Polish utility Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ), which is responsible for the construction of Poland's first NPP, has joined the Mutual Insurance Association (TUW – Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń Wzajemnych) of the Polish Mutual Insurance Institution (PZUW – Polski Zakład Ubezpieczeń Wzajemnych). PEJ said this is an important stage on the road to providing insurance protection for this key energy project.

The range of insurance contracts used in this type of investment is very wide, according to PEJ. They include both construction and assembly works, as well as, for example, transport or civil liability. Having an adequate scope of insurance protection safeguards the interests of both the investor and the general contractor, and is required by the investment financing institutions as a condition for obtaining debt financing.

“Joining the PZUW Mutual Insurance Association is an important element in building the company's insurance strategy for the construction and operation phase of the first NPP in Poland, which will be built in the municipality of Choczewo, said Wojciech Rosiński, director of PEJ’s Finance Division. Joining TUW PZUW will allow us as an investor to gain access to specialised nuclear insurance offered on the market.”

TUW PZUW President Rafał Kiliński noted: “We share ambitious challenges. The goal of the nuclear power plant construction project is to ensure energy security in Poland, and our ambition is to participate in providing insurance protection for this undertaking. That is why we are glad that a member of our mutual insurance company has become such an important company for energy transformation as PEJ”. He added: “We are the first to start. We have engaged in cooperation on a national and international scale, we encourage others to do so. We want to make the largest possible contribution to the energy transformation in Poland. The trust that PEJ has in us opens up even more promising perspectives.”

With a view to insurance protection of nuclear investments in Poland, TUW PZUW started strategic cooperation in 2023 with the UK's Nuclear Risk Insurers (NRI). PEJ said the agreement with NRI, which protects civilian nuclear facilities in the UK and is involved in more than 300 similar projects worldwide, gives it access to know-how, as well as internships and training. TUW PZUW simultaneously took the initiative to create an insurance nuclear pool – a consortium of Polish insurers who will provide protection for nuclear energy in Poland.

In November 2022, the then Polish government selected the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor technology for construction at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in the Choczewo municipality in Pomerania. An agreement setting a plan for the delivery of the plant was signed in May 2023 by Westinghouse, Bechtel and PEJ. Poland’s Ministry of Climate & Environment in July issued a decision-in-principle for PEJ to construct the plant. The first AP1000 unit is expected to begin commercial operation in 2033.

In Lubiatowo-Kopalino, the site is being prepared for in-depth geological surveys – field works related to this are entering the next stage, PEJ said. Before in-depth geological surveys begin, the area will need to be explored to a depth of six metres for possible unexploded WWII bombs. The field research, which will start in spring 2024, is the responsibility of US Bechtel. Knowledge in the field of geology acquired at this stage will also be used to develop specific design solutions in connection with the ongoing implementation of the contract for the engineering works.

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