Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe (PEJ – Polish Nuclear Power Plants), the government company responsible for plans to deploy up to six reactors at multiple sites by 2040, announced that it had selected the coastal location of Lubiatowo-Kopalino in the Choczewo commune in Pomerania near Wejherowo for the first reactor.
In the first quarter of 2022, an environmental impact statement will be submitted to the General Director of Environmental Protection. The Polish Energy Policy assumes that the first nuclear power plant unit will be put into operation in 2033.
“We are operating as planned and the choice of location confirms this. Poland needs nuclear energy , and the construction of the first power plant of this type in Poland is important for the entire country, both in terms of energy transformation and security of energy supply, said Anna Moskwa, Minister of Climate and Environment.
The location was chosen following detailed environmental and location studies conducted since 2017. These have shown that it meets all environmental requirements for such facilities and is safe for residents, PEJ said. The other potential location under consideration was on Lake Zarnowieckie. PEJ will now apply for the necessary permits and approval, the company added.
The study initially investigated 92 potential sites that were assessed on "factors such as land characteristics, cooling water availability, location in relation to areas covered by forms of nature protection, including Natura 2000 sites, and existing and expandable infrastructure elements, such as energy, road and rail networks,” PEJ noted. Natura 2000 is a coordinated network of protected habitats within the EU.
“We want the entire investment process in the project of the first NPP in Poland to be carried out in a transparent, responsible manner and in line with the highest standards from the very beginning,” said PEJ president Tomasz Stepien. He emphasised that long-term and comprehensive analysis of the location has been a priority for the company in recent years adding that experts from various fields had been involved in the research and the development.
The government's plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure, Piotr Naimski, noted that the selection of the location proved that Poland was striving to diversify its energy mix. “The use of this safe, zero-emission and stable source of energy production, which is nuclear energy, was announced from the beginning and confirmed in strategic documents, such as the Polish Energy Policy to 2040 and the Polish Nuclear Power Programme,” he said.
Under the Polish Nuclear Power Programme, Poland plans to build modern, but proven and large pressurised water reactors. The Polish Energy Policy to 2040 assumes that in 2033 the first unit with a capacity of between 100MWe and 1600MWe will begin operation. The next units will be implemented every two or three years.
The programme involves the construction of six units with a capacity of up to 9000MWe. The Polish government expects that any partner in the programme will take up 49% of the shares in a special company, will provide adequate financing and will participate not only in the construction but also in the operation of the plants.