Poland’s PGE EJ1, the subsidiary of state-owned energy group Polska Grupa Energetyczna set up to build and run Poland's first NPP,  has formally begun environmental and site selection surveys at two locations close to the Baltic coast in the northern province of Pomerania – Lubiatowo-Kopalino and Żarnowiec.

PGE EJ1 said work had started in March, and the findings would contribute to the completion of a final environmental impact and localisation report scheduled for 2020. The research is being conducted by ELBIS, a subsidiary of PGE Capital Group, and is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2020. PGE EJ1 said: "Decisions on further implementation of the proposed project will be made in consultation with the Ministry of Energy and are expected to be taken by the end of this year at the latest."

The studies aim to determine the potential impact of the planned new-build project on both the environment and local residents. An initial round of environmental studies has already been carried out at both locations. In May 2016, Poland’s General Directorate for Environmental Protection approved the two sites as the main focus of environmental impact studies for the nuclear project. PGE EJ1 said a decision on Poland’s nuclear new-build programme will be taken by the energy ministry by the end of 2017.

The nuclear power programme, which was approved in 2014, foresees two nuclear power plants, each with 6000MWe of capacity, with the first one commissioned in 2022. The International Energy Agency said recently, however, that the timeline set out in this previously approved programme, with a final investment decision this year and the first unit operational in 2024, "is no longer attainable", and a revised schedule is expected soon.