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Friday, March 1, 2024

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Polish-US team to build nuclear plant in Pomerania

Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe and Westinghouse have signed a contract for works preceding the design of a nuclear power plant in Pomerania.

On 22 February, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ) and Westinghouse Electric Company signed a contract commencing joint activities that will lead to the preparation of the design of the first nuclear power plant in Poland.

The contract between PEJ and Westinghouse covers works in 10 main areas. It includes development of a detailed Delivery Model, preparation of a Security Assessment and a Quality Program and also identification of potential suppliers with focus on Polish companies. The contract assumes more than 100,000 man hours to be completed by Westinghouse for the project.

The signed contract makes it possible to commence the first works preceding the design before the conclusion of the time-consuming process of agreeing the execution contract. This type of solution is a result of lessons learned from other nuclear projects around the world. It makes it possible for the pace and schedule of activities to be maintained.

The contract marks another important step towards the construction of a nuclear power plant in Poland. Nuclear energy is the future of Poland, a path leading to energy security and an important component of our energy mix. “This strategic investment, which is being executed in accordance with the schedule, will influence future prices of electricity. It will also secure clean, safe and self-produced energy, as well as create a development incentive for a number of Polish companies, suppliers and other partners. The nuclear power plants will have a positive impact on the labor market and Polish economy,” said Anna Moskwa, Minister of Climate and Environment.

The construction of nuclear power plants is arguably one of the most complex programs, with a scope of challenges that can hardly be compared to anything we, as Poland, have faced in recent decades. Years of surveys and preparations before the first shovel goes into the ground – a decade before the electricity flows. The construction of a nuclear power plant cannot be done overnight, which is why moments like today make us all aware that this specialized, non-mediagenic, but responsible daily work is going on, producing results and consistently leading us to our goal, are so important. The contract signed today with the US company Westinghouse, the longest operating technology provider whose ‘technological DNA’ is a part of the vast majority of the world’s operating nuclear reactors, will allow us to conceptually refine the design of Poland’s first nuclear power plant,” said Mateusz Berger, Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure.

“The first nuclear power plant in Poland will be built with the use of the Westinghouse technology. The contract that we are signing is another important milestone of our investment. Thanks to the contract, together with our American partner, we can already start the first engineering works on the power plant, which will be built in Pomerania,” said Tomasz Stępień, President of Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe.

“Today’s agreement is a major step by PEJ that brings Poland closer to implementing the most advanced nuclear technology to ensure energy security and a stable supply of emission-free and affordable electricity. We are all working hard to successively work out more agreements that are so important for Poland and for Poles,” said Patrick Fragman, president and CEO of Westinghouse.

As part of the contract, Westinghouse will conduct a preliminary security assessment of the planned plant and prepare a list of requirements necessary for the execution of the investment, including adjusting the AP1000 technology to meet all local regulations. Moreover, principles of the procurement strategy will be developed to identify potential suppliers. The contract signed also assumes the preparation of the principles of external financing for the project, i.e. a preliminary estimation of the project’s value.

In 2021, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe, after a series of surveys and analyses on an unprecedented scale, identified “Lubiatowo-Kopalino” as the preferred site for nuclear reactors with a capacity of up to 3,750 MWe. In 2022, the company submitted the environmental report to the General Director for Environmental Protection, which is a step that is required in order to complete the environmental procedure and to obtain a building permit. At the same time, activities related to both planning the construction of associated infrastructure, and to local communication in the vicinity of the site, were also intensified.

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