Contract signed for design of Polish nuclear power plant

28 September 2023

Polish power company Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ) has signed an engineering services contract with US firms Westinghouse Electric Company and Bechtel for the country's first nuclear power plant, to be constructed at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in the Choczewo municipality in Pomerania.

From left: President of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security & Environmental global business unit John Howanitz; Westinghouse President and CEO Patrick Fragman; Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska; Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki; US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski; Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs Andrew Light; President of the Management Board of PEJ Mateusz Berger (Image: Bechtel)

The contract was signed in Warsaw on 27 September, witnessed by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska and US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski.

Under the contract, in cooperation with PEJ, Westinghouse and Bechtel will finalise a site-specific design for a plant featuring three AP1000 reactors. The design/engineering documentation includes the main components of the power plant: the nuclear island, the turbine island and the associated installations and auxiliary equipment, as well as administrative buildings and infrastructure related to the safety of the facility.

The primary objective of the conceptual design/engineering is to define the requirements and design/engineering criteria, and specify norms and standards in accordance with which the Polish nuclear project will be executed. The engineering work at this stage will result in more than 400 final deliverables. PEJ said nearly 2 million man-hours and the support of the industry's top professionals have been envisaged for this goal.

The provisions of the contract regulate cooperation during the processes of obtaining further permits, including the development of technical specifications for the preliminary design of the planned plant reflecting the elements of the installation used, so that it complies with the required performance parameters. It will also be the basis for another contract covering the next phase of construction of the plant.

The contract also involves supporting the investment process and bringing it in line with current legal regulations in cooperation with Poland's National Atomic Energy Agency (PAA) and the Office of Technical Inspection. PEJ said the developed results will be the basis for the preparation of documentation for the purpose of obtaining a construction permit for the power plant, so as to further execute the project based on the highest Polish and European safety standards and norms. In addition, the contract provides for an evaluation of the proposed radiological protection solutions and safety analyses planned in accordance with the requirements of the Atomic Law.

As part of the 18-month contract, joint activities with Westinghouse and Bechtel are planned to be continued to involve Polish industry in the project. Taking into account the needs and capabilities of Polish contractors, the activities are intended to allow establishing supply chains for the nuclear power plant in a way that maximises the local content participation, including contractors from Pomerania, while guaranteeing efficient and safe execution of the investment project.

In a joint statement, Westinghouse and Bechtel said the work outlined in the contract will begin immediately.

On 21 September, Westinghouse and Bechtel signed a formal agreement to partner on the design and construction of Poland's first nuclear power plant at Lubiatowo-Kopalino. An agreement signed earlier this year by Bechtel, Westinghouse and PEJ set out plans for the delivery of the project, with Westinghouse to lead the consortium at the design stage and Bechtel during construction.

"One week ago, Westinghouse and Bechtel, leaders of the American civil nuclear power sector, formed a consortium to design and build the first nuclear power plant under the Polish Nuclear Power Programme," said Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska, Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure. "Two days later, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe received a decision on environmental conditions for this project in Pomerania. Today we witness signing a contract for the plant design and engineering.

"Consistent and timely implementation of the schedules assumed, but also the scope of the contract being executed today, confirm our determination to build the first nuclear power plant within the target timeframe, in line with the budget, and with the optimum utilisation of the Polish industry."

The Polish government selected the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor technology for construction at Lubiatowo-Kopalino in Pomerania in November 2022. The country's Ministry of Climate and Environment in July this year issued a decision-in-principle for Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ) - a special purpose vehicle 100% owned by the State Treasury - to construct the plant.

PEJ noted that the Polish plant will be "based on the latest experience of Westinghouse and Bechtel, resulting in particular from the construction of Vogtle unit 4, which introduced improvements over the previously commissioned unit 3".

Poland's first AP1000 reactor is expected to enter commercial operation in 2033.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News