Energy Infrastructure / Innovations Nuclear 20 November, 2023 7:25 am   

Poland’s first NPP project defends its environmental decision from the Pomerania Voivodeship Marshal

Visualization of Poland’s NPP by PEJ. Visualization of Poland's NPP by PEJ.

The Marshal of Pomerania Mirosław Struk sparked a lively discussion about the project to build a nuclear power plant in Pomerania by announcing he would “ask uncomfortable questions,” which gave the room to critics of this project to question the environmental decision. The investor has assured that the American NPP in Pomerania will meet environmental standards.

Marshal Struk convened a discussion with supporters and opponents of the project. The latter suggested sending the environmental decision for reconsideration to the Director General of Environmental Protection. This caused concerns among the supporters of the project that it would be delayed because of protests. One of the advisors of the Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship is Hanna Dzikowska who is against this investment.

“The location Lubiatowo-Kopalino meets all environmental requirements for this type of facilities, which has been confirmed by the decision on environmental conditions issued by the Director General of Environmental Protection in September 2023,” explain Polish Nuclear Power Plants responsible for the project on the Polish side.

“Analyses and field studies conducted by Polskie Elektrowne Jądrowe (PEJ) have confirmed that the location of Lubiatowo-Kopalino in the Choczewo municipality meets all environmental requirements for such facilities. The reasons behind choosing this location include access to cooling water, low population density, no buildings and the ability to transport large size loads by sea and other ways,” PEJ argues. “The location Lubiatowo-Kopalino was chosen after a nearly 4-year research campaign as part of the preparation of the environmental report, carried out on an unprecedented scale in Poland. The selection was also preceded by years of analytical work in line with legal requirements and IAEA guidelines, as well as detailed analyses on the basis of many criteria, visits and field studies. In the case of the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site, field surveys, analyses and monitoring covered approximately 274 square kilometres of marine area and 98 square kilometres of land area. The report was submitted to the General Directorate for Environmental Protection in March 2022,” the company says.

“The impact of thermal changes caused by the discharge of heated water from the nuclear power plant into the Baltic Sea has been modelled for the environmental impact report. Analyses have shown that the maximum melting range for the temperature at the boundary of the mixing zone equal to 2 degrees Celsius will be local and will be only approx. 200 meters. This means that the operation of the Lubiatowo-Kopalino nuclear power plant will not lead to wider changes in the waters of the Baltic Sea,” explain PEJ in response to concerns raised, among others, by the Marshal criticizing the planned cooling system.

Polish Nuclear Power Plants presented even more extensive arguments in defense of their investment on their website.

As part of the project in Pomerania three reactors at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site will be built. Construction would begin in 2026, with the first facility to be completed in 2033. Polish nuclear power plants and Bechtel and Westinghouse from the United States are implementing a project agreement providing for the preparation of a power plant project at this location within a year and a half from the signing of the document in autumn 2023.

Polish Nuclear Power Plants / Wojciech Jakóbik