Finnish companies to advise on Poland’s first NPP

15 February 2024

Finnish power companies Fortum and TVO, which own and operate NPPs in Finland and Sweden have signed framework agreement with Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe (PEJ) to provide technical support in the design, engineering and preparation for operation of Poland's planned NPP in Pomerania.

In November 2022, the Polish government selected the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor technology for construction of the plant at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in the Choczewo municipality. In May 2023, an agreement was signed defining a plan for delivery of the plant by Westinghouse, Bechtel and PEJ. Poland’s Ministry of Climate & Environment in July issued a decision-in-principle for PEJ to construct the plant. Financing for the project has yet to be arranged.

The two-year agreement with Fortum and TVO will support state-owned PEJ in the development of operation and maintenance of the new plant. TVO subsidiary TVO Nuclear Services (TVONS) and Fortum's Nuclear Services were selected through a competitive procedure. The framework agreement concerns technical support for the operation and maintenance planning of the NPP for PEJ. Fortum Nuclear Services and TVO Nuclear Services will provide technical support in the licensing and design phase and help PEJ to develop its capabilities to operate as a nuclear power plant operator.

"Fortum and TVO differ from many other expert service providers in that we have unique experience as a nuclear power owner and user for decades. We are pleased that together we can promote the Polish energy transition with strong Finnish nuclear power expertise", said Fortum's Head of Nuclear Services Anni Jaari.

Ari Leppänen, Managing Director of TVO Nuclear Services, noted: “We value the opportunity to support the customer and utilise our long-term expertise in the design, implementation, operation and life cycle management of nuclear power plant projects.”

"The agreement assumes support in terms of addressing the needs of the future operator starting at the NPP design stage, in the performance of contracts with the consortium of Westinghouse, as the technology vendor, and Bechtel, as the main contractor, as well as cooperation and exchange of experience in the development of a fuel strategy and radioactive waste management strategy," PEJ said.

According to the original plan, the plant was expected to begin commercial operation in 2033. However, following a change of government in December 2023, some aspects of the project are being reevaluated.

Minister of Climate & Environment Paulina Hennig-Kloska told Polish Radio that, while the siting of the plant was not being reconsidered there were questions over timing and finance. She emphasised that Poland needs the first nuclear units in 2033-2035 to achieve its climate goals. However overall nuclear policy is being reviewed during 2024. She indicated that the audit regarding preparations for the construction of the first NPP would be carried out by Maciej Bando, who was appointed Undersecretary of State and Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure.

She said: “We need to establish three things: the reality of the schedule for constructing the first unit by 2033.… This requires checking. The second thing is ... securing adequate financial resources given the limits of our country's multiannual financial plans. We will estimate the costs and check whether they are included in the multiannual financial plan.” third point to be determined, is "general supervision over the investment".

Image: Visualisation of the design of Poland's first nuclear power plant (courtesy of PEJ)

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