Poland's Pomerania backs proposed nuclear plant location

27 October 2023

The decision by the regional authorities to determine the territorial scope - on both land and sea - of Poland's first nuclear power plant in the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in the Choczewo municipality in Pomerania means that Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ) has received the right to use the area for preparatory work.

An illustrative example of how the plant might look (Image: PEJ)

The proposed plant, to be built on the coast in northern Poland, is to feature three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors with a total capacity of 3750 MWe.

The decision, issued by the Pomeranian Voivode Dariusz Drelich, to determine the location is not the same as a building permit - a separate permit will be needed to perform preparatory work, followed by a permit to build a power plant from the National Atomic Energy Agency. A construction permit to allow construction work to begin would then be required from the regional authority.

Drelich said: "The nuclear power plant will influence power supply stability, balance the projected increase in demand for electricity and ensure energy sovereignty. It is an investment in the future, harmonious development and, most importantly, safety."

Mateusz Berger, President of the Management Board of PEJ, said: "The implementation of our investment is associated with a number of socio-economic benefits for the entire Pomerania region. The Lubiatowo-Kopalino location was indicated as the company's preferred location in 2021 due to the balance between environmental aspects, socio-economic factors and nuclear safety. Obtaining the decision to determine the location of the first nuclear power plant in Poland is another milestone achieved by the company this year, which brings us, as an investor, closer to the moment of starting the construction of the facility."

Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska, Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure, said: "The decision to determine the location obtained by Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe enables the company to carry out preparatory activities ... in the field, indicating, among other things, specific plots for the implementation of the investment. This is another key decision in the power plant investment process. The decision issued, combined with the recently signed contract for the design of the power plant with our American partners, proves that we are consistently achieving subsequent milestones, and the nuclear power plant in Pomerania is the most advanced nuclear investment in the country."

Last month PEJ signed an engineering services contract with US firms Westinghouse Electric Company and Bechtel to finalise a site-specific design for the 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.

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.

The Polish government - which is set to be replaced following elections this month - selected the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor technology for construction at Lubiatowo-Kopalino in November 2022. The country's Ministry of Climate and Environment in July this year issued a decision-in-principle for PEJ - a special purpose vehicle 100% owned by the State Treasury - to construct the plant. The aim is for Poland's first AP1000 reactor to enter commercial operation in 2033.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News