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Geological survey for first Polish plant to start

16 April 2024

In-depth geological research can begin at the location in Pomerania of Poland’s planned first nuclear power plant after the country’s Ministry of Climate and Environment approved the Geological Works Project submitted by Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ).

An illustrative example of how the Pomeranian plant might look (Image: PEJ)

The decision issued by the ministry confirms that the Geological Works Project meets the requirements for this type of investment and is consistent with applicable law, PEJ noted. “This is another important task completed in the permitting process for the entire project,” it added.

Bechtel – a member of the US consortium responsible for the implementation of the nuclear power plant project – will conduct the geological research for the project. These works will start next month at the proposed site in the Choczewo municipality in Pomerania, on an area covering about 30 hectares. As part of the geological activities, approximately 220 research points will be constructed with depths of 20 to 210 metres.

The first stage of the research will be completed this year, and the results will also be used in the ongoing power plant design process, which is being carried out as part of the engineering contract concluded by PEJ with the Westinghouse-Bechtel consortium. In particular, it concerns the design of the main construction facilities – three nuclear power units, an inflow basin and cooling water channels – as well as a post-cooling water discharge channel.

PEJ said the data obtained during the research will detail the research carried out so far on the geological, engineering and hydrogeological conditions of the area. The research results will be used in the work on the Location Report, necessary to obtain a construction permit issued by the President of the National Atomic Energy Agency (PAA).

PEJ – a special-purpose vehicle 100% owned by the State Treasury – is responsible for the construction project of the first nuclear power plant in Poland.

In November 2022, the then Polish government selected the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor technology for construction at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in the Choczewo municipality in Pomerania in northern Poland. An agreement setting a plan for the delivery of the plant was signed in May last year by Westinghouse, Bechtel and PEJ. The Ministry of Climate and Environment in July issued a decision-in-principle for PEJ to construct the plant. The aim is for Poland’s first AP1000 reactor to enter commercial operation in 2033.

Under an engineering services signed in September last year, in cooperation with PEJ, Westinghouse and Bechtel will finalise a site-specific design for a plant featuring three AP1000 reactors. The design/engineering documentation includes the main components of the power plant: the nuclear island, the turbine island and the associated installations and auxiliary equipment, as well as administrative buildings and infrastructure related to the safety of the facility. The contract also involves supporting the investment process and bringing it in line with current legal regulations in cooperation with the PAA and the Office of Technical Inspection.

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