Poland already preparing for nuclear plant, says energy minister

16 May 2019

Poland is preparing to build its first nuclear power units in the Pomerania region in the north of the country, Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchórzewski told Polish Radio on 14 May. The government plans to build a nuclear power plant by 2033.

Krzysztof Tchórzewski during his interview on 14 May (Image: Wojciech Kusiński/Polskie Radio)

The communities living there have been preparing themselves for its construction, having observed nuclear power plants in operation elsewhere, and so the government has "societal approval" to build one, he said. A nuclear power station’s investment cycle lasts about ten years, but preparatory work may take a few years, the minister said, but a lot has already been done, he added.

"A nuclear power plant is a more expensive power plant under construction, especially when it comes to security, but it is much cheaper to operate," Tchórzewski said. The fuel required for a nuclear power plant is very small compared to a coal plant, he added.

Poland's first nuclear power plant will be in operation by 2033, according to a draft energy policy document released for public consultation last November by the Ministry of Energy. The document envisages 6-9 GWe of nuclear capacity in operation by 2043, accounting for about 10% of Poland's electricity generation. The selection of location for the first plant would be made in 2020, while the selection of the technology and general contractor would take place the following year. The first plant - with a capacity of 1.0 to 1.5 GWe - would be completed by 2033. Up to six reactors, with a combined capacity of 6-9 GWe, would be put into operation by 2043.

Poland's government has yet to approve a programme to fund construction of the six reactors.

Speaking at the World Nuclear Spotlight Poland conference in Warsaw last November, Tchórzewski said the Ministry of Energy, as part of discussions about national energy policy and the plan for energy and climate, had decided that Poland should consider having nuclear energy in its energy mix. The energy policy "forces us to cut the share of hard coal in the production of energy", he said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News