Energy Poland

Poland moves closer to first nuclear plant

| 2023-04-24 2 min read

Poland moves closer to first nuclear plant

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Poland’s pursuit of nuclear energy took another step forward last week as Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe (PEJ) applied to the Polish Climate Ministry for a “decision-in-principle” on the construction of the country’s first large nuclear power plant.  

The decision would confirm that the investment in the plant is in the public interest and the policies pursued by the state, including energy policy, and empower PEJ to apply for a siting decision and, consequently, a construction permit. 

PEJ – a special-purpose vehicle owned by the Polish State Treasury – said the submitted application includes a description of project characteristics such as the maximum total installed capacity, planned operating period, and details of the technology to be used in the plant construction.  

Northern Poland would host plant

According to government documents, the resolution of the Council of Ministers made last November, recognised the need to build a nuclear power plant with a capacity of up to 3750 Mwe in northern Poland: either in Choczewo, or Gniewino and Krokowa, based on US AP1000 reactor technology.  

PEJ acting President Lukasz Mlynarkiewicz said: “the application for the decision-in-principle filed today represents another important step by PEJ towards obtaining the necessary administrative approvals to begin construction of Poland’s first nuclear power plant.”

“We are keen to significantly accelerate the pace of implementation of this key project for our country. We are also aware of the significance of this project and the importance of the further stages before us, which we will implement according to the approved schedule,” Mlynarkiewicz added.  

Poland’s plan to reduce its reliance on coal involves building six large, pressurised water reactors with a combined installed capacity of 6-9 GWe, by 2040. The construction of the first nuclear power plant would commence 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.  

US firm in line to build plant with Polish suppliers

Last November, the Polish government selected US company Westinghouse to build the plant. In February, PEJ and Westinghouse signed a Bridge Contract covering ten main areas, including development of a detailed delivery model, a security assessment, and identification of potential suppliers, with a focus on Polish companies. 

“The implementation of the Polish Nuclear Power Programme is one of the greatest challenges Poland has faced in recent decades, both in terms of complexity and the competencies it demands,” Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure Mateusz Berger said.