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Poland has achieved a significant milestone in its quest for energy security and sustainability. The General Director of Environmental Protection (GDOŚ) has issued an environmental decision approving the construction and operation of Poland’s inaugural nuclear power plant. Minister of Climate and Environment, Anna Moskwa, announced this pivotal development in securing Poland’s energy future.
The comprehensive environmental decision, along with its extensive attachments, comprises over 550 pages. One key finding from the GDOŚ assessment is that the nuclear power plant’s construction and operation will not result in significant adverse environmental impacts, as long as it adheres to specified technical, technological, and organizational solutions outlined in the environmental impact report. The project is also expected to have minimal impact on Natura 2000 areas and natural habitats.
Furthermore, it is emphasized that the project will not harm natural habitats, plant and animal species, or the integrity of Natura 2000 sites or their connections with other areas. The General Directorate also stated that the initiative will not significantly negatively affect groundwater and surface waters, including the Baltic Sea.
Another crucial conclusion is that the operation of the nuclear power plant will not lead to excessive emissions of gases and particulates into the environment, nor will it introduce abnormal levels of radioactive substances into soil, water, or air. The construction and operation of the facility will be subject to ongoing environmental monitoring, including radiological surveillance.
The GDOŚ decision also includes information regarding cross-border environmental impact assessments and the consideration of comments and suggestions received during the proceedings.
In December 2021, Poland’s state-owned company, PGE, identified Lubiatowo-Kopalino on the Baltic coast as the preferred location for the country’s inaugural nuclear power plant. Subsequently, in November 2022, the government selected Westinghouse Electric Company as the technology provider.
As per the current schedule, construction is set to commence in 2026, with the first reactor unit expected to be operational by 2033. On September 21, 2023, Westinghouse and Bechtel formed a consortium for the design and construction of Poland’s first nuclear power plant. The agreement for the plant’s design is expected to be signed in the coming week.