Polish government approves first nuclear power plant

12 July 2023

Poland's Ministry of Climate and Environment has given a decision-in-principle for Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ) to construct a nuclear power plant in Pomerania. It is a formal confirmation that the company's investment project is in line with the public interest and the policies pursued by the state, including energy policy.

(Image: PJE)

PEJ - a special purpose vehicle 100% owned by the State Treasury - applied to the ministry on 13 April this year for a decision-in-principle. The application included a description of project characteristics, indicating the maximum total installed capacity, the planned operating period and details of the Westinghouse AP1000 technology to be used in the construction of the plant.

The ministry has now issued a decision-in-principle, enabling the investor, PEJ, to apply for a number of further administrative decisions, including a siting decision and subsequently the construction licence.

In the justification for issuing the decision-in-principle, the Minister of Climate and Environment emphasised the importance of this investment project for securing Poland's electricity needs, as well as its compliance with the Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 and the climate policy of the European Union.

"The fact that the Ministry of Climate and Environment issued the decision-in-principle for the first nuclear power plant means that the government project reached another important milestone," said Minister Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska, Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure. "Today's decision brings us closer to the moment, when the first Polish nuclear power plant will start operating and producing electricity, ensuring appropriate volume of power working in the base of the electricity system in the 2030.”

"The decision-in-principle is the first key administrative decision obtained for the nuclear project of Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe," noted Łukasz Młynarkiewicz, acting President of PEJ's Management Board. "This shows that the company is step-by-step achieving objectives set for this year, which bring us closer to the commencement of the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Poland."

Poland currently has large-scale plans to develop nuclear energy capacity. In September 2021, 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 the country's plan to reduce its reliance on coal. According to the adopted schedule, the construction of the first nuclear power plant will start in 2026, with the first reactor - with a capacity of 1.0-1.6 GWe - being commissioned in 2033. Subsequent units will be implemented every 2-3 years. The coastal towns of Lubiatowo and Kopalino in Poland's Choczewo municipality in the province of Pomerania were named as the preferred location for the country's first large nuclear power plant.

In November 2022, the Polish government announced the first plant, with a capacity of 3750 MWe, will be built in Pomerania using AP1000 technology from the US company Westinghouse. An agreement setting a plan for the delivery of the plant was signed in May by Westinghouse, Bechtel and PEJ.

ZE PAK, Polska Grupa Energetyczna and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power have signed a letter of intent to cooperate on a nuclear power plant project in Patnow, in central Poland, assessing the viability of building South Korean APR1400 reactors on the site.

Applications have also been submitted for small modular reactors (SMRs) in Poland. In April, copper and silver producer KGHM Polska Miedź SA submitted an application for a decision-in-principle on the construction of a NuScale VOYGR SMR power plant in Poland. Later that month, Orlen Synthos Green Energy applied for a decision-in-principle on the construction of power plants based on GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy's BWRX-300 at six locations.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News