Energy Infrastructure / Innovations Nuclear 8 May, 2024 7:35 am   

Jakóbik: The multi-verse of Poland’s atom. Delayed until 2035 or later (COLUMN)

Spiderman-Multiverse "Spiderman: Into the Multiverse". Picture -  promotional materials.

According to my scoop, the construction of the nuclear power plant may be delayed until 2035 when the first reactor will be launched. This is two years after the deadline set in the Polish Nuclear Power Program. However, we are dealing with a communication fiasco and parallel realities akin to Spiderman’s adventures in the multiverse – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief at from the European Economic Congress in Katowice.

Poland’s atomic project found itself in a state of uncertainty, like Spider-Man travelling in the multi-verse. The multi-verse is a network of interconnected parallel realities, each presenting a different development of events. In one, Spider-Man is a woman, and in another the situation is different. The multi-verse of the Polish atom is about new dates of the implementation of the project.

The Polish Nuclear Power Program envisages the first reactor by 2033 and 6-9 GW by 2043. For years, the industry was gossiping that the first reactor may be delayed until 2035, but the new government elected in 2023 announced it would update the program and “audit” it, but “audit” is the wrong word here, because according to the developers of Poland’s atomic project they were after an opening balance sheet. The most important update here is that the first concrete will be poured in 2028. This is a two-year delay compared to the one in the nuclear program – 2033. This date is “irrevocably lost”.

The next date is the construction of the first reactor. We heard in Katowice that the Americans assure the Poles of the will to build a reactor in seven years and then add a new one every year. This would mean the first one will be completed in 2035 (two years after the deadline in the program) and the next ones in 2036 and 2037. This assumption does not take into account the additional delays that occur with virtually every nuclear project in the world.

It is only in this context that we should consider the vague statements of Industry Minister Marzena Czarnecka, who told TVP Info about 2039 and then at the EKG in Katowice about 2040. To this day, it is not clear whether she meant all three reactors or the first. If she was talking about three and they were built every two years instead of a year, then since the concrete was poured in 2028, they could actually be launched in 2035, 2037 and 2039. We don’t know where 2040 is coming from.

This means in the universe where concrete will be poured in 2028, which had been announced by the Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastrcuture, and there won’t be any other delays the first reactor will be built in 2035. In the universe of the Ministry of Industry, in the worst-case scenario, we have the first reactor in 2040 and in the best, the entire nuclear power plant in 2039. Everything depends on interpretation, but such postmodernism does not serve the credibility of the project.

Regardless of what the new Polish Nuclear Power Program will be, it is clear that we are dealing with another communication fiasco in the energy sector after the ambiguities around the liberalization of the Wind Turbine Act or the dispute over the merger of energy companies with coal mines. The energy sector does not need such chaos, what it does need is the implementation of megaprojects. Poland needs a nuclear power plant, and we have already established that. Time to finally start building it.