The Polish Cabinet passed a resolution updating the Polish Nuclear Power Program (PNPP). The document includes a schedule of the first nuclear power plant construction and determination of the PNPP scale.

The Polish Nuclear Power Program, adopted in 2014, specifies the roles and responsibilities of institutions involved in the PNPP implementation, as well as the issues related to ensuring nuclear safety and radiological protection. The PNPP includes recommendations for management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.

At the beginning of October 2020, the Polish Cabinet adopted an update to the 2014 PNPP submitted by the Ministry of Climate. The PNPP update assumes the construction of nuclear reactors of 6 to 9 GWe total capacity, using tested, large-scale, generation III or III+ pressurized water nuclear reactor technology (PWR). The first of them would be commissioned in 2033. The new schedule of the nuclear project provides also for the technology selection in 2021, followed by the approval of the selected site of the first Polish nuclear power plant, and signing an agreement with the technology provider and the general contractor (in 2022).

The implementation of nuclear energy in our country is based on three pillars: energy security, climate and environment, and economy.

  1. In terms of security, the implementation of the nuclear energy technology into the fuel mix of our country will have a significant impact on Poland’s energy security through a higher diversification of both the fuel base in power engineering and directions of delivery of primary energy sources. It will also enable replacing the ageing carbon-intensive coal-fired power plants with new zero-emission units which will also operate as base load sources.
  2. In the context of climate and environment, the nuclear energy technology will bring Poland closer to reaching climate goals by reducing the emission of harmful gases to the atmosphere and ensuring low social costs.
  3. And as regards the economy, nuclear power plants, being the cheapest energy sources in terms of their full cost (combined investment, system, grid, environment, health and other external costs), can stop the growth of energy expenses for consumers, and even reduce them.

According to documents prepared by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the introduction of nuclear energy technology requires from 10 to 15 years of preparatory work. The special purpose company responsible for the preparation of the investment process related to the construction of the first Polish nuclear power plant, PGE EJ 1, has started drafting the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA Report) and the Site Evaluation Report (SER). Simultaneously, site evaluation and environmental surveys have been continued in two location variants under consideration, namely “Lubiatowo-Kopalino” (in the Choczewo commune) and “Żarnowiec” (in the Krokowa and Gniewino communes).

Results of the opinion survey conducted by PBS Sp. z o.o.from October to November 2019

Key conclusions:

  • Support for the construction of the first nuclear power plant (NPP) in Poland among the residents of site communes (Choczewo, Gniewino and Krokowa) has been consistently growing and is now at 71% (up from 69% in 2018).
  • The majority of residents of site communes (67%) have upheld their support for the NPP construction in their vicinity.
  • The Support Program for the Development of Site Communes has continued to be positively evaluated by residents – four out of every five respondents believe that it is important for the local community (82%).
  • 67% of residents of site communes think that completion of the NPP will bring more jobs to the region.
  • Strong demand continues to be observed for information and educational activities in the potential site areas - 76% of respondents indicate such a need.

Detailed information

Support for the investment:

  • Support of residents of site communes for the NPP construction in Poland has been consistently rising in recent years and has totalled 71%. The majority of respondents favours the implementation of such an investment project (Choczewo – 68%, Gniewino – 91%, Krokowa – 60%). Support for the NPP construction in Poland remains slightly higher among younger and better educated people.
  • Support of the residents of site communes for the NPP construction in their immediate vicinity remains at a high level of 67% (Choczewo – 64%, Gniewino – 87%, Krokowa – 55%).
  • The main drivers of support for the construction include new jobs (35%), development opportunities for the site commune (20%) and cheaper electricity (18%).
  • The concerns that are most frequently voiced by the respondents in relation to the implementation of such an investment project include fear about health and life (30%), risk of a power plant failure (30%) and harmful impact of such an investment project on the environment and people (18%).
  • 67% of respondents believe that Poland needs a nuclear power plant because the present sources are insufficient to satisfy demand for energy in the country.

Opinions on the Support Program for the Development of Site Communes (SPDSC) and PGE EJ 1:

  • Recognition of the Program has been continually growing. At present, 58% of respondents confirm that they know SPDSC (an increase by 8 p.p. in comparison to last year). Awareness of the Program grows along with the level of education while it is lower among the youngest and the oldest respondents.
  • The Support Program for the Development of Site Communes is invariably positively evaluated by residents – four out of every five respondents believe it is important for the local community (82%) – (up by 3 p.p. as compared to 2018).
  • 40% of residents asked about the utilisation of the Program budget suggest first of all investments in infrastructure (roads, pavements, lighting, sewage system, water treatment plant, etc.).
  • In this survey iteration, the assessment of PGE EJ 1 is slightly better than in Autumn 2018: it is considered an honest, friendly, reliable, fair and solid company which keeps inhabitants regularly informed about its undertakings, which supports the region and is competent.

Knowledge on nuclear power in site communes:

  • Nine out of every ten inhabitants of the communes surveyed (91%) have heard about plans to construct an NPP in Poland (Choczewo 93%, Gniewino 88%, Krokowa 93%).
  • 40% of the surveyed residents of site communes consider their knowledge on nuclear power “good” or “very good”. A subjective assessment of the level of knowledge of residents is higher by 13 p.p. than in the previous edition of the survey.
  • The most widespread sources of knowledge on nuclear power include the Internet (41%), opinions of friends or family (25%), and television, radio, press (21%).
  • This year, as many as three out of every four residents (76%) see the need to conduct educational and information activities regarding nuclear energy and the rules of operation of nuclear power plants. It is a major increase in expectations in this respect (by 20 p.p.) in comparison to the previous edition of the survey.
  • Nearly one in three residents of site communes has already visited the Local Information Point. Residents of the Gniewino commune have continued to most frequently declare their visits to such a point (44%). Information points are more frequently visited by persons having at least secondary education.
  • Persons who have been to the information points, continue to consider them good – 89% of respondents assess the point positively, every third person (29%) gives an extremely high score.

Impact of the NPP on the life of the residents:

  • Every third respondent (33%) has, in recent months preceding the survey, discussed the NPP construction in the vicinity of their place of residence – increase by 9 p.p. in comparison to last year.
  • Such discussions take place primarily within the family (64%) or among friends and acquaintances (61%). 17% of the surveyed declare they talk about an NPP construction with other residents of the commune.
  • 67% of residents of site communes think that upon construction of an NPP there will be more jobs available in the region (growth by 16 p.p. as compared to 2018).

Information about the survey:

  • The objective of the survey was to verify the support for the NPP construction in the site communes.
  • The survey was commissioned by PGE EJ 1 and conducted by PBS from October to November 2019.
  • The survey was conducted in the potential sites for the first Polish NPP construction, that is in the so-called site communes: Choczewo, Gniewino, and Krokowa.
  • In the communes under survey (n= 1200), the following numbers of interviews were conducted: Choczewo commune - 500 interviews, Gniewino commune - 200 interviews, Krokowa commune - 500 interviews.
  • The survey was conducted using a CAPI technique (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing).

 

PGE EJ1 periodically surveys the attitude of residents of the site communes towards an NPP built in their vicinity. The results of the most recent surveys show that as much as 69% of residents that live in the site communes support the construction of an NPP in Poland, up from 67% last year.

This news presents the summary of results of the opinion survey conducted upon Company’s request by PBS between November through December 2018 among the representative sample of respondents in the site communes, i.e. Choczewo, Gniewino and Krokowa.

 

Key conclusions:

Support for the investment

  • 66% of the residents of site communes are supportive of an NPP built in their vicinity.
  • The support for an NPP built in Poland has reached 69% among the residents of site communes, up from 67% last year.
  • Support for the construction of an NPP in the vicinity has remained stable since the last time survey was conducted, however the attitude of residents towards locating such an investment near their homes has improved. Number of people declaring themselves as strong opponents of such an investment has declined (flow towards the group of moderate opponents).
  • More and more local residents who do not support the construction of an NPP in Poland feel inclined to change their mind provided an NPP helps to limit adverse effects of climate change, boost energy security of Poland and if the power plant is constructed with utmost care for safety (every fifth respondent).
  • Main drivers of NPP construction support are new jobsdevelopment opportunities for the site communes and cheaper electricity.
  • 78% of respondents (indicating towards: I somewhat agree, I strongly agree) find that Poland needs an NPP because current power generation sources do not suffice to meet the energy demand of the country.

Opinions on the Support Program for the Development of Site Communes (SPDSC)

Program aims to finance or co-finance initiatives that are important to residents of the site communes and development of the region.

 

  • Support Program for the Development of Site Communes has gathered popular support - four out of every five local residents say it is important for their community (79%).
  • In the future, the residents of site communes would like the Program to support projects related to general development of the commune (17%), infrastructure (roads, pavements, lightning, sewage system) (15%), education, schools, nurseries and kindergartens (14%), new jobs and support to local businesses (12%).

 

Knowledge on nuclear power in site communes

  • Almost half the respondents have noticed that information points providing information on nuclear power operate in their vicinity. Every fourth resident of the site commune has visited the information point.
  • People who have been to the information point have positive opinion about the experience - 89%, 20% of whom see it as “extremely good”.
  • Every fourth resident of the communes under survey considers their knowledge on nuclear power “good” or “very good” (27%).
  • The most widespread source of knowledge on nuclear power are, invariably, opinions of family and friends (28%) and Internet (17%).
  • 60% of residents of the communes under survey have heard about “Świadomie o atomie” - educational program run by PGE EJ1.
  • Residents of the site communes show no preference for any source of information on the construction of a nuclear power plant. They consider all indicated sources (opinions of others, Internet, TV, press, radio, school or university studies) useful.

Impact of the NPP on the life of the residents

  • Every fourth respondent (24%) has talked about the construction of an NPP in their vicinity within the last few months.
  • Such discussions take place within the family (62%), among friends and acquaintances (50%). 17% declare they talk about an NPP built at work.
  • Every second resident of site communes thinks that upon construction of an NPP, there will be more jobs available in the region (51%).

Future benefits from the investment

  • Respondents are aware that construction of an NPP translates into development opportunities for local businesses.
  • 43% of respondents have positive connotations with nuclear power and point out that upon construction of an NPP electric energy would be cheaper for them, which they see as a benefit.
  • 42% respondents have said that construction would be beneficial to the development of the commune and 29% indicated the benefits in the form of infrastructure development.
  • The respondents see the commune where the NPP is to be constructed and its residents as main beneficiaries of the NPP construction (17%), but they also say Polish politicians (16%), energy producers (14%) and businesses in charge of the NPP construction (14%) will benefit as well.

Institutions involved in the NPP built in Poland

  • This year, already every fourth resident of the site communes (24%) names PGE EJ1 as the company involved in the NPP construction, while 19% name PGE Capital Group in general.
  • Polish government remains to be the most frequently quoted institution responsible for the NPP built.

Information on the survey

  • The objective of the study was to verify the support for NPP built in the site communes.
  • Survey was conducted by PBS between November through December 2018, upon order by PGE EJ1.
  • Survey was conducted in the potential sites for the first Polish NPP built, i.e. in Choczewo, Gniewino and Krokowa communes.
  • In the communes under survey (n= 1217) the following were conducted:

- Krokowa commune - 517 interviews

- Choczewo commune - 500 interviews

- Gniewino commune - 200 interviews

  • Survey was conducted as CAPI (Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing).
  • Interviews were conducted in the place of residence of the respondent.

On March 29th, 2012 the Ministry of Economy launched a nation-wide public information and education campaign on the nuclear power. The campaign is a two-years long project. One of the main goals to be achieved is to have the Poles intrigued and to encourage them to seek further information on the topic of nuclear energy.

A dedicated website under the address of www.poznajatom.pl is the place where anybody interested can find the answers to questions they have been pondering on. The internet users will also be able to hold discussions on the discussion forum founded under the same web address as well as under the campaign’s public profile that has been created on one of the social networking services.On March 29th, 2012 the Ministry of Economy launched a nation-wide public information and education campaign on the nuclear power. The campaign is a two-years long project. One of the main goals to be achieved is to have the Poles intrigued and to encourage them to seek further information on the topic of nuclear energy. A dedicated website under the address of www.poznajatom.pl is the place where anybody interested can find the answers to questions they have been pondering on. The internet users will also be able to hold discussions on the discussion forum founded under the same web address as well as under the campaign’s public profile that has been created on one of the social networking services.

Today, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA, KGHM Polska Miedź SA, Tauron Polska Energia SA and Enea SA have all signed a letter of intent to purchase shares in the SPE established in order to construct and operate the first Polish NPP.

Krynica Zdrój, 5 September 2012 

According to the letter, the companies shall work together in order to draft an agreement proposal to purchase shares in PGE EJ 1 sp. z o.o., an SPE responsible for the development and execution of the project to build and operate the first Polish NPP. Working under the assumption that PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA will retain a leading role in the whole process (either directly or through an SPE acting on its behalf), the agreement shall establish the rights and responsibilities of each and every party throughout all phases of the project. It has been underlined in the letter that daughter companies of PGE have already initiated work in preparation to construct the first Polish NPP - including work related to identifying and assuring compliance with relevant codes and standards applicable to nuclear projects around the world.

- PGE is thinking about allowing its strategic partners to participate in the project by having them hold shares in the SPE established to implement the project. This could exert a positive impact on the effectiveness of works performed by diversifying risk as well as by allowing for better management of the key investment process elements – says  Krzysztof Kilian, president of the Management Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA. – It is a crucial development in the history of the Polish nuclear industry: the largest Polish companies decided to cooperate in order to carry out this crucial, from the national perspective, project.

- In compliance with its corporate strategy aiming at diversification of energy production sources, TAURON Polska Energia has been planning for its fuel mix to include a few hundred of megawats of electric power from the nuclear by 2025 - says  Dariusz Lubera, president of the Management Board of TAURON Polska Energia SA. – Our company has been intending to participate in the first Polish nuclear built project and we are very happy to have found such economically sound and experienced partners in this group. We have embarked on nuclear capacity building a few years ago, also by organizing specialized postgraduate studies for our personnel.

- We have to find alternative energy sources which will allow us to operate and function in 20 – 30 years’ time. It’s in the best interest of all of us to be able to replace coal -  adds Maciej Owczarek, president of Management Board of Enea SA. – We are delighted to be the partner in this project, all the more so that it’s a terra incognita, a new, unexplored and exciting venture. We have a lot of work to do in this area.

- It’s an important project, essential for the future of Poland, Polish industry as well as for KGHM. We see our role in this project through the prism of our mining competencies and experience – says Herbert Wirth, the president of Management Board of KGHM Polska Miedź SA. – The energy sector in the most general definition of the term is an industry with excellent growth prospects. KGHM’s growth strategy considers the energy sector fundamental to the intended diversification of our sources of revenue.

In July this year two new members joined the Management Boards of the nuclear companies.

On 9 July 2012 Zdzisław Gawlik was appointed Vice-President of the Management Board of PGE Energia Jądrowa S.A. and PGE EJ 1 Sp. z o.o. responsible for the nuclear project deployment activities. On 16 July 2012 Aleksander Grad was appointed President of the Management Board of PGE Energia Jądrowa S.A. and PGE EJ 1 Sp. z o.o. responsible for development and implementation of the first Polish NPP built program. Marzena Piszczek, responsible for finance, has been Vice-President since 10 January 2011. 

A series of information meetings started on Sept. 18th between the Management Board of PGE EJ1 and representatives of technology vendors and potential strategic partners.

A strategy assumed by the Management Board of PGE EJ 1 on 23rd August foresees a single tendering procedure for key elements of the project: the involvement of a strategic partner, technology selection, main contractor, support services in operation and maintenance, fuel supply and debt financing.

The meetings are scheduled to continue until 10th October.