Siting approval sought for Poland’s first NPP

24 August 2023

Polish utility Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowy (PEJ) has applied to the Pomeranian Voivode (Governor), Dariusz Drelich, for a siting decision for the first NPP in Poland planned for the municipality of Choczewo. This is one of the most important steps in the administrative process leading to the start of construction of a nuclear facility.

“The first nuclear power plant being developed in Pomerania will affect power stability, offset the projected increase in electricity demand and ensure energy sovereignty,” said Drelich. “Every zloty spent for this purpose is an investment in the future, in harmonious development and most importantly in security. Today we have taken the first step. Once the application is complete, we must still wait for the decision on environmental conditions. The location decision will be issued immediately. Thank you and congratulations to everyone involved in the investment process.”

The decision to select a site will give PEJ the right to land needed construction both on land and at sea. It will also specify the properties that will be covered by the investment, as well as specify the conditions for its implementation, including technical, environmental & conservation, and fire protection.

Anna Lukaszewska-Trzeciakowska, Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure described the application as “a milestone in the activities of PEJ on the way to obtaining all the administrative approvals needed to start construction of Poland’s first NPP. The Polish government is responsibly restructuring the energy system, while strengthening the country's energy security.”

Poland has ambitious nuclear power development plans. In September 2021, it was announced that six large pressurised water reactors with a combined installed capacity of 6-9 GWe could be built by 2040 to reduce its reliance on coal. Construction of the first 1.0-1.6 GWe plant was expected to start in 2026 for commissioning in 2033. Subsequent units will be implemented every 2-3 years. The towns of Lubiatowo and Kopalino in Choczewo municipality in the province of Pomerania were named as preferred locations.

PEJ, a special purpose vehicle wholly owned by the Treasury, was created to coordinate the construction process of Poland’s first large-scale NPP and oversee its implementation. In July, the Minister of Climate & Environment issued a fundamental decision formally confirming that investment the NPP is in the public interest and in line with state energy policy. This entitled PEJ to apply for further administrative decisions, such as siting and construction permits. PEJ earlier received a positive opinion on safety of the project from the National Atomic Energy Authority. PEJ says the environmental procedure aimed at obtaining a decision on environmental conditions is also "at a very advanced stage".

Image: Visualization of Poland's first nuclear power plant (courtesy of PEJ)

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