A coastal commune of Choczewo has been selected as the preferred site where the first Polish nuclear power plant is to be built. The site named “Lubiatowo-Kopalino” has been chosen on the basis of detailed site investigation and environmental surveys conducted since 2017, on a scale unprecedented in Poland, proving that the site meets all the environmental requirements set out for such facilities, and is safe for residents. Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe will now apply for the necessary administrative decisions.
“We are working as planned and the site selection has confirmed it. Poland needs nuclear power and the construction of the first such power plant is crucial for our entire country in terms of both energy transformation and security of energy supplies,” said Anna Moskwa, Minister of Climate and Environment.
- Poland aims to diversify its energy mix, and the announcement of the preferred nuclear power plant site is a tangible proof of that fact. The use of this safe, carbon-free and stable source of energy generation that nuclear power offers was announced and confirmed in our strategic documents, including the Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 and the Polish Nuclear Power Program” said Piotr Naimski, Government's Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure.
“We want the entire investment process related to the first Polish nuclear power plant project from the start to be conducted transparently and responsibly, meeting the highest of standards. This is why a long-term and comprehensive analysis of sites where the power plant could be built has been the priority for the Company in the recent years. Experts in diverse fields have been engaged in conducting surveys and compilation of their results, and now that the results are known, it is with satisfaction but also with full responsibility and awareness of a new chapter of cooperation with the local community, we can announce that the site selected by us is ‘Lubiatowo-Kopalino’,” says Tomasz Stępień, President of the Management Board of Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe.
Results of the analyses are presented in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report. The document prepared by Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe is the first such study to be developed in Poland for a nuclear power plant. During the work on the report, the investor has been supported by both the dedicated team of Jacobs Clean Energy Limited, one of the most experienced companies in the world in the nuclear sector, acting as the Technical Advisor, and Polish scientific centres and a broad group of specialists experienced in the preparation of environmental reports for big infrastructure investment projects.
Content-related work on the Report has already been completed. However, the currently changing legislative environment needs to be reflected in the document. Provisions of law on the basis of which the procedure regarding the issuance of environmental decision for the nuclear power plant was started in 2015, have since been changed several times, including in implementation of regulations adopted at the European level. The update of the legal status by the legislator will enable continuation of the environmental procedure in compliance with the currently applicable terms of procedure. Therefore the Report will be completed and submitted to the General Director for Environmental Protection in the first quarter of the next year, once the amended law provisions enter into effect.
The surveys which had preceded the choice of the preferred site, were carried out on the scale so far unseen in Poland. On the one hand, they indicate the manner in which the nuclear power plant will affect the surrounding environment and human health and on the other, how environmental conditions can affect safety of operation of the power plant itself. At the beginning of the site selection process, as many as 92 potential locations were considered. The analysis took into account such factors as land features, availability of cooling water, situation against areas subject to forms of nature conservation including Natura 2000 sites, and elements of the infrastructure that either exist or can be extended in the area, such as power, road or railway networks. Results of the analyses confirmed the favourable conditions to build a nuclear power plant in the Pomorskie voivodeship.
Upon narrowing the potential sites to Pomerania, two of them - Żarnowiec and Lubiatowo-Kopalino - were subject to more detailed scrutiny of identical scope, the effects of which were published in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report. The analyses confirmed that the Lubiatowo-Kopalino option is the most environmentally favourable and safe for the population.
The selection of the preferred site does not mean the final consent to the implementation of the investment project in this variant. Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe will now apply for obtaining necessary administrative decisions for the future power plant site, including the environmental decision and the location decision.
According to the latest surveys of the Ministry of Climate and Environment, record high (74%) support has been noted this year for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Poland. Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe has also been analysing the level of support for nuclear power among the local communities over the years. Results of the latest survey campaign carried out in October 2021 by PBS, an independent research centre, showed that 63% of the respondents residing in the site communes of the analysed variants (Choczewo, Gniewino, Krokowa) supported the decision regarding the plan to build a nuclear power plant in their immediate vicinity.