Nuclear energy in Poland
|This article needs to be updated. (October 2015)|
In the 1980s, Poland had four Soviet VVER-440 reactors under construction, but the project was canceled in 1990. The basis of cancellation of Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant was public opinion(a referendum had an exit poll of strong "no"), and Chernobyl disaster was up-to-date event.
A new nuclear power plant was approved in the 2005–2025 energy strategy document, and it is expected to be in operation by 2021 or 2022. The Polish company PSE participates in the development of the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania.
Around 95% of the nation's electricity is currently produced by burning coal (of which Poland has the EU's largest reserves) but with the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, in 2006 the nuclear option was reviewed. A 2006 feasibility study suggested it optimal to build an 11.5 GWe capacity nuclear power plant. However, this proving unaffordable in the immediate future, Poland decided to build a 4.5 GWe nuclear power plant by 2030. In 2007, a draft energy policy proposed a 10 GWe nuclear capacity by 2030 to provide 10% of electricity. The deadline gives an estimated ten years for investment and construction and five years of public campaigning.
In July 2006, Poland joined Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia to build a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania to replace the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant being shut down due to pressure from the EU. Poland would invest 22% with these other countries into the project, which will be operational by 2015. The total costs of the project amounts to EUR 6 billion. Poland is guaranteed to have 1,200 MWe from the power plant and is in the process of upgrading transmission capacity between Lithuania and Poland.
In a public opinion poll, 60% of the population supported construction of a nuclear power plant in Poland to reduce its dependence on foreign sources of energy. Additionally, 48% supported construction of a nuclear power plant in their neighborhood, citing local benefits that include lower energy costs.
The popular Baltic Sea resort Mielno is one of three sites selected, however in February 2012, residents voted overwhelmingly against the plan. Some 94 percent of the 2,389 people who took part in a referendum opposed the plant and only 5 percent supported it.
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- Maciej Onoszko (Feb 13, 2012). "Polish sea resort poll rejects nuclear plant". Reuters.