‘This is a milestone’: Poland’s environment agency greenlights country’s first nuclear power plant

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Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said the step forward was “crucial” for Poland’s energy security.

Poland has issued an environmental permit for the country’s first nuclear power plant, state-run news agency PAP reported on Friday, citing Climate Minister Anna Moskwa.

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According to Poland’s General Directorate for Environmental Protection (GDOS), the building and operation of the plant will not adversely affect the environment and its impact will be monitored, PAP reported.

The project won’t affect Natura 2000 areas in a negative way or contribute to the deterioration of natural habitats, according to GDOS. 

It took the environmental protection directorate more than one and a half years to look over the evidence in the environmental impact report and make the decision to issue to permit. 

When will Poland’s first nuclear reactor come online?

Warsaw plans to build its first nuclear power plant on the Baltic coast by 2033. Construction is set to begin in 2026 and it is expected to come online by 2040. 

“This is a milestone in the implementation of an investment that is crucial from the point of view of energy security,” Moskwa was quoted as saying.

Poland has been deliberating over the introduction of nuclear power since 2005 with a number of financial and political hurdles delaying the process. 

It is hoped that this clean energy source will allow the country to move away from coal which currently provides 69 per cent of its power. 

The Polish Nuclear Power Programme lays out plans to build up to six reactors across two or three locations that would generate around 6 to 9 gigawatts of energy. That’s enough to power almost 8 million homes. 

Poland to switch from coal to nuclear

Poland is also one of several countries set to receive financial help from the US for new nuclear technology. 

As part of ‘Project Phoenix’, there are plans to build small modular reactors across the country. It is still an emerging technology and has mostly been used in pilot projects. 

Recent advances and the impact of the energy crisis, however, have sparked interest and political support for nuclear power across Europe.

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Alongside Czechia and Slovakia, feasibility studies will be carried out in Poland for converting coal-fired power plants to use this new nuclear technology.

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