Plans for the government to build the first reactor in Poland

According to the updated (in mid-August 2010) plans of the Polish government the construction of the first NPP in Poland will be completed in 2022.   

The state-owned energy holding Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE, Polish Energy Group) has been appointed by the Polish Government as the strategic investor.
The first adopted programme version (early 2009) envisaged that this company would build two first NPPs by 2020 and 2022 respectively. The eventual location for the first one, as well as sources of funding and the reactor type, were to be decided upon between 2011 and 2014. The leading candidate site so far is Żarnowiec, a village in northern Poland, some 60 kilometres northwest of the regional capital of Gdańsk. At the end of 2009, PGE Energia Jądrowa S.A., a dedicated company within the PGE holding, was set up to „develop nuclear power generation in Poland”. [1] [2] Government is the official author and a proponent of the nuclear revival plans thus the information and “knowledge” disseminated through various channels (such as for the public education programmes, e.g. at schools of various levels) about the nuclear energy is completely imbalanced. They present only the advantages of nuclear energy. News and opinions presented by the Polish mainstream media are fed in and dominated by the atomists who prevail in delivering the pro-nuclear messages.  

There is no official public debate of which the results would condition the decision to implement or not to implement the nuclear power programme. The biased and selective media opinions on the nuclear issues smuggled within the news can hardly be called a public debate. They favour nuclear and dismiss the renewable energy’s advantages. They use propaganda tricks like taking exclusively coal into considerations while making their comparisons with other resources as well as using some researches and analysis very selectively.  

 The Polish government has earmarked PLN 450 million (ca. 110 mio euro) on promoting its nuclear agenda before 2012.  

 According to Poland’s energy programme for the period until 2030, nuclear power plants would establish the country’s energy security. But the document’s own analysis and calculations themselves say the new reactors are supposed to supply between 15 and 20 percent of all future electricity produced in Poland. However, in 2005, the share of electricity in Poland’s total energy supply was 14.5 percent, and by 2020 it is projected to grow only to 15.4 percent. This means that the share of nuclear energy in the country’s entire energy supply will not exceed three percent, rising only to a mere seven percent in primary energy supply by 2030.  

 Furthermore, not only will nuclear energy not help Poland overcome its dependency on coal, but it will effectively impede its attempts to develop renewable energy.  

 Experts say that as energy security concerns go, Poland will benefit more if it joins its power grid with those of fellow EU member countries. Combined with energy efficiency measures, gradual modernisation of Poland’s national grid, and a dynamic development of renewable energy sources, as well as expansion of power production from gas, this will both ensure Poland its energy security and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  

 Safety is not a tangible issue at this stage except for the usual doubts.[3]  

 Major negative impacts of the NPP on the region  

An NPP located in Zarnowiec would need a water channel to link the lake siding the plant with the Baltic Sea. It would provide enough cooling water for the reactor (because of the prevailing too high temperatures of the lake predicted). But if constructed, the channel would cut and endenger a number of Natura 2000 (EU protected) areas and its habitats.An NPP in Zarnowiec location would have negative impact, even through its sole presence, on the local, small scale tourism in the whole Pomorze (Pomerania) region. It would be negatively perceived by potential tourists (large part of which are German people), because of the potential risk of contamination and the visual obtrusion. Thus it would deter them from visiting the region and from staying there. The income of the touristic business which is one of the largest contributor to the welfare and convenient jobs in the region would drop significantly. The impact on the rural agricultural lands would be similar.  

 Other types of negative impact are usually known potential risks related to siting of any NPPs (population’s health, terrorism, nature contamination from regular operating, fuel transports and others). Other locations considered (especially Klempicz) would undergo similar negative consequences.  

 Technical details of the planned NPP  

The eventual technology of the reactors for the first NPPs in Poland is not specified yet as the Governement’s plans are too premature at the present (as of August 2010). Officially three major technologies are being considered following separate memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed with three different nuclear companies:    

  • EPR (most favoured) – with Areva and EDF[4]
  • Westinghouse AP1000 – with Westinghouse Electric Company LLC[5]
  • ABWR or ESBWR – with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas[6]


to the operator’s website

PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. is a state-owned (and probably largest) power producer and supplier in Poland with its own fuel (lignite) resources, power generation and final distribution networks. [7] [8] critical websites 




    3   described e.g. here: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/free-nuclear-advice-for-the-polish-energy-gro/blog/11814
    4    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-EdF_to_help_Polish_utility_go_nuclear-1811094.html
    5   http://nuclearstreet.com/blogs/nuclear_power_news/archive/2010/04/29/westinghouse-and-polska-grupa-energetyczna-ink-mou-to-deliver-nuclear-energy-solutions-to-poland-04291.aspx
    6   http://www.nuclearcounterfeit.com/?p=2453
     7  http://www.pgesa.pl/en/PGE/BasicInformation/Pages/default.aspx