On Friday, the General Director of Environmental Protection (GDOŚ) issued an environmental decision to construct and operate Poland’s first nuclear power plant, Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa told the Polish Press Agency.
Head of the Climate and Environment Ministry Anna Moskwa told the Polish Press Agency that the General Director of Environmental Protection had completed the proceedings and issued the environmental decision to construct and operate the first nuclear power plant.
– This is a milestone for the realisation of a key investment from the point of view of energy security, she pointed out.
The environmental decision, including annexes, is more than 550 pages long.
One of the main conclusions of the assessment carried out by GDOŚ is that the implementation and operation of the power plant – while maintaining the technical, technological and organisational solutions indicated in the report on the impact of the project on the environment, and also while meeting the environmental conditions for the implementation of the project set out in the decision on environmental conditions – will not be associated with the occurrence of a significant negative impact on the environment.
The investment will also not have a significant negative impact on Natura 2000 areas. It was added that it will also not deteriorate the condition of natural habitats and habitats of plant and animal species and will not deteriorate the integrity of Natura 2000 areas or their connections with other areas.
The General Directorate further indicated that the project would not significantly impact groundwater and surface waters, including those of the Baltic Sea.
Another conclusion is that the power plant operation will not cause above-normal emissions of gases and dust into the environment, nor will it involve the introduction of above-normal doses of radioactive substances into the soil and ground, water and air.
It has also been assured that the construction and subsequent operation of the power plant will be monitored, among other things, in terms of environmental impact. Radiological monitoring will also be carried out.
In the decision, the General Directorate for Environmental Protection also included information on the proceedings concerning the cross-border impact of the power plant on the environment and comments and applications submitted during the proceedings.
The proceedings for the issuance of the environmental decision were initiated on 5 August 2015, and in a decision of 21 May 2016, the GDOŚ defined the scope of the environmental impact report.
On 13 May 2022, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (Polish Nuclear Power Plants) submitted a report on the project’s environmental impact, comprising more than 19,000 pages with annexes. The company also submitted an Espoo report of over 1,000 pages for the transboundary environmental impact proceedings. In the course of the proceedings conducted by GDOŚ, the PEJ company submitted more than 20 supplements to the environmental impact report.
The analysis of the environmental impact report took GDOŚ more than 1.5 years.
Cross-border consultations were part of the proceedings conducted by GDOŚ. 14 countries expressed their position: Austria, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine and Hungary. After reviewing the project documentation (Espoo Report) submitted by Poland in September 2022, the countries were given the opportunity to comment on it. At the request of individual countries, clarifications were provided in writing or during bilateral meetings.
In December 2021, the 100 per cent state-owned PEJ identified the coastal location of Lubiatowo-Kopalino in the Choczewo municipality as the preferred location for the first Polish nuclear power plant. In November 2022, the government adopted a resolution to select Westinghouse Electric Company as the technology provider. According to the current schedule, construction will start in 2026, and the first unit will be commissioned in 2033.
21 September 2023. Westinghouse and Bechtel have formed a consortium to design and construct Poland’s first nuclear power plant. US companies say the plant design contract will be signed next week.