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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).