Nuclear Power in Poland

(Updated May 2023)

  • Poland plans to have nuclear power from about 2033 as part of a diverse energy portfolio, moving it away from heavy dependence on coal.
  • Poland earlier considered a stake in the planned Visaginas nuclear power plant in Lithuania.



Electricity sector 

Total generation (in 2020): 158 TWh

Generation mix: coal 109 TWh (69%); natural gas 16.8 TWh (11%); wind 15.8 TWh (10%); biofuels & waste 8.8 TWh (6%); hydro 2.9 TWh (2%); solar 2.0 TWh (1%). 

Import/export balance: 13.3 TWh net import (20.6 TWh imports, 7.4 TWh exports) 

Total consumption: 134 TWh 

Per capita consumption: c. 3500 kWh in 2020

Source: International Energy Agency, The World Bank. Data for year 2020

Poland has traditionally been a net electricity exporter, mostly to Czech Republic and Slovakia, but in recent years has seen a reduction in export levels as domestic demand continues to grow. 

Poland has the largest reserves of coal in Europe (over 17.5 billion tonnes), and is the second largest coal producer in Europe, behind Germany. In 2016, 48% of the country's primary energy consumption was coal, and all fossil fuels together accounted for 95%1. Poland produces modest quantities of oil and natural gas, but is a significant net importer of both fuels, primarily from Russia.

The country's 2009 energy policy documented a 54% increase in demand for electricity between 2006 and 2030. By 2016, consumption had increased by about 20% since 2006. Despite its plentiful domestic resources of coal, the European Union's (EU) strict climate policy targets mean the country should diversify away from coal, though energy security – particularly curbing reliance on Russian energy imports – has emerged as a higher priority. A January 2014 report by the Ministry of Economy compared electricity costs in 2025, and nuclear power was least-cost at 80% capacity factor and above (€86/MWh, dropping to €71/MWh at full capacity, 2013 €).

In 2009 shale gas exploration and the nuclear programme were the immediate priorities, expected then to cost Zloty 56 billion (€13 billion) and Zloty 80 billion (€19 billion) respectively by about 2025. However, ExxonMobil and Chevron then pulled out of exploration of shale gas in Poland. In 2011 the International Energy Agency showed Poland’s shale gas resources as the largest in Europe, at over 5000 billion cubic metres and the government quoted reserves of over 750 billion m3 as it prepared to release new regulations to encourage exploration and extraction of those. More recent estimates have slashed the shale gas resource estimates to one-tenth of earlier figures. USGS in 2012 estimated 38 billion m3 recoverable. State gas utility PGNiG is responsible for shale gas development.

In February 2012 the state-owned Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA (PGE) adopted a plan to invest over 330 billion zloty ($103 billion) between 2012 and 2035. This would raise its generating capacity from 13.1 GWe, to 21.3 GWe by 2035. As of 2017, PGE had 16.3 GWe installed capacity. Currently, PGE generates about two-thirds of its power from lignite, with most of the rest coming from hard coal. The 2012 PGE plan outlined the company's aims to generate about 36% of its electricity using 6 GWe of nuclear capacity, with 11% coming from gas, 14% from renewables, 33% from lignite and 5% from coal. PGE supplies about 40% of Poland's electricity now, and expects to increase this partly by buying generation assets of EDF and Engie, as part of the country re-nationalising its power sector. PGE completed the purchase of eight mostly coal-powered plants in large Polish cities from EDF for €1 billion in November 2017. Vattenfall’s assets have already been bought by state utilities Tauron and PGNiG. Enea bought Engie’s Polaniec coal-fired plant in March 2017.

In 2015 the government was considering merging its four largest electric utilities into two, to improve competitiveness in the EU market. Plans involved PGE, Tauron Polska Energia, Energa and Enea.

Wind energy has been contentious. In 2016, 13 TWh was generated from 5.8 GWe according to government sources, and in June 2016 parliament passed a bill which would virtually eliminate further onshore windfarms.

Poland’s revised energy policy to 2040 (PEP2040) was adopted in February 2021. It calls for Poland to obtain 23% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, compared with 13% at present. It plans a big reduction in coal use and an increase in wind energy, especially from farms in the Baltic Sea, and the commissioning of Poland’s first nuclear power reactor in 2033, followed by subsequent units, with investment of PLN 140 billion (about $40 billion). PGE welcomed the strategy.

Regional transmission links

In March 2015 an agreement was signed by Ukraine’s Ukrenergo distribution company and Polenergia, a Polish counterpart, to export electricity as part of the Ukraine-EU ‘energy bridge’, and related to the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan. This will enable greater use of Ukraine’s nuclear capacity and is to generate funds to pay for increasing that capacity. A 750 kV transmission connection from Khmelnistki to Rzeszow in Poland is to be upgraded, with Khmelnistki 2 then being disconnected from the Ukraine grid and synchronized with the EU grid. The transmission line is also connected to Ukraine's Burshtyn coal-fired plant.

Apart from earlier plans for possible Polish participation in the Baltic states nuclear plant (see Lithuanian liaison section in Appendix), the high-voltage (400 kV) 1000 MW LitPol Link project, which aims to integrate the power grid of the three Baltic states with the synchronous system of Europe and to improve transmission capacity between Lithuania and Poland, is being built, costing €250-300 million. The first 500 MW stage was completed at the end of 2015 from Elk in central Poland through to Alytus in southern Lithuania. The second stage of the project, adding a further 500MW capacity, follows a different route, through Marijampolė in the south of Lithuania. The €340 million project is half funded by the EU. This follows the inauguration of an interconnector between Estonia and Finland – Estlink, a 150 kV, 350 MW DC cable costing €110 million and also supported by EU funding. 

Nuclear power plans

Large reactors

The Polish cabinet decided early in 2005 that for energy diversification, and to reduce carbon dioxide and sulfur emissions, the country should move immediately to introduce nuclear power, so that an initial plant might be operating soon after 2020. A 2009 report to the Ministry of the Economy identified nuclear as the most cost-effective method of carbon dioxide abatement of the major generating options. A resolution by the council of ministers then called for the construction of at least two plants in Poland, or at least 4.6 GWe out of a predicted 52 GWe total capacity – to provide 15% of power, with coal's share falling to 60% by 2030.

The five-stage government plan in 2009 envisaged legislation for a regulatory framework in 2010 (passed in May 2011), investor, site, technology and construction arrangements over 2011-13, technical plans and site works 2014-15, construction of the first unit 2016-20 and successive units constructed by 2030.

In order to deliver the government's objectives, PGE, as Poland's largest power group by generating capacity, announced in January 2009 plans to build two nuclear power plants, each with a capacity of 3000 MWe, one in the north, probably at Zarnoweic, and one in the east of the country.

The Ministry of Economy set out a new nuclear power programme in November 2010, and this was approved by the government in January 2011, and confirmed by the PGE board in February 2012. PGE estimated then that the cost would be €2500-3000/kW for a modern plant. It estimated the levelized cost of generating electricity from nuclear power plants at between €6.5 and €6.8 cents per kWh, which "justifies construction of plants under most scenarios."

In May 2011 parliament decisively passed – by 407 votes to 2 – legislation amending the country's Nuclear Energy Law to “provide for the establishment of a transparent and stable regulatory framework covering the entire investment process” by the National Atomic Energy Agency (Panstwowa Agencja Atomistyki, PAA), which will oversee construction of the plants. It covers plant operation and the management of radioactive waste and used fuel. Further legislation was passed at the end of June.  

In November 2018, the Ministry of Energy published its draft Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 (EPP2040) for public consultation. The document reaffirmed plans to develop 6-9 GWe of nuclear energy. This was confirmed in a revised version in May 2019, forecasting the completion of the first of six 1-1.5 GWe units in 2033, with each successive unit to follow every two years, replacing coal-fired generation. The ministry estimated the cost of constructing nuclear at €4.66 million/MWe (Zloty 20 million/MW). In October 2020, Poland’s Ministry of Climate announced an acceleration of the plans, calling for technology selection in 2021, and signing of the final contract for the first plant in 2022. The country's cabinet formally adopted the energy policy in February 2021.

The government has held talks with several potential partners for the investment, with the expectation that a foreign partner would hold a significant stake as well as supplying the reactor technology. In June 2019, Poland signed a bilateral agreement on civil nuclear cooperation with the USA. In November 2019, the Polish government indicated that it planned to set up a special-purpose company in which it would own a 51% stake, with the remaining 49% held by a foreign partner. In April 2020 PGE reiterated that it would be unable to finance the plant from its own balance sheet. An account of earlier financing and commercial arrangements is given in the Appendix below.

In April 2021 the state treasury took over PGE EJ1 for Zloty 531 million ($140 million) and a new state-owned company, Polish Nuclear Power Plants (Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe, PEJ), was set up to lead the investment. It will hold 51% of the construction company and project to about Zloty 80 billion ($21 billion), with a partner for 49% being sought. At least 6 GWe and possibly 9 GWe was then envisaged, with the first unit online in 2033 and a further unit every two years. The first units are to be built in Lubiatowo and Zarnowiec in Pomerania, northern Poland.

In March 2021, the government ratified an intergovernmental nuclear cooperation agreement that gives the USA 18 months to prepare a technology and financing offer for nuclear power plants. In June 2021 the US Trade & Development Agency provided a grant to Polish Nuclear Power Plants (PEJ) to assist front-end engineering and design studies by Westinghouse and Bechtel with a view to building an AP1000 reactor as the country’s first nuclear power plant. Further US government funding is anticipated.

In October 2021 EDF offered to build up to six 1650 MWe EPR units and thus decarbonize 40% of the country’s electricity. In April 2022 Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) submitted an equivalent offer to build six of its 1345 MWe APR1400 units, stating the first reactor could be in operation by 2033. KHNP has said it is willing to finance 20-30% of the project. In September 2022 Westinghouse and Bechtel submitted an offer to build six large-scale reactors in the country.

At the end of October 2022 prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that Westinghouse had been chosen to build the country’s first nuclear plant in the Pomerania province, with the exact location near the Baltic Sea to be confirmed. An additional agreement laying out the next steps – including site layout, licensing and permitting support, engineering services contracts and procurement and construction planning services – was signed between Westinghouse and PEJ in December 2022.

Also at the end of October 2022, energy company ZE PAK announced it had signed a letter of intent with PGE and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) to build a nuclear plant based on APR1400 technology at the Pątnów site in central Poland. However, this could be challenged or blocked by the European Commission if it does not comply with EU competition procedures. Current EU rules state that several bidders must be included in any new build tender, and all bidders must be treated equally.

In November 2022 KHNP commenced a site assessment at Pątnów. The following month, four eastern German states – Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg and Saxony, which border Poland, as well as Berlin – formally expressed opposition to the Polish government’s plans to develop the country’s first nuclear power station.

In February 2023 PEJ concluded an agreement with the AGH University of Science and Technology in Warsaw for cooperation in the development of nuclear technologies and other technologies applicable in the nuclear industry, as well as activities supporting the development of nuclear energy in Poland.

In April 2023 ZE PAK and PGE announced the establishment of a joint venture known as PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa to manage the development of a nuclear plant in Pątnów.

Sites and infrastructure

Earlier, in 2013, an IAEA integrated nuclear infrastructure review (INIR) mission was undertaken. A follow-up to this in June 2016 concluded that all the recommendations and suggestions from 2013 regarding infrastructure had been implemented. These covered safety, waste, security and non-proliferation as well as coordination of operational and regulatory functions. An IAEA integrated regulatory review service (IRRS) mission was undertaken at the invitation of the government early in 2013 to scrutinize the regulatory structures set up in 2011-12. It also identified the need to upgrade grid infrastructure.

Site characterization work has been undertaken at Zarnowiec, Choczewo and Lubiatowo-Kopalino in Pomerania. The Zarnowiec site, in the Krokowa and Gniewino administrative districts, is on a lake about 10 km from the Baltic coast, and is where construction of a nuclear plant started in 1980s. The Lubiatowo-Kopalino and Choczewo sites are within 2 km of each other on the coast in the Choczewo administrative district. The Choczewo site was rejected on social and environmental grounds.* Following a public tender process, in January 2013 PGE EJ1 awarded an $81.5 million contract to WorleyParsons to carry out site characterization, licensing and permitting for the project, which it expected to take to 2016. However, in December 2014 PGE EJ1 terminated the contract, citing slow progress, and took over the task itself. This delayed the project further. In April 2017 PGE EJ1 announced the start of “localization and environmental studies” to be carried out by ELBIS (a subsidiary of PGE Capital Group) at Zarnowiec and Lubiatowo-Kopalino. In December 2021 PEJ announced that the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site had been selected as the preferred location for hosting the country’s first plant.

* A 2009 shortlist had Zarnowiec, Kopan and Lubiatowo/Klempicz as most likely. Sites in Nowe Miasto and Pilica (Mazovia province) and Belchatow were also being considered. Gaski in West Pomerania was considered from 2011 but dropped off the list about 2013. In January 2019 Belchatow was mentioned as a possible site for the second plant. 

Small modular reactors

Poland has a number of energy-intensive industrial companies – including Synthos, Ciech, KGHM, Unimot and PKN Orlen – working towards upgrading plants to include new small reactors. 

In August 2021, Synthos Green Energy began screening sites for small modular reactors (SMRs). Synthos Green Energy is a subsidiary of Synthos, a chemical manufacturing company headquartered in Poland. It has signed agreements related to SMR development with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Tractebel, and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation. It is collaborating with ZE PAK to assess the feasibility of replacing coal units at the Pątnów power plant with nuclear units. 

In September 2021 NuScale started exploring with Unimot and KGHM possibilities for its reactors to replace coal-fired power plants in Poland.

In December 2022 PKN Orlen announced that the company plans to build its first SMR in Poland within the next three years.

In January 2023 Polish renewable energy trader Respect Energy signed an agreement with EDF to cooperate on the development of nuclear power projects in Poland based on France's Nuward SMR technology. The technology is in the conceptual design phase, with the basic design phase anticipated to begin in 2023 and be completed by 2025 – so the construction of a demonstration Nuward SMR could start in 2030.

In February 2023 PKN Orlen announced plans to construct 76 SMRs in 26 locations by 2038, with the first SMR to be built in 2028. Information including siting and design selections would be released in 2023. Later that month, Polish state-owned group Industria signed a memorandum of intent with Rolls-Royce SMR as part of the ‘Central Hydrogen Cluster’ objective, which plans to produce 50,000 tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen each year. Up to three SMRs could be built as part of the scheme to develop hydrogen.

In April 2023 Orlen Synthos Green Energy announced it had submitted an application to the Ministry of Climate and Environment for a decision-in-principle regarding the company’s plan to build six GE Hitachi BWRX-300 SMRs at various sites in Poland.

High-temperature reactors

Deployment of high-temperature reactors (HTRs) for industrial heat production was included in the government’s July 2016 draft strategy for development. The Ministry of Energy has estimated that using nuclear high temperature heat for industrial applications could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 14-17 million tonnes per year in Poland, which has 13 large chemical plants that need 6500 MWt at 400-550°C. The government plans to build a cogeneration HTR of 200-350 MWt for process heat, and before this a 10 MWt experimental HTR at Swierk. The energy minister has nominated the Nuclear Energy Department in the Ministry of Climate & Environment as responsible for proceeding with the experimental HTR. There is close cooperation with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency on HTRs, with a view to hydrogen production.

Proposed nuclear power plants

Site Type Power (MWe) Start construction Commercial operation
Zarnowiec, TBD TBD c 3000 2027? 2033?
East Poland, TBD
TBD c 3000   2039?
Total   c 6000 MWe    

Poland had four 440 MWe Russian VVER-440 units under construction in the 1980s at Zarnowiec, but these were cancelled in 1990 and the components were sold. 

Public opinion

A poll conducted in November 2017 (N=2000), commissioned by the Polish Energy Ministry, showed that 59% of respondents supported construction of nuclear power plants in Poland, with a quarter of those questioned saying they strongly supported construction of reactors. The poll also showed that 65% considered nuclear energy to be a low-emissions source of energy that can help address climate change, and that 67% favour construction of reactors to strengthen Poland's energy security.

A Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) survey in August 2014 (N=1000) showed public support for building the country’s first nuclear power plant at 64%. Of these, 57% cited its potential for providing increased energy independence for the country as a reason for their support. Economic benefits were less frequently cited: 42% of pro-build respondents cited employment opportunities, while 26% and 24% respectively cited technological progress or the involvement of Polish companies in the project. Some 63% of those in favour of the nuclear option said they would support investment in nuclear capacity for Poland even if the country could meet its energy demand by buying low-priced power from its neighbours. The study found that the most prominent group among those supporting the construction of a nuclear plant was young, highly-educated individuals with higher incomes living in the largest cities. The study also found a clear regional pattern, with the highest support for nuclear coming from those in the east of the country. Previous polls conducted by Poland's independent Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS) showed maximum support of 50%, in 2009. According to PISM, the current political crisis in Ukraine is the most likely reason behind the apparent Polish surge in nuclear popularity, with fears over the potential threats to Polish security turning around an ongoing decline in public support since the Fukushima accident of 2011.

A public opinion poll in December 2006 carried out for the National Atomic Energy Agency showed that 60% supported construction of nuclear power plants to reduce the country's dependence on natural gas and to reduce CO2 emissions. In contrast to NIMBY attitudes elsewhere, 48% said they would favour such a plant being built in their neighbourhood because of its immediate local benefits including lower power cost. A September 2009 poll showed that 70% of Poles would support having a nuclear power plant within 100 km of their homes.

In August 2022 ARC Market and Opinion’s survey of 1037 Polish residents found that 64% of respondents supported the use of nuclear power, with only 13% opposed. The company suggested the 7% reduction in opposition to nuclear from the previous year’s survey might be down to rising electricity prices and concerns over energy security.

In December 2022 a poll from Polish research agency CBOS found that 75% of the nation’s residents support nuclear energy development – a rise of 36% compared to a similar study in 2021.

Fuel cycle

The state-owned Radioactive Waste Disposal Enterprise (Zakład Unieszkodliwiania Odpadów Promieniotwórczych, ZUOP) has been operating for many years in connection with two research reactors.

In 1998 it identified possible sites for a deep geological repository, and planned to establish an underground research laboratory to prepare for long-term placement of used fuel. The National Atomic Energy Agency (PAA) is nominating five potential locations: Lanieta, Klodawa, Damaslawek, Jarocin and Pogorzel.

ZUOP operates the National Radioactive Waste Repository (Krajowe Składowisko Odpadów Promieniotwórczych, KSOP) in Różan. Mazowieckie and Voivodship also have some waste storage facilities. There are provisional plans to construct and operate by 2025 a near-surface facility for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste.

Research & development

The National Centre for Nuclear Research (Narodowe Centrum Badań Jądrowych, NCBJ) has a 30 MWt multi-purpose research reactor – Maria – in operation. This started up in 1974 at Swierk, south of Warsaw. It was modified in the 1980s and resumed regular operation in 1993 as part of a European network of reactors for production of molybdenum-99. In 2012 the centre proposed making this, at least in its materials test role, a satellite of the 100 MWt Jules Horowitz Reactor (JHR) in France. JHR is under construction by the CEA at Cadarache in southern France and is expected to start operation by 2021. It is being built and will be operated in the framework of a 'consortium agreement' among several organizations, including Spain’s Ciemat, Belgium’s SCK, Czech Republic’s NRI, Finland’s VTT, Israel’s IAEC, India’s DAE, and Japan’s JAEA. NCBJ aspires to join this team.

An earlier 10 MW research reactor, Ewa, started up in 1958 and was shut down in 1995.

Regulation, safety & non-proliferation

The Nuclear Energy Law was amended in 2011 to “provide for the establishment of a transparent and stable regulatory framework covering the entire investment process” by the National Atomic Energy Agency (PAA). It reports to the Minister of Environment.

The PAA has signed cooperation agreements with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the French Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN), and expects also to do so with the new South Korean Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC). In March 2010 a nuclear cooperation agreement related to nuclear safety and a legal and regulatory framework for a nuclear industry was signed with Japan.

Poland joined the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP, now the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation, IFNEC) in September 2007 and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in November 2010.

In July 2010 a nuclear cooperation agreement was signed with the USA, and in July 2017 one was signed with China’s National Energy Administration.


The application of safeguards in Poland under the NPT safeguards agreement INFCIRC/179, in force since October 1972, was suspended on 1 March 2007, on which date the Euratom agreement of April 1973 entered into force for Poland.

Notes & references


1. BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 [Back]

General references

D.W.Kulczynski, Planning for a Nuclear Poland, Nuclear Engineering International, April 2014


Earlier financing and commercial arrangements

PGE originally aimed to hold 51% of the projects through PGE Energia Jadrowa (PGE EJ) as part of a consortium with foreign strategic partners which can bring finance from their export credit agencies (ECAs). 
PGE would draw up agreements with potential strategic investors once the technology is chosen, since some contenders are closely linked to reactor vendors. PGE planned to finance 15% of the project from its own equity, with strategic partners taking another 15%, while 50% would be sought from ECAs and "perhaps 20%" being commercial debt. PGE EJ was set up in 2009 to develop nuclear power within the PGE Capital Group. PGE aims to have one main contractor, responsible for nuclear island, conventional island, civil engineering, balance of plant and site civil works, in line with IAEA guidelines. 

In January 2010 PGE EJ1 was then set up as a limited liability company with 51% equity from PGE EJ and 49% PGE. It is responsible for the investment process, site selection, permitting and then building and operating the first nuclear power plant.

In July 2012 copper miner KGHM Polska Miedz (31.8% state-owned) and power utilities Tauron Polska Energia (30% state-owned) and Enea (51.5% state-owned) agreed to take minority stakes in the $10.3 to $11.3 billion project with PGE. A letter of intent was signed in September and in June 2013 the four companies signed an agreement to continue efforts towards "a draft purchase agreement of shares in the special purpose vehicle established for the construction and operation of an atomic power plant." The need for state financial support for the project was widely acknowledged, but the Treasury maintained that it was unaffordable. In September 2013 PGE confirmed that it would maintain 70% equity in PGE EJ1, with 10% each being held by Enea, Tauron and KGHM, and all four parties initialled an agreement accordingly. This was confirmed in September 2014, with commitment to fund 1 billion zloty (about $310 million) towards the first phase of 3 GWe. In April 2015 there was a further announcement that the three companies had acquired the 30% equity in PGE EJ1, with PGE retaining 70%. In May 2018 it was reported that the three minor shareholders would withdraw from the PGE EJ1 consortium.

PGE expected to sign a commercial contract about the end of 2013 for the first 3000 MWe plant, so that first concrete would be poured in 2016. However, as it became apparent that the EPC contract could not be separated from the choice of a strategic partner and a financing model, PGE decided to set aside the traditional separate EPC contract package approach and look at wider options, including a more integrated contracting model and a broader scope for the contract. A revised programme, with schedule for the first unit to start up in 2024, was endorsed by the Council of Ministers in January 2014. Each unit was expected to cost 50-60 billion zloty (€12-14 billion).

In February 2014 four bidders submitted tender offers to PGE EJ1 to provide technical assistance as owner’s engineer for the programme. These were AMEC Nuclear UK, Exelon Generation, a Mott MacDonald-AF Consult consortium and a URS Polska-Tractebel Engineering consortium. In July the company announced its selection of AMEC Nuclear UK, now AMEC Foster Wheeler. The owner’s engineer would help select the EPC contractor, oversee project management and supply chain contract management, as well as regulatory aspects.

PGE was expected to make a final investment decision on the two units early in 2017, including site and technology, allowing construction start in 2020. The first unit was then expected to be operational in 2024, the second in 2029. However, in mid-2015 the transmission operator said that PGE projected 2029 for the first unit, with the second one scheduled for operation in 2035. PGE estimated then that conditional contracts would be signed in mid-2019, so the decision on technology and vendor was expected in 2018-19.

Early in 2015 PGE told the Ministry of Economy that government-guaranteed long-term contracts for selling power were the best way to set up the project to enable financing. PGE said:

“Having described and justified a catalogue of potential support mechanisms, it had singled out contracts for difference (CfD) as the mechanism that should be dedicated to nuclear energy... It is assumed that this type of mechanism should apply market tools in a manner similar to the contracts for difference mechanism used in the United Kingdom... PGE strongly believes that today’s energy-only market does not support such capital intensive investments as new nuclear build, and CfD is the best way to minimize market risk for the investment. The CfD both provides the needed degree of certainty 
to the investor with regard to future revenues over a long timeframe, as well as protects the rate payers from potential overcompensation. The fact that this mechanism has already been accepted by the European Commission (EC) with regard to the British project also supports our view that it is the most appropriate instrument to use in our case." However, in June 2016 the new government rejected the use of CfDs as being too costly, and said that it favoured maintaining high dependence on coal.

In July 2017 a government delegation visited China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) in Shenzhen, and CGN said it was very interested in “becoming a long-term strategic partner of Poland and helping with the localization of nuclear technology.”

Earlier in November 2009 France and Poland signed a joint declaration on energy, environment and climate that called for France to assist Poland in the construction of nuclear power plants. PGE then signed an agreement to work with EdF to investigate using EPR technology for Poland, and Areva said that it would bid in conjunction with EdF. A similar non-exclusive agreement was signed with GE Hitachi early in 2010, regarding ABWR and ESBWR technology. Westinghouse has signed a similar agreement for its AP1000. Russian technology was not under consideration. PGE EJ1 said in November 2015 that five companies had expressed interest in bidding: GE Hitachi, Kepco, SNC-Lavalin, Westinghouse and EdF/Areva.

In October 2021 EDF submitted an offer to the Polish government to build four to six EPR reactors in the country.

Lithuanian liaison

In July 2006 Lithuania invited Poland to join with Estonia and Latvia in building a new large reactor in Lithuania, to replace the Ignalina units being shut down at EU insistence. Polish participation would justify a larger and more economical unit. In February 2007 the three Baltic states and Poland agreed to build a new nuclear plant there, initially of 3200 MWe. Lithuania as host would have 34% of the project and Poland, Latvia and Estonia 22% each. At least one unit of the project was expected to be operating by 2015. Total cost would be some €6 billion. E.ON earlier expressed interest in investing in such a unit. Poland said that unless it had access to at least 1000 MWe of the project, later increased to 1200 MWe, it would not be worth building the transmission lines to Poland.

In July 2008 the Lithuanian government with energy companies from Latvia, Estonia and Poland (Latvenergo, Eesti Energia and Polska Grupa Energetyczna) established the Visaginas project development company Visagino Atomine Elektine (VAE) for the new 3200-3400 MWe nuclear power plant. Lithuania held 51% of this, and the others 16% each, but the JV was to be reconstituted later as a project implementation company with different share splits related to long-term equity. Though located close to the Soviet-era Ignalina plant, the new one will be called Visaginas after the nearby town of that name. Lithuania wanted at least 34% of the new plant (1090-1160 MWe), Poland wanted 1000 MWe, while Latvia and Estonia wanted 400-600 MWe each. However, only one reactor was then envisaged, at a cost of about €4 billion, and completion date slipped well beyond 2020. In December 2011, PGE withdrew from the project, saying that VAE's conditions were unacceptable to PGE, and that it wanted to focus on its own plans. PGE also said it would not buy any power from Russia's (now stalled or aborted) Baltic plant in Kaliningrad. (Further details in the information paper on Lithuania). 


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