Issue No.8 Spring
(April 2005)


ENS News

ENS President's Contribution

Tapping Unusual Quarters

ENS Events

PIME 2005

RRFM 2005

ETRAP 2005

ENC 2005

Member Societies & Corporate Members

News from Poland

News from Lithuinia

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YGN Report

Young nuclear specialists in the new Europe

European Institutions

7th Framework Programme

News from Bulgaria

ENS World News

International Ministerial Conference in Paris

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Editorial staff
RRFM 2005RRFM 2005

ETRAP 2005
23-25 November 2005 in Brussels













































































































































Stanislaw Latek
National Atomic Energy Agency


In spite of the fact that electricity production in Poland was traditionally based on the huge Polish hard coal mining, the Polish government in early seventies decided to introduce nuclear power to domestic electricity balance. In 1972 the site for the first nuclear power plant was selected, and by 1984 eight different localities were examined for the next two nuclear power stations.

In 1974 an agreement on co-operation in the field of nuclear power was signed between Poland (at that time the Polish People's Republic) and the Soviet Union. For the first Polish nuclear power plant four VVER-440/213 units based almost entirely on Soviet supplies were chosen, and cooperation of that plant with already existing water-pumping station on Zarnowiec Lake on the Baltic Sea, was predicted. The final Decision to start construction of the first plant in Zarnowiec was taken by the Council of Ministers in January 1982, and was followed by the construction contract between Polish and Soviet governments signed in April 1983; the construction works started in 1984.

In December 1981 a martial law was imposed in Poland and the society was deprived of any possibility to express its opinion. Furthermore, especially in those years, Soviet technology was perceived as being technically not reliable, playing a role of economical and political pressure on satellite states. I n 1986 the Chernobyl catastrophe not only confirmed that opinion, but also resulted in a worldwide increase of a strong anti-nuclear attitude. When in 1989 Poland regained her independence, the continuation of construction of Zarnowiec power plant became an issue strongly criticised from both economic and political points of view. The new Polish government consulted on the subject some independent nongovernmental groups as well as foreign organizations. On their advice and facing vigorous anti-nuclear demonstrations, on 4 September 1990 the government, in spite of well advanced stage of the project and money already spent, decided to interrupt construction of the Zarnowiec NPP that is to phase out the nuclear energy programme in Poland. Nevertheless, the Parliamentary Resolution of 9 November 1990, in which that decision was approved, stated at the same time that nuclear energy had to be developed in Poland after 2005, requiring that "future Polish nuclear power plants met the European safety standards and operated reactors of the newest generation"

Present situation

Poland, being a country with population of over 38,5 million and a medium scale economy, is consuming electrical energy at the level of less than 3800 KWh per capita.

In the last two years Poland has experienced a significant economic growth, the GDP increasing by about 3.8 percent in 2003 and 5.4 percent in 2004. According to recent analyses in the forthcoming years the economic growth rate in Poland will remain rather high (4- 5%). Continuation of economic prosperity requires a substantial increase of electricity generation in the next decades.
Coal is still a major energy source in Poland, including electricity generation sector, but many coal burning power plants have been operated for over 30 years, thus they soon will have to be modernized or decommissioned.

Every five years a document on the national energy strategy for the next twenty years is prepared, broadly discussed and then approved by the Polish government. Those documents take into account different scenarios for the national economy growth in the period under consideration. All such analyses before 2000 incorporated among the electricity sources also nuclear power plants. However, the last strategy paper of 2000 did not predict a nuclear option for Poland before the year 2020.

Very recently the situation has changed In the energy strategy document for the years 2005- 2025, which has been approved on 4 January 2005 the Polish government has confirmed its intention to have the country's first nuclear power plant in operation by 2021 or 2022.

Long-term forecast

The document "Energy policy up to 2025", which was accepted by Poland's Council of Ministers was based on the long-term forecast for fuel and energy demand The forecast for national energy demand by 2025 has been prepared in four following variants (the demographic macroeconomic, ecological and methodological conditions and assumptions were taken into account):

  • Treaty Variant, which takes into account the provisions of the Accession Treaty concerning the energy sector, i.e. achieving 7.5% index for electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2010, achieving 5.75% index for bio-fuels share in total gasoline and fuel oil sales by 2010, and restricting the total emissions from large combustion facilities to the values established in the Treaty;

  • Basic Coal Variant, differing from the Treaty variant by the fact that the requirement concerning the restriction of emissions from large combustion facilities is replaced by the implementation of the National Emission Reduction Plan (KPRE), which allows the postponement until 2020 of the deadline for compliance with emission requirements established in the Accession Treaty for 2012. In this variant the hard coal supply restrictions are not assumed, and no presumption is made for the domestic and imported coal shares;

  • Basic Gas Variant, differing from the Basic Coal variant only by the fact that the hard coal supplies for electricity generation will be kept on present level, and the necessary additional quantities of electricity in this variant will be generated basing primarily on
    natural gas as the fuel;

  • Effectiveness Variant, which fulfils the same ecological criteria as the Basic variants, but assumes achievement of additional power industry effectiveness in the areas of electricity generation, transmission and distribution, and also its consumption, as a result of pro-active state policies.

In each variant the cost performance of the domestic fuel and power industry sector has been optimized within the assumed ecological restrictions.

In any of the variants the maximal net import of electricity could not exceed 10TWh, i.e. the quantity corresponding to the present net export level. In some cases also some serious restrictions of social nature may appear.

In the period included in the forecast, the demand for electric energy will increase with the average annual rate close to 3 percent, with the increments in all variants relatively smaller in the first 10-year period and relatively larger in the second one.

Up to 2025 the national energy consumption is expected to rise by 48-55 percent for the final energy, and by 80-93 percent for electric energy.

In all variants the introduction of nuclear power program is foreseen after 2020; this is justified by the need to diversify primary energy sources and the need to restrict the greenhouse gases and sulfur dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. Prognostic calculations indicate that the nuclear power program should be started in the last five years of the period under consideration.

Commissioning of the first nuclear power plant before 2020 is deemed to be impossible, as the estimated duration of investment process in a country practically deprived of any experience in this area is 10 years, plus 5 years for public campaign preceding the investment, to secure the acceptance of nuclear power program.

The document adds:" At the assumed GDP volume increase and foreseen energy demand increase it has been assumed that by 2025 year Poland would be much closer to the energy-consuming standards attained in highly developed countries."

Comments, reactions and opinions

Jacek Piechota
Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economy and Labour

Mr Jacek Piechota - Minister of Economy and Labour : “I would like to turn your attention to the fact that the decisions concerning the investment will be taken not by the government. For the investor to be willing to invest in such project, appropriate economic, legal and regulatory conditions have to be created. According to EU directive, market directive, which is being introduced by the energy act debated presently in the Parliament, only in the situation when we know that in 10 years (approximate process's duration time up to the commissioning of a new plant), i.e. by 2010, if no investor for such project willing to realize it at his own risk will appear, the government may use the only instrument allowed in the market directive the incentive in the form of public assistance directed at such investor. Thus circa 2010, if there would be no changes in the technology, no changes in the development works, the future government at that time will have to make a decision on this issue: if no investor will turn up - than announce a competitive tender on the EU territory, offering specific economic incentives for investor willing to invest in the area of nuclear power industry.

We are talking of the power industry in 2020; we are talking of the power plant, which would start to be operated within the system then. In fact we have 5 years for public debate on this issue, 5 years for deliberations. We Recognize that Poland faces rigid environmental challenges. All forecast indicate that such need will appear, thus we should start the discussion sooner rather than later. We have 5 years to discuss this issue”.

Dr Zbigniew Karaczun
activist of Polish Ecological Club

Mr Zbigniew Karaczun –activist of Polish Ecological Club:”[This policy] means the centralization of power industry and strengthening power lobby. And all this in behalf of nuclear physicists trained for Zarnowiec [nuclear power plant], who now are looking for job. This project has been authored by people associated with power industry.

I think that Western consortia are interested in this. I mean, in selling the technology. I think that many Western companies are lobbying for this. More and more Western countries renounce nuclear power, so their market is closing down. They look for other outlets. They may press obsolete technologies upon us. Because our contribution to this project consists of pouring out concrete for foundations. All the rest will be imported. Nuclear energy programme in Poland is against national economy interests.
Our greatest problem at present is creation of new jobs. And nuclear power plant Construction means the export of jobs to foreign countries. Technology that will be used would be a foreign one. Meanwhile we have energy surplus; we have energy supply Security. We haven't touched renewable energy. Wind, solar. Anyhow at present I see no argument in favor of developing nuclear power industry.

Dr Tadeusz Wójcik
Honorary President of Polish Nuclear Society

Mr Tadeusz Wojcik – Honorary member of Polish Nuclear Society (exception from interview):

Why do we need a nuclear power plant again?
We would not need it if our goal were to pacify public mood. But the diversification of energy sources is necessary. Like the restriction of carbon dioxide and sulfur compounds emissions.

Do you think that our government's decision will result in Green Party formation?
Such party may appear in our country.

As efficient as the one in Germany?
If Green Party members would prove that Poland will remain secure with respect to energy supplies, especially these of natural gas, and people would not pay more for electricity then they probably will be successful. But in my opinion they will not prove that. They didn't do that in 15 countries of the old EU, where the nuclear power share in all electric energy generated is close to 34 percent.

Can we afford nuclear power?
In market economy power plant construction is not financed by the government. It is financed by energy utilities.

How much will it cost us?
Environmental activists, who stopped the construction of Zarnowiec nuclear power plant, did not worry about losing $1.5 billion. In this region of Europe ours is the only country to halt the construction and stop the maintenance works on all which already has been build.

So we really can't do without this plant?
If a technology free from harmful substance emissions were invented, than people would not decide to choose nuclear power. In my opinion, for the time being, nuclear power is the most advantageous solution enabling the closure of energy balance.

In the governmental document no details have been given of the type or number of units that might be under consideration. Also no indications as to the plant's siting have been disclosed. Nevertheless the government's decision already caused protests of some communities which in the 1970s have been considered as the Polish NPP site. One of the tabloid dailies printed a picture of the residents of one of the villages in Pomorze (northern part of Poland), who protest against the possible NPP construction in their neighborhood.

Polish ecologists agaist nuclear energy

Almost 60 percent of Polish population support the trend to gradual reduction of coal use in electricity generation. Opposite view has been expressed by one in five respondents, with only one in 20 decisively opposed to the idea of reducing coal use for electric energy generation.

Polish ecologists agaist nuclear energy

Clear majority of all respondents (77 percent) agrees with the opinion that carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for climate change and that in this view one should restrict the use of raw energy materials emitting CO2. Over 10 percent disagree with this opinion.

The use of nuclear power to meet the national energy demand is presently supported by 42 percent of the population, with 38 percent rejecting such nuclear power application and one-fifth unable to give an opinion on this matter.

"Forks against atoms"

Nuclear power acceptance for meeting national energy needs is higher for men (47%) than for women (36%), for the people with secondary or higher education level (49% and 47% respectively) and for younger people up to the age of 39 (48% to 52% approval).

It is worthwhile to note that in last 10 years the nuclear power program was approved by 30-35% of the respondents, with 40-50% being against nuclear energy use for meeting national energy needs in Poland.

Public attitudes towards nuclear energy
(some results of poll done between 22.11 and 3.12.2004

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