Country’s first station to have three AP1000 units on Baltic coast
Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe (PEJ) signed an engineering services contract on Wednesday (27 September) with a consortium between US-based companies Westinghouse Electric and Bechtel for the construction of Poland’s first nuclear power station in Pomerania.
State-owned PEJ said in a statement that the contract will cover the preparation of the plant design and engineering documentation for the project which will ultimately see the construction of three AP1000 pressurised water reactor units on Poland’s Baltic coast.
These will include the main components of the power plant like the nuclear island, the turbine island, the associated installations and auxiliary equipment, as well as administrative buildings and infrastructure related to the safety of the facility.
Westinghouse confirmed the contract scope includes finalising a site-specific design for three AP1000 nuclear islands.
The primary objective of the conceptual design and engineering work is to define the requirements and criteria, and to specify the norms and standards to be used during the new-build project, PEJ said.
The contract will take 18 months to complete, said PEJ, and will also focus on cooperation in obtaining further permits, including a construction permit. It will also serve as a basis for another contract which will address the construction phase of the project.
According to PEJ, the engineering contract with the Westinghouse-Bechtel consortium will allow for the design of supply chains for the nuclear power plant in a way that maximises local industrial content in Poland and Pomerania specifically.
‘Watershed Moment’ For Polish Nuclear Programme
Earlier this month, Westinghouse and Bechtel announced they had signed a formal agreement to partner on the design and construction of the station.
In November 2022, Warsaw chose Westinghouse to supply its AP1000 reactor technology for a three-unit nuclear power station at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in Pomerania, northern Poland.
“We are entering a watershed moment not only for our investment project, but also for the entire energy transition process in Poland,” said Mateusz Berger, president of the board of PEJ.
“Today's event concludes the planning stage of the nuclear power plant and commences the execution phase with relevant engineering work,” he said.
Poland’s environment agency issued last week an environmental permit for the new-build project, paving the way for the construction permitting process. A siting procedure is still under way with local authorities in Pomerania.
Nuclear new-build plans are a central part of Poland’s drive to fundamentally realign its energy sector by 2040 and meet climate targets by phasing out coal-fired power generation, which provides nearly 80% of the country’s electricity today.
According to Westinghouse, the AP1000 is the only operating Generation III+ reactor with fully passive safety systems, modular construction design and the smallest footprint per MW on the market.
In the US, one AP1000 unit is commercially operational at the Vogtle site in Georgia, while a second unit recently completed its initial fuel load with commercial operations likely later this year or early 2024.
There are four AP1000 reactors in commercial operation at Sanmen and Haiyang in China.
Poland’s first unit is expected to come online in 2033, with first concrete slated for 2026 – a deadline still considered “realistic”, according to recent government statements. The Vogtle units in the US took about 10 years to bring online.