PGE EJ1 rejects suggestion of further delay to plant project

27 July 2015

PGE EJ1 - the subsidiary of Polish state-owned energy group Polska Grupa Energetyczna set up to build and run Poland's first nuclear power plant - has rejected a report by Greenpeace that there is a seven-year delay to the project.

Citing a "secret" internal document dated 15 May, the environmental group's Polish branch said on 23 July that the first reactor would not now be built before 2031. PGE EJ1 responded in a statement the following day, saying that the project schedule is currently being reviewed and updated.

"The dates presented in the document and in a Greenpeace press release, including the date of the launch of the first unit cannot be regarded as binding," PGE EJ1 said. "The document, prepared a few months ago by an adviser, was never approved by the corporate bodies of the company. [It] is not an official schedule and is one of several versions of analysis the company has worked with over recent months."

PGE EJ1 plans to make public the "current schedule of investments in the project in the coming days".

Greenpeace's disclosure of the confidential document "violates the rights of the company and, above all, misleads the public", it said. Nuclear energy is an emotive topic, it said, and this is a key project for Poland's energy security. "Therefore, the disclosure of unconfirmed dates and processes related to the project is not acting in the public interest."

Greenpeace said that "it had originally been assumed" that Poland's first nuclear power plant would be built by 2019 and that the May document had revealed "yet another delay" that had not been made public. It added that "experts indicate that even 2031 is unrealistic."

The group said there had been other problems with the project, namely that PGE EJ1 had cancelled its contract with Australian company Worley Parsons and there had been opposition to the proposed plant from some citizens of the Baltic States. In addition, Greenpeace said, PGE EJ 1 has not consulted the public on the environmental impact of geological drilling in the municipality of Choczewo.

"We hope that the disclosure of the schedule will be like a cold shower for those few people who still believe in the possibility of building a nuclear power plant in Poland," Greenpeace's Iwo Łoś said in the group's statement.

Polish national energy plans envisage two 3000 MWe nuclear power plants. Sites at Choczewo, Gaski and Zarnowiec are under consideration, and Worley Parsons was contracted in 2013 to carry out site characterization work. A timeline issued in early 2014 by the Polish government foresaw selection of the location and reactor technology for the first plant by the end of 2016, with all the necessary construction approvals in place by the end of 2018. The first unit would then be set to start up by the end of 2024, with a second unit starting up by the end of 2030. The second nuclear power plant is scheduled for operation around 2035.

On 23 December PGE EJ1 announced that it had given notice to terminate the contract with Worley Parsons due its "failure to meet contractual obligations and a delay in execution of works performed under the contract". 

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News