EDF has proposed to the Polish government to build up to six EPR units. A project of this scale would decarbonise 40% of the country’s electricity and avoid up to 55 million tonnes of CO2 per year, according to EDF. The “preliminary offer without commitment” represents a range of options for Poland. It details the engineering, procurement and construction that would be required for four to six EPR units, at two or three sites. The EPR units would each produce 1,650 MWe.
Sectional view of an EPR reactor (Image: EDF Energy)
EDF estimates that “around 25,000 local jobs” could be created on a two EPR site, as well as “tens of thousands” of indirect jobs.
“The offer aims to meet the objectives of the Polish nuclear power program adopted by the Polish government in October 2020,” said EDF, adding: “It aims to establish the principles of a Polish-French strategic partnership framework in support of of Poland’s ambitious energy project. transition plan, aligned with the European objective of carbon neutrality. “
Poland plans to build large nuclear reactors in the north of the country and has developed environmental studies while engaging with communities near Żarnowiec and Lubiatowo-Kopalino. The state-owned project company managing the works is called Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe, after changing its name from PGE EJ 1 in June of this year.
EDF declared that it was “committed to being a partner in the Polish nuclear power program since its inception, with the full support of the French government”. Both countries are among 10 EU nuclear Alliance countries that have requested that nuclear energy be included in the EU’s taxonomic list of sustainable investment options.
The US government is also keen to support Poland’s nuclear power projects, with Westinghouse promoting its AP1000 design. Westinghouse recently strengthened its involvement in the country by opening a regional service center in Krakow.
At the same time, Poland has a thriving small reactor scene, with energy-intensive industrial companies Synthos, Ciech, KGHM, Unimot and PKN Orlen working on upgrading to new small reactors. Synthos subsidiary Synthos Green Energy is working with ZE Pak to potentially replace coal-fired units at the Pątnów power plant with nuclear units.
Research and writing by World Nuclear News