PEJ seeks Polish regulator opinion on safety analysis plans

03 October 2022

Polskie Elektrownie Nucleowe has applied to the President of the National Atomic Energy Agency (Panstwowa Agencja Atomistyki, PAA) for a general opinion on the planned verification of safety analyses for prospective nuclear power plants.

Poland has plans for new nuclear power capacity in the coming years of up to 9 GWe, with the first unit online in 2033 and a further unit every two years. The first units are to be built in Lubiatowo and Zarnowiec in Pomerania, northern Poland. PEJ is the state-owned company that is progressing the plans.

To get a permit for the construction of a new nuclear power plant, the applicant must present an analysis confirming the safety of the design - and also secure independent verification of the analysis.

Safety analyses are part of the nuclear facility safety assessment process, performed initially at the design stage and then continuing on into the operation of a nuclear facility. Their aim is to ensure that all nuclear safety requirements will be met from the start to the end of operation.

The PAA president will now assess PEJ’s "proposed verification description (scope and details), considering both national and international requirements for nuclear safety".

PAA said: "The verification of security analyses will cover two main aspects. The first is the verification of the so-called deterministic safety analyses, i.e. how a nuclear reactor will behave in various, even the most unlikely, situations.

"The second are the so-called probabilistic safety analyses that identify the strengths and weaknesses of a given installation by assessing the probability of various events taking into account their consequences. Comparing the results of these analyses with security standards will make it possible to demonstrate that the designed security measures are of a sufficiently high level."

In July last year, Westinghouse announced the launch of front-end engineering and design work - based on AP1000 technology - under a grant from the US Trade and Development Agency "to progress" the nuclear energy programme in Poland. Last month it signed Memoranda of Understanding with 22 companies in Poland that allow for cooperation on the potential construction of AP1000 reactors in the country as well as other potential projects in Central Europe.

EDF of France submitted a "non-binding preliminary offer" to supply six EPR reactors in October 2021 and Poland also received an offer from Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power in April 2022 for the construction of six APR-1400 reactors.

There are also developing plans for small modular reactors in the country.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News