France submits EPR offer to Poland

October 15, 2021, 12:06PMNuclear News

A cutaway view of an EPR. (Image: EDF)

French utility giant Électricité de France has thrown its chapeau into the ring to be the large-reactor supplier for Poland’s embryonic nuclear power program, joining U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Company, which has made concerted efforts this year to convince Poland to choose its AP1000 technology.

On Tuesday, EDF submitted a nonbinding preliminary offer to the Polish government for the construction of four to six EPR reactors, representing a total installed capacity of 6.6 to 9.9 GWe across two to three sites.

The pitch: The offer “covers all key parameters of the program, such as plant configuration, industrial scheme, plans for the development of the local supply chain, cost estimate, and schedule,” EDF said in a press release, adding that its proposal “aims at setting the principles for a Polish-French strategic partnership framework in support of Poland’s ambitious energy transition plan, aligned with the European carbon neutrality target.”

The utility estimates that an EPR-based nuclear program in Poland would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 55 million tons per year and create about 25,000 local jobs per two-reactor site, as well as tens of thousands of indirect jobs.

An EPR program would also “benefit from significant synergies with other EPR projects across Europe, in the spirit of a long-term European partnership between the Polish and French nuclear industries,” EDF said.

In case you missed it: Poland’s Ministry of Climate and Environment announced in February the official adoption of Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 (PEP2040). In its announcement, the ministry described PEP2040 as “a clear vision of Poland’s energy transformation strategy” and “a compass for entrepreneurs, local governments, and citizens in the transformation of the Polish economy toward low emission.” According to the document, by 2040, more than half of Poland’s installed capacity will be zero-emission sources, with offshore wind energy and nuclear energy playing “a special role” in reaching that goal.

The following month, Westinghouse announced its intention to invest in nuclear technologies in Poland. By August, the company had opened a global shared service center in Kraków. And earlier this month, Westinghouse and industry partner Bechtel hosted a nuclear supply symposium in Warsaw to discuss local supply chain opportunities.

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