Approval sought for second large Polish nuclear power plant

17 August 2023

PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa has submitted an application to Poland's Ministry of Climate for a decision-in-principle on the construction of a nuclear power plant consisting of at least two Korean-supplied APR1400 reactors in the Patnów-Konin region of Wielkopolska province in central Poland.

A plant comprising two APR1400 reactors (Image: KHNP)

PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa SA is a 50/50 joint special purpose vehicle formed in April by Polish companies ZE PAK and Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) to implement the project.

The application included a description of project characteristics, indicating the maximum total installed capacity, the planned operating period and details of the APR1400 technology to be used in the construction of the plant.

The decision-in-principle represents official state approval for the planned investment in accordance with the assumptions and concept presented by the company. It is the first decision in the process of administrative permits for investments in nuclear power facilities in Poland that an investor may apply for. Obtaining it entitles ZE PAK and PGE to apply for a number of further administrative arrangements, such as a siting decision or construction licence.

"The application submitted today for a basic decision on the planned construction of a nuclear power plant in Pątnów in the Konin region is a step forward in the implementation of one of the key investments from the point of view of the PGE Group," said PGE President Wojciech Dabrowski. "Today's event confirms that it is proceeding as planned. Through the company established for this purpose, PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa, we maintain a fast pace of work, ensuring that the assumed schedule for the construction and commissioning of the nuclear power plant in Konin-Pątnów is met."

On 31 October last year, Poland's Ministry of State Assets, South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, ZE PAK and PGE, and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) signed a letter of intent to develop plans for a nuclear power plant in Pątnów.

"Obtaining the basic decision is crucial for starting further works related to the location, environmental studies and finally applying for a permit to build a nuclear power plant - a stable source of cheap and clean energy, and starting its operation in 2035," PGE said. "The application was submitted after only 10 months from the moment of signing the letter of intent by PGE, ZE PAK and KHNP."

Jakub Rybicki, president of PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa, was quoted by Energianews as saying: "We are starting negotiations with our Korean partner regarding the feasibility study, agreements on financing our project and the creation of a Polish-Korean company that will directly lead this process."

In September 2021, it was announced that six large pressurised water reactors with a combined installed capacity of 6-9 GWe could be built by 2040 as part of Poland's plan to reduce its reliance on coal. According to the adopted schedule, the construction of the first nuclear power plant will start in 2026, with the first reactor - with a capacity of 1.0-1.6 GWe - being commissioned in 2033. Subsequent units will be implemented every 2-3 years. The coastal towns of Lubiatowo and Kopalino in Poland's Choczewo municipality in the province of Pomerania have been named as the preferred location for the country's first large nuclear power plant.

In November 2022, the Polish government selected Westinghouse's AP1000 for the country's first nuclear power plant. In April this year, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ) applied for a decision-in-principle on the construction of the plant. Last month, the Ministry of Climate and Environment gave a decision-in-principle for the plant, formally confirming PEJ's investment project is in line with the public interest and the policies pursued by the state, including energy policy.

A decision-in-principle has also been issued for copper and silver producer KGHM Polska Miedź SA's plan to construct a NuScale VOYGR modular nuclear power plant with a capacity of 462 MWe consisting of six modules, each with a capacity of 77 MWe.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News