Geological work begins on Poland’s first nuclear plant

April 25, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News

Project management firm Bechtel started site geological surveys for Poland’s first nuclear power plant project, the company announced on Wednesday.

Bechtel will conduct in-depth geological surveys at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in the Pomeranian municipality of Choczewo, in northern Poland. This is a key milestone for the country’s entry into nuclear power production, as the surveys will inform the suitability of the planned site.

“We are pleased to begin the next stage of preparations for the construction of Poland's first nuclear power plant,” said John Howanitz, president of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security, and Environmental business unit. “This is a strategic investment for the country and must be carried out to the highest standards. We fully support Poland’s aspirations for decarbonization and energy independence, and we are establishing cooperation with local suppliers in pursuit of those objectives.”

Background: Westinghouse Electric Company announced last September its partnership with Bechtel to design and construct Poland’s first nuclear plant, in coordination with Polish utility Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe. The goal is to deploy six Westinghouse AP1000 units at the site, producing enough energy to power 13 million households.

Earlier this month, Bechtel awarded the contract for geological work to P.S.D. Poland, and surveying will be done between May and November covering an area of approximately 30 hectares. The findings will be used in the design of the plant and in obtaining a construction permit from Poland’s nuclear regulatory body, the National Atomic Energy Agency.

The nuclear power plant construction represents a significant step in Poland’s energy transition, creating a new sector of the economy that will employ thousands of professionals, specialists, and engineers. A report commissioned by Westinghouse estimates that Poland’s nuclear project will produce more than PLN 118.3 billion (roughly $29.1 billion) gross domestic product.

Quotable: “We are celebrating a major milestone in the U.S.-Polish special friendship—the inauguration of field activities on the nuclear power plant construction site in Lubiatowo-Kopalino and the opening of Bechtel office in Warsaw,” said Mark Brzezinski, U.S. ambassador to Poland. “It’s another important step forward as Poland and the United States work together to create a civil nuclear industry in Poland, and it shows that the United States is delivering on our shared commitment to Poland’s energy security and supporting Poland’s energy transition. The selection of Westinghouse and Bechtel—two gold standard American companies—to advance Poland’s civil nuclear power program brings energy security to the core of Polish-American cooperation.”

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