An important announcement from the government regarding nuclear energy.  The “pour concrete” date has been missed.

“The price contained in the draft contract for the difference for the first nuclear power plant competes with prices on the market today,” Maciej Bando told AFP.

A contract for difference (CfD) is a type of subsidy, which is a state guarantee to purchase electricity at a fixed reference price (the so-called strike price) during the contract period. In the public aid model, when market energy prices are lower than the reference price, the government pays the difference to the producer. When energy prices are higher than the reference price, the producer refunds the difference. According to EU regulations, CFDs will be the only permitted form of public price support, including: new nuclear power plants.

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See also: Who will operate Polish nuclear power plants? “Staff training must start now.”

Maciej Bandu gives a signal regarding nuclear energy

“The price contained in the draft contract for difference for the first nuclear power plant is competitive with prices on the market today. There is no risk that this price will be socially unacceptable,” Bando stressed.

He stressed that he could not provide details due to the ongoing dialogue with the European Commission.

“We are in the process of pre-notifying the public aid package, including guaranteeing repayment of debt financing, capital contribution and price support in the form of a contract for difference. As of today, we have agreed on most of the controversial items. We assume that we will submit a formal notification request in July,” the representative explained.

He added that the European Commission’s Competition Department “realizes the urgency of our issue.”

Bando estimates that the green light from the European Commission for public assistance should appear in the first half of 2025. “In the meantime, we have started negotiations on the EPC contract with the contractors. In parallel, we will finalize the implementation contract and financing. Both of these issues must be ready.” “By the end of 2025, and perhaps early 2026.” – the actor pointed out.

According to him, the current assumptions speak volumes About pouring the so-called first nuclear concrete in 2028. Based on the statements of the Americans (Westinghouse-Bechtel consortium – PAP), the construction of the first unit should take 7 years. – pointed out.

Pando evaluates the potential of renewable energy and points to nuclear power

He explained that in recent years there have been many events that have negatively affected nuclear projects: the financial crisis, the disaster in Japan, the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, and the development of renewable energy sources (RES).

“Today, enthusiasm around renewable energy has waned a bit It is already clear that it is impossible for the energy sector to rely entirely on renewable energy sources. The only stable, emissions-free energy source is corn. “I see a change in the approach to nuclear energy, which is a reason to complete the construction of the first Polish power plant in time,” Maciej Bando said.

According to him, the timing of the actual construction is due to the fact that until 2028, most of the responsibility for the project falls on the public administration. The accompanying investments, such as the sea dock, railway line and roads, in addition to a number of administrative procedures, are scheduled to be completed by this year.

This year and next alone, the accompanying infrastructure contractors and Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (Investor – PAP) must obtain approximately 30 permits and decisions. The representative explained that this is a task of utmost importance.

Polish nuclear ‘of strategic importance’

The representative also adds that the construction of the first nuclear power plant is of strategic importance not only for the 3.5 GW of power, but also because of the geostrategic aspect. – any. Entering civilian nuclear technology, Bando said, opening up a completely new branch of energy and industry. He stressed that this vital infrastructure requires special protection.

In his opinion, there is no doubt that the Polish energy system also needs a second nuclear power plant. “Unfortunately, work on the site of the second nuclear power plant within the framework of the PPEJ was suspended at the beginning of autumn 2023 for unclear reasons. “These studies must be unfrozen, potential sites must be verified, and finally a decision of a political nature must be made – that is, we must ask potential suppliers to submit current offers again,” Maciej Bandu said.

He pointed out that Westinghouse’s technology for creating the first nuclear power plant was a choice that also took into account political factors, which – as he emphasized – did not mean that it was bad from a technological standpoint. “This type of free choice, preceded by several months of technical and legal dialogue, has been approved by the European Commission. Talks with the European Commission will be needed to determine whether this approach will be approved again,” he stressed.

According to Bando, entering the initial phase of activities related to the second nuclear power plant should not stop the ongoing work at the nuclear power plant in relation to the first plant. “The idea is not to delay the work on the one hand, and not to overburden the company on the other. The process must be arranged in such a way that the entire environment of the first project can move smoothly to the second project.” Bando explained.

The PAP interlocutor also said that as nuclear programs advance, the need for central control of the process by a government representative may disappear. “Maybe the administration will be able to move to a lower level, but until then it is necessary to strengthen nuclear supervision, in the form of the Polish Atomic Energy Agency, the Technical Supervision Office, etc.” – He evaluated.

The current version of the Polish Nuclear Energy Program (PPEJ) as of 2020 assumes the construction of two nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 6 to 9 GW, with 100% ownership. To the State Treasury, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe as investor and operator. The previous government pointed to the Westinghouse-Bechtel consortium as a partner in the first power plant. The Department of Climate announced that the PPEJ will be updated later this year.

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