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Poland / Warsaw Finalising Strategy To Help Local Industry Take Part In Ambitious Nuclear Programme

By Kamen Kraev
23 November 2021

Warsaw Finalising Strategy To Help Local Industry Take Part In Ambitious Nuclear Programme
Courtesy Lukas Plewnia/Wikipedia.
Poland is expecting to finalise by the end of 2021 a strategy aimed at helping local industry take part in the country’s first nuclear new-build project, which foresees the deployment of six nuclear reactor units between 2033 and 2043.

Andrzej Sidło, chief expert for industry at the Polish ministry of climate and the environment, told a webinar that Warsaw is expecting 40% local content in the construction of the first nuclear reactor unit, expected to be online in 2033.

Mr Sidło said the 2020 Polish nuclear programme has tasked the ministry to work on a strategy to support Polish industry towards achieving the set target of local participation in the project.

“We think that in the coming weeks the strategy will be ready and made public in order to start consultations primarily with industry,” Mr Sidło said.

He said the ministry has been analysing the state of local industry with regards to the introduction of nuclear power in Poland and has a comprehensive picture of what exists, what is to be done, and what are some of the entry barriers.

“We don’t start from zero”, Mr Sidło said. “There are many Polish companies which have in the past worked or are at present engaged in various projects overseas including the construction, servicing or modernisation of nuclear power plants.”

According to Mr Sidło, the goal of the ministry’s activities in this respect will really be to adapt all these existing industrial capabilities to the need of the nuclear sector.

One of the weak spots for Polish firms entering the nuclear market is certification, which can be costly and could become a barrier for some companies, Mr Sidło said, adding that one of the government’s goals in the upcoming strategy is to address this issue.

Plans foresee a minimum of 10 Polish companies annually, starting in 2022, to begin procedures towards attaining industrial certification to be able to take an active part in the construction of the first proposed nuclear plant, which is expected to begin in the mid-2020s.

Poland wants to build from 6,000 to 9,000 MW of installed nuclear capacity based on proven, large-scale, pressurised water nuclear reactors, but has not specified vendors for the technology yet.

The timetable says Poland could sign a general contract for its first unit in 2022 and issue a construction permit in 2025. Construction of Unit 1 would begin in 2026. The first of six plants would begin commercial operation in 2033 with the second in 2035, the third in 2037, the fourth in 2039, the fifth in 2041 and the sixth in 2043.

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