in comparison with the work under normal conditions.
"Severonikel" is the complex of the first category in pollutant effects on the environment.
Indigenous landscape changes associated with the loss of forests have significantly changed the climate of contaminated area. In particular, the wind speed on the waste ground near the plant is 2-3 times higher than in the woods at a distance of 50-60 km from Monchegorsk. The density of snow cover is destructing, the closer the plant is, the stronger soil freezing is. That’s why it was decided to begin the reclamation of vegetation. The most hardy trees are willow (Salix borealis and S. caprea) and birch (Вetulaceae tortuosa Ledeb). They don’t suffer from industrial pollution, however, sometimes it can influence on it condition. And some individuals of spruce and pine can suffer even in the most pollutant territories. Overall there were chosen 17 ha of the area for reclamation.
Successful cultivation of plants for landscaping of urban and industrial areas is possible with systematic monitoring of soil fertility under the greenery. The need of this control is caused by the fact that for the development of green plantations the artificial ground mixture with unknown level of fertility is often used. In addition, landscaping of "Severonikel" complex is carried out under conditions of sufficiently intense contamination with heavy metals.

Document Type: Thesis (Master thesis)
Keywords: Industrial pollution; Climate change; Environmental change; Ecosystem; Monchegorsk, Kola Peninsula; Severonickel; Pollutants
Research affiliation: HGF-AWI
Projects: POMOR
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2015 08:43
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2015 08:43

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