Next major step in ambitious reactor project could be construction licence application
The province of Pomerania in northern Poland has been confirmed as the site for the country’s first commercial nuclear power station after the granting of a key administrative consent needed to start construction.
Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe (PEJ), the state-owned company responsible for the management of the nuclear station project, said Pomerania had approved the site, near the villages of Lubiatowo and Kopalino to the northwest of Gdansk on the Baltic coast.
It said the decision is “one of the most important administrative consents needed to start construction” and will allow it to carry out preparatory activities.
“This is another key decision in the power plant investment process,” PEJ said in a statement. “The decision, combined with the recently signed contract for the design of the power plant with our American partners [Westinghouse], proves that we are consistently achieving milestones and the nuclear power plant in Pomerania is the most advanced nuclear investment in the country.”
The Pomerania site was put forward as the PEJ’s preferred location in 2021.
Approval of the site follows environment agency approval in September of the nuclear power station plans.
Days before the environmental permit was confirmed, Westinghouse and fellow US company 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 the three-unit facility.
Construction Could Begin In 2026
Before any actual site work can begin, PEJ will need to receive a set of permissions from authorities in Pomerania and a final construction licence from the country’s nuclear regulator PAA.
Westinghouse has said significant licensing and engineering work is already underway on the project.
Under the latest timeframe, construction is set to begin in 2026, with operation of the first of three units expected in 2033. The outgoing government in Warsaw has insisted the deadlines are realistic
Discussions are continuing about the model to be used to finance the multibillion-euro project.
Nuclear new-build plans are a central part of Poland’s drive to fundamentally realign its energy sector by 2040 and meet climate targets.
The European Parliament has said that for Poland to shift to a low-carbon economy it will need to restructure its energy sector, notably coal mining, a major employer in some Polish regions.