An IAEA-led team of international experts who reviewed Poland's programme for introducing nuclear power found that significant progress has been made in the development of the country's nuclear infrastructure. They also noted good practices and made recommendations for further actions. The experts, assembled at Poland's request by the IAEA, conducted an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission in Poland from 18 to 22 March 2013.
"This mission is a great motivation for increased efforts and greater activity in preparation for our nuclear power programme," said Hannah Trojanowska, the Polish Government's Commissioner for Nuclear Energy and Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Economics. "The situation is dynamic and Poland will continue to use IAEA expertise and knowledge to enhance these activities."
All participants in the Polish programme were involved in the discussions with the mission team including government organizations, regulatory authorities and the future operating organization, Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA (PGE).
INIR missions are designed to assist IAEA Member States to assess the status of their national infrastructure for the introduction of nuclear power. Mission teams consist of IAEA staff and international experts.
The IAEA has developed guidelines and milestones to help countries work in a systematic way towards the introduction of nuclear power and ensure that the infrastructure required for the safe, responsible and sustainable use of nuclear technology is developed and implemented. There are three programme phases of development; the completion of each of these phases is marked by a specific "milestone" at which the progress of the development effort can be assessed: Milestone 1 is when a country is ready to make a knowledgeable commitment to a nuclear programme, Milestone 2 is when it is ready to invite bids, and Milestone 3 is when it is ready to commission and operate its first nuclear power plant.
The INIR mission reinforces continual improvement in the planning process, identifying gaps, focussing resources in national action plans, and contributing to confidence building by reviewing the infrastructure status at or near a Milestone.
"We have reviewed the 19 issues of the 'Milestones' approach in an open and constructive way," said Juan Carlos Lentijo, Director of the IAEA Division for Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology and INIR Mission team leader.
"Poland has completed most of the actions proposed for Phase 1 of developing a nuclear power programme. It is now progressing with a number of Phase 2 activities. In particular, the future owner/operator, PGE, is already identified and is developing key strategies for procuring the first nuclear power plant," he added.
Also, the Ministry of Economy and PGE have undertaken a comprehensive awareness and stakeholder involvement process, including transboundary consultation.
The March 2013 INIR Mission to Poland is the 11th IAEA INIR Mission. In February 2013, IAEA experts met senior officials from Poland to prepare the mission and share views on Poland's Self-Evaluation Report on the status of national nuclear infrastructure development. The INIR Mission was funded with support from the Government of Poland and the IAEA's Peaceful Uses Initiative.
Poland's Nuclear Power Programme History
In 2009, the Polish Government made the decision to launch a nuclear power programme to diversify its sources of power generation, ensure the country's long-term electricity supply, meet commitments resulting from the EU Climate and Energy Package and reduce CO2 emissions. Today, Poland is highly dependent on coal which provides about 90% of the country's energy. Three potential sites are under consideration for the planned nuclear power plant: Choczewo, Gaski and Zarnowiec. PGE plans to install around 3 000 MWe of nuclear capacity, with its first unit expected to be online by 2025.
Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review
Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Missions provide IAEA Member State representatives with an opportunity to have in-depth discussions with international experts about experiences and best practices in different countries. In developing its recommendations, the INIR team takes into account the comments made by the relevant national organizations. Implementation of any of the team's recommendations is at the discretion of the Member State requesting the mission. The results of the INIR mission are expected to help the Member State to develop an action plan to fill any gaps, which in turn will help the development of the national nuclear infrastructure.
The INIR missions review the 19 infrastructure issues identified in the Agency's publication Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power.