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Poland / France’s EDF Submits Offer To Build Up To Six EPRs

By David Dalton
13 October 2021

Company says nuclear programme would bring numerous benefits to the Polish economy
France’s EDF Submits Offer To Build Up To Six EPRs
In England, EDF is building two EPRs at the Hinkley Point C nuclear site. Courtesy EDF.
France’s majority state-owned energy company EDF has submitted a preliminary, non-binding offer to the Polish government for the construction of four to six EPR nuclear power plants in Poland at two or three different locations.

“On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, EDF submitted to the Polish government a preliminary, non-binding offer for a contract covering the execution of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works from four to six EPR (European Pressurised Reactors), representing a total installed capacity of 6.6 to 9.9 GW in two to three locations,” the French company said in a statement.

“The initial offering includes all key programme parameters such as plant configuration, industrial schematic, local supply chain development plans, cost estimate and schedule,” the statement added.

EDF said the offer supports the implementation of the objectives of the Polish nuclear energy programme adopted by the Polish government in October 2020. It also aims to define the principles of the Polish-French strategic partnership supporting “an ambitious energy transformation plan consistent with the European goal of carbon neutrality”.

It said an EPR-based nuclear programme would bring numerous benefits to the Polish economy, contributing to the country’s energy independence, providing electricity for at least 60 years and satisfying up to 40% of the Polish current electricity demand. It would significantly contribute to the path towards net-zero by avoiding up to 55 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, thanks to “a safe, reliable, dispatchable and CO2-free energy source”.

The company said the programme would benefit from significant synergies with other EPR projects across Europe. Two EPR units are currently under construction in Europe – Flamanville-3 in France and Olkiluoto-3 in Finland – but both have seen delays and cost overruns. Another two are being built at Hinkley Point C in England. In January, EDF said the cost of Hinkley Point C is expected to rise by up to £500m with commercial operation of the first unit delayed by about six months. There are also plans for two new EPRs at Sizewell C in England.

Taishan-1 in China was the first EPR unit to begin commercial operation, in December 2018. A second EPR at Taishan began commercial operation in September 2019.

In April 2021, EDF said it had made a binding offer to build six EPR units at the Jaitapur site in the Maharashtra region of western India.

The Generation III technology was designed and developed mainly by Framatome (part of Areva between 2001 and 2017) and EDF, and Siemens in Germany.

Poland wants to build from 6,000 to 9,000 MW of installed nuclear capacity based on proven, large-scale, pressurised water nuclear reactors of the Generation III and III+ design. Commercial operation of a first nuclear reactor unit in a proposed set of six is earmarked for 2033.

The government has not yet announced a technology or investor tender for the project. US-based Westinghouse and South Korea have also expressed their formal interest in Warsaw’s nuclear plans.

In July 2021, EDF opened an office in Warsaw to support the preparation of a nuclear offer tailored to meet Poland’s nuclear plans. At the time the company said the move confirmed its long-term commitment to support the Polish nuclear ambition by proposing the development of four to six EPR units in the country.

In September, Westinghouse opened a global shared services centre in Krakow, where about 160 staff will work to support the company’s global operations and to provide Poland with “the best technology to support its climate change goals and secure the energy needs of its economy”.

The new centre was one of the projects agreed under a Polish-American intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2020. According to the Polish government, the agreement included areas of cooperation such as the regulatory framework, research, personnel training, development of supply chains, public awareness campaigning and cooperation on nuclear energy projects in Europe.

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