Polands Energy Strategy 2040 - Strategic Environmental Assessment

The Polish Energy Policy until 2040 (PEP 2040) was subjected to a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) at the beginning of 2020. Part of the Energy Policy is also the plan of starting a nuclear energy program.
The construction and start-up of a total of six reactor units is scheduled for the years between 2024 and 2043. The first unit should start operating until 2033 and every 2-3 years one more unit (from a total of five) should follow. According to plan the first nuclear power plant should have an output of approx. 1-1.5 GW. It is not known so far, which reactor type or reactor types should be built in Po-land. The choice of technology and the general supplier of the first nuclearpower plant is planned for 2021. In addition to Poland’s Nuclear Energy Program (PPK), was newly agreed the construction of High Temperature Reactors (HTR). In 2018 the Energy Ministry and the Ministry of Science and University Education should have signed an agreement on the implementation of an HTR program. The licensing and the construction of a 10-MWth experimental reactor should have followed between 2020 and 2025 and the construction of the first commercial HTR between 2026 and 2031. This is remarkable because no other country but Poland shows particular interest in the construction of HTR. Other countries discontinued such development programs – some already decades ago. Find more information in the expert statement of Austria for the SEA.

EIA for the first NPP in Poland

The Environmental Impact procedure (EIA) for the first Polish NPP started in 2015 with a scoping phase. Because in Polish law it is not obligatory to enable public participation during a scoping phase, the Polish public was not allowed to make comments.
Poland notified countries in a radius of 1,000 km for taking part in a transboundary scoping procedure. In some countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark) the public could participate. Austria’s government was notified and had participated, but there were also no possibilities for public participation. An expert statement was produced for the Austrian Ministry but is not officially available.

End of May 2016, the Polish General Directorate for Environmental Protection (GDOS) approved the scope of the EIA. The next step of the EIA procedure could start in autumn 2016.

In end-May 2016, the Polish National Nuclear Research Centre (NCBJ) signed a letter of intent with the UK based consortium 'U-Battery' (URENCO, AMEC FW, ATKINS, Cammell-Laird, Laing O’Rourke) to develop in Poland small modular reactors, specifically the type of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGR). The intention of this move seems to be for the Polish nuclear sector to have just another type of reactor technology functioning (or, for now, being at least developed) in parallel to the official nuclear programme (PPEJ). In the latter, reactor types only of "generation III or III+" and units even up to 1650 GW(e), are mentioned, while the former ones are widely considered IV generation. They have not been commercially deployed yet anywhere in the world and are designed in ca. 10 MW(t) units to provide very high temperatures to specific industrial plants only.

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