Poland amends laws to speed investment in nuclear energy

18 August 2022

Poland's Council of Ministers has adopted a draft act amending the act on the preparation and implementation of investments in nuclear power facilities and associated investments, the country's National Atomic Energy Agency (PaƄstwowa Agencja Atomistyki) announced. The main goal of the changes is to shorten the time of investment implementation.

(Image: Pixabay)

In September last year, it was announced that six large pressurised water reactors with a combined installed capacity of 6-9 GWe could be built by 2040 as part of Poland's plan to reduce its historic heavy reliance on coal. According to the adopted schedule, the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Poland will start in 2026, with the first reactor, with a capacity of 1-1.6 GWe, being commissioned in 2033. Subsequent units will be implemented every 2-3 years.

The investment required for this is estimated at PLN150 billion (USD32 billion).

The amendments to the legislation on investing in nuclear now adopted by the Polish government include that public administration bodies, upon a justified investor's request, will provide information and data free of charge for use in connection with the performance of tasks related to nuclear power facilities and associated investments.

The catalogue of accompanying investments will also be expanded to include investments necessary to conduct environmental and site research for the construction of a nuclear power plant and associated infrastructure.

The decision on selecting the location of the investment and the permit to access the property will also be extended for measurements, tests or other work necessary for the preparation of the environmental impact report of the project.

The amendments also introduce the possibility for the temporary operation of a nuclear facility during the period between a commissioning licence being obtained and when an operating licence is issued.

The new rules are expected to enter into force by the end of this year.

In July last year, Westinghouse Electric Company announced the launch of front-end engineering and design work - based on AP1000 technology - under a grant from the US Trade and Development Agency "to progress" the nuclear energy programme in Poland. EDF of France submitted a "non-binding preliminary offer" to supply six EPR reactors in October. Poland has also received an offer from Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power for the construction of six APR-1400 reactors.

The coastal towns of Lubiatowo and Kopalino in Poland's Choczewo municipality have been named as the preferred location for the country's first large nuclear power plant.

Polish heavy industry is also embracing small reactors as a way to avoid burning coal for process heat and power.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News