The company in charge of Poland’s first NPP project, PGE EJ1, confirmed on 18 July that it will not carry out site selection and environmental examinations for the Gaski site in the northern province of Western Pomerania. Site selection examinations will now focus on two sites – Lubiatowo-Kopalino and Zarnowiec – both close to Poland’s Baltic coast in the nearby province of Pomerania, the company said in a statement. The decision was made after initial studies showed that Lubiatowo-Kopalino and Zarnowiec fulfill the necessary criteria “to the fullest extent”. In May 2016, Poland’s General Directorate for Environmental Protection (GDEP) approved those two locations as the focus of initial environmental impact studies for the nuclear project. PGE EJ1 abandoned another possible site, Choczewo, because of its proximity to the region around Bialogóra, part of the EU’s Natura 2000 natural reserve network. PGE EJ1 has said it wants to choose a preferred site by the end of 2017.
Poland’s largest utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), said it is not abandoning plans to build the NPP, but the nature of the project may be modified and not realised until after 2030, PGE CEO Henryk Baranowski told daily Rzeczpospolita on 12 July, that nuclear power will be in an updated government energy strategy, but the earliest chance to build it will be after 2030 and perhaps in a modified form. He said: “We are not suspending work on the project. We continue to analyse and discuss it with the government. When we’re ready, we will take the next step, there’s a chance that it will be this year.”
Earlier in July, and International Atomic Energy Agency Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) said Poland had implemented all the recommendations and suggestions of a 2013 mission, including strengthening coordination between the Ministry of Energy, the regulatory body and PGE. The IAEA said Poland’s Council of Ministers adopted an updated nuclear power programme in 2014, which shows Poland’s commitment to safety, security and non-proliferation, and also includes policies on radiological protection, energy security and waste management. The IAEA said Poland is already implementing many of the actions that are expected for the next phase of developing its nuclear power programme. A revision of the Atomic Law, addressing security and non-proliferation issues, has been submitted to the parliament.