Economic benefits of Polish AP1000 deployment highlighted

10 April 2024

The construction of six Westinghouse AP1000 reactors would contribute more than PLN118.3 billion (USD30.2 billion) in GDP for Poland, while their subsequent operation would generate PLN38 billion in GDP annually, an independent study has found.

Westinghouse CEO Patrick Fragman and US Ambasador Mark Brzezinski discussed the new report at a press meeting in Poland (Image: US Embassy in Warsaw)

Poland has set out a pathway to develop new nuclear power, with the aim of building six to nine GWe of nuclear capacity, using pressurised water reactor technology. According to latest Polish Nuclear Power Programme timeline, published in 2020, construction is due to begin in 2026, with commissioning of the first unit targeted for 2033.

In November 2022, the then Polish government selected the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor technology for the country's first nuclear power plant, at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in the Choczewo municipality in Pomerania in northern Poland. An agreement setting a plan for the delivery of the three-unit plant was signed in May last year by Westinghouse, Bechtel and Polskie Elektrownie JÄ…drowe (PEJ). The country's Ministry of Climate and Environment in July issued a decision-in-principle for PEJ to construct the plant. The aim is for Poland's first AP1000 reactor to enter commercial operation in 2033.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC (PwC) has produced a report - titled The Economic Impact of a Westinghouse AP1000 Reactor Project in Poland - for Westinghouse and its owners, Brookfield and Cameco.

PwC assessed the jobs, GDP, labour income and tax revenue associated with the AP1000 project arising from both capital expenditures and ongoing operations. It also considered the broader impacts of developing the AP1000 project, focusing on its impact on skills, training and development, support for local industry clusters, contribution to Poland's climate change efforts, and its adherence to high safety standards in power plant operations.

The study projects that the 20-year manufacturing, engineering and construction phase of six AP1000 units will produce more than PLN118.3 billion of GDP impact and more than 204,990 person-years of direct employment in Poland.

Once operational, these units will create a minimum of PLN38 billion in GDP and support 16,300 jobs annually. During a minimum operating period of 60 years, the cumulative undiscounted economic footprint is estimated to be PLN2282 billion in GDP, 978,000 person-years of employment, PLN363 billion in labour income and PLN981 billion in total taxes in Poland, when taking into account direct, indirect, and induced effects. Extended operation would increase these impacts.

The report also says Poland's supply chain can support new global AP1000 deployments, generating an additional PLN1.9 billion in GDP per unit. Additional opportunities will also be available with eVinci microreactor and AP300 small modular reactor deployments in Europe.

Westinghouse also announced the selection of seven Polish suppliers to support the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site and other European projects: Polimex Mostostal Siedlce, Baltic Operator (Grupa Przemyslowa Baltic), Mostostal Kielce, Mostostal Krakow, ZKS Ferrum, Famak and Energomontaz-Polnoc Gdynia.

The company said "the down selection process was conducted in a transparent and competitive manner, considering requirements of quality assurance applicable to nuclear island equipment. This is a part of the process of preparation for the execution phase of the project in Lubiatowo-Kopalino".

"Deploying our AP1000 technology in Poland represents a 100-year partnership between the United States and Poland on energy security," said David Durham, president of Westinghouse Energy Systems. "This study further underlines the significant and long-term economic, human capital and climate benefits that this technology can provide for the country, its people and deeply experienced supply chain. The involvement of leading suppliers like those we announced today will be critical as Westinghouse advances this visionary nuclear power plant project."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News