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Nuclear Project will benefit Poland beyond energy and carbon neutrality

October 27, 2021 by Westinghouse Electric Company

Construction of our own nuclear sector is not only a requirement to adapt the energy sector to the reality of rising energy prices and the need to achieve carbon neutrality. This is also a great opportunity for the Polish economy to obtain a huge stream of funds stimulating economic development.

Building one's own nuclear industry is a very big financial effort. The Polish Economic Institute informed that the estimated cost of building nuclear units in Poland until 2040 will amount to 105 billion PLN. This cost, however, takes into account the very long operation of the new generating capacity (about 60 years) as well as the costs of utilization of the installation, which positively influences the profitability of the project. However, the scale of the investment is unquestionably large and makes the participation of domestic companies in the creation of the Polish nuclear industry crucial. The point is that the economy should benefit as much as possible from the efforts made by the state in cooperation with a commercial investor.

Such optics are shared by the Ministry of Climate and Environment, which in its 2019 catalog "Polish Industry for Nuclear Energy" identified more than 300 domestic companies that could participate in the development of the nuclear industry in Poland. The current, third edition of this document states that in the last 10 years nearly 80 Polish companies have directly performed construction and assembly works or manufactured components for power plants, research and development reactors and other nuclear facilities (e.g. nuclear fuel production plants). In turn, more than 250 other companies have sufficient technical and organizational potential to enter the civil nuclear power supply chains at certain investment outlays.

Poland is not a tabula rasa waiting to be overwritten, but a country with considerable experience in nuclear power. There are many examples: from the Maria reactor operating near Warsaw, to dynamically operating companies producing radioactive isotopes for medical purposes.

Westinghouse is committed to a local supply chain

Westinghouse wants to match its proposal as closely as possible to the needs of the Polish government and the Polish economy, and so it began its own market research to find local players for its operations. For this purpose Westinghouse and Bechtel, the main engineering partner, organized a symposium in Warsaw. It was attended by more than 200 local business leaders who had the opportunity to learn not only about the details of operating a power plant based on AP-1000 technology, but also about the requirements of the entire nuclear project. The conference also provided an opportunity for many backstage discussions, which will certainly foster trust and lasting business ties.

Westinghouse already estimates that 8 thousand workers will be employed in the construction of the first nuclear units, most of them on the Polish market. Mirosław Kowalik, President of Westinghouse Poland, assures: " The potential to build several AP1000 reactors means tens of billions of zlotys, thousands of jobs before and during construction, as well as 600 - 800 jobs in operation and maintenance of the power plant over its 60-year lifetime.”

Westinghouse has also launched a website in Polish, which allows Polish businesses to easily contact the company and submit their proposals in a special form. This method works and makes it easier to discern opportunities for domestic companies.

Westinghouse bets on Polish companies

The participation of Polish companies in the construction of nuclear power plants is certain to be large and will be included in the target bid submitted to the Polish government by Westinghouse. This will take place after the completion of the one-year engineering and design study (FEED), which began in June this year and will indicate the main cost and engineering assumptions for the project. Westinghouse's operating model on foreign markets is always based on extensive cooperation with local subcontractors.