Comment & People

Poland / Government Facing Decision On Technology For First Nuclear Plant, Says Minister

By Kamen Kraev
14 February 2020

Jacek Sasin says Poland 'chased by deadlines' to reform energy sector
Government Facing Decision On Technology For First Nuclear Plant, Says Minister
Jacek Sasin, minister of state assets. Image courtesy Polish Council of Ministers.
Poland’s minister of state assets Jacek Sasin said the Polish government can “continue thinking” about the introduction of nuclear energy in the country after European leaders agreed not to exclude nuclear from 2050 net-zero plans at a summit in December.

In an interview for Polish newspaper Gazeta Prawna, Mr Sasin said Poland is facing the decision of choosing a foreign technology vendor for the country’s first nuclear power station project.

“The matter is not simple, these are huge costs and complicated issues related to the choice of technology”, Mr Sasin said.

He said that Poland would “for example put aside” Chinese or Russian technologies, but “there are” US, Japanese, South Korean, and French proposals.

Asked about small modular reactors, Mr Sasin said SMR technology “may work” in the future, however Poland “is chased by deadlines” and needs to reform its energy sector using technologies available in the present.

Poland launched a national nuclear power programme in 2014 which included the construction of up to 6 GW of capacity by 2035, but the government has been delaying a final decision on the programme since taking over in 2015 because of financing uncertainties.

In November 2019, the government’s commissioner for strategic energy infrastructure Piotr Naimski told reporters that officials are in the process of conducting a “very detailed review” of all available reactor technology options.

A draft energy strategy called for construction of Poland’s first nuclear unit by 2033 and another five or six by 2043.

Government sources have said Poland will be aiming at a possible 6% nuclear share in the early to mid-2030s and a 15-20% nuclear share by 2050, although this would depend on a final decision about the nuclear programme and its financing.

Poland wants to invest in a new low-carbon energy source like nuclear to help it reduce its CO2 emissions in line with EU targets. About 80% of Poland’s electricity comes from ageing coal plants, many of which will have to close in the coming decade. Poland wants to reduce that to 60% in the 2030s.

Pen Use this content