New ATOM handout - Międzynarodowy Szczyt Klimatyczny TOGETAIR 2024
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The most important ecological events in Poland

New ATOM handout

New ATOM handout


We stand at the threshold of the most ambitious investment programme in the history of the Polish energy industry. Already in 2033
the commissioning of the first large-scale nuclear power plant is planned, and in the 2040s the Polish system
is expected to operate 6-9 GW of stable, low-carbon power from this source. Is this vision a real plan for Poland’s
transformation or rather a political dream, extremely difficult to realise? How to finance the
programme? Where to get the competence to implement it from? When will small nuclear reactors be built and what role will they play in the transformation of industry and
of industry and the heating industry with small nuclear reactors?

Jakub Wiech, editor-in-chief of the Energetyka24 portal, emphasises that nuclear energy is extremely necessary
for Poland, especially in the context of the challenges posed by the European Union and the state of its domestic
energy sector. Poland is developing large and small nuclear projects, which is a source of competition between suppliers of
technology. The main goal is to put a nuclear power plant into operation as soon as possible.
Michał Wierzchowski, director of the Business Development Division of the Polish Nuclear Power Plant, talked about the work
on the first nuclear power plant in Poland. Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe is implementing the plan assumed in the Programme
Polish Nuclear Power Programme and have already selected the technology for the power plant to be built in Pomerania. However
careful preparation of the project is important before entering the construction site.

Paweł Gajda from the Faculty of Energy and Fuels at the AGH University of Science and Technology stressed that Polish nuclear power plants will have a very
important role in the transformation of industry and heating. Furthermore, he pointed out that in order to effectively
accelerate the development of low-carbon technologies, appropriate financial instruments are needed.
The topic of small nuclear reactors also came up during the debate. Alice Neffe, director of the international affairs office
International Affairs Office of the Industrial Development Agency, said that despite some of the disadvantages that this
technology, it is an energy source that can play an important role in Poland’s energy transition. Dawid
Piekarz, an expert at Orlen Synthos Green Energy, in turn stressed that small nuclear reactors are an ideal
solution for the industrial sector, which needs a stable and reliable energy source.
Michał Wierzchowski also referred to the necessary international consultations: – We want our
investments in line with the international environment. We do not want a protocol of divergence with
Germany. We have held thorough consultations with five countries.
Denmark and a very sceptical Austria. We want to speak with one voice.

WHO PAYS FOR IT
According to Michal Wierzbowski, there are already concrete plans and financial support from the US.
Wierzbowski said: “A letter of intent has been signed in the US guaranteeing the funding of American coffers for
small modular power plants. The ambassador said that a green wall of good energy will be created.”
Dawid Piekarz, an expert from Synthos, also referred to the plans to build a nuclear power plant and pointed out
that financial institutions are looking at this project very seriously. Piekarz said: “As far as the planned
green wall, this project involves the expansion of small-scale nuclear power in central and
Eastern European countries that want to become independent from Russian raw materials. The Czechs have already given seven locations for nuclear power plants
The Czech Republic has already announced seven locations for nuclear power plants, while the United Kingdom and Finland are considering this model. Nuclear energy can
maintain economic efficiency. When will nuclear electricity flow into our sockets? We are aiming for 2029/2030.
2029 and 2030. We estimate that about 50% of the contribution to our power plant will come from Poland. Let us remember that
industry will need energy after decarbonisation. Renewable energy sources will not suffice for this purpose.”
Baker also stressed that nuclear power plants are an important source of jobs. In the context of plans for
decarbonisation and the fight against climate change, nuclear power seems to be one of the solutions that will
will allow the economy to remain efficient while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
However, as is always the case with such controversial projects, there are also critics.

Some experts point out that the construction of a nuclear power plant is a major financial risk, as well as a threat to the

safety of people and the environment. It is therefore worth carefully examining all aspects related to this
project and to hold a broad public debate on the issue.

WE NEED TO LEARN
The fact that we are not lagging behind other countries was discussed by Alice Neffe – Director of the Office of International Affairs of the
International Affairs Office of the Industrial Development Agency, which provides locations for various types of nuclear projects
nuclear projects: – Although there is no nuclear power plant in Poland, many Polish companies are subcontractors in
large nuclear investments. After all, we do have a research reactor. However, there is no doubt that
development of nuclear power will provide an opportunity to decarbonise Polish industry. We must not forget about
vocational training of experts who will be able to take part in nuclear projects: computer scientists,
welders and many others. Such programmes already exist, but on a small scale, they need to be developed.

A nuclear power plant, regardless of size, is a serious industrial plant. In very many
many respects it is similar to a conventional power plant. The group of specialists dedicated to
strictly nuclear issues is small. What needs to change is the approach to investment. There are specific
requirements for every component of the power plant, from construction to communications management.
Health and safety and counter-intelligence controls are also important. We will have to assimilate stricter
rules of conduct. The construction of nuclear power plants is a great opportunity for the Polish economy. Entrepreneurs
who decide to take part in this undertaking will have to learn many new skills. –
the challenges facing the Polish energy sector were summed up by Adam Rojewski, vice-president of the nuclear.pl foundation
Paweł Gajda from the Faculty of Energy and Fuels at the AGH University of Science and Technology also referred to the difficulties: – We must remember what
role the atom will play in Poland. It is certainly needed to decarbonise the industry. We will use
several GW for this. We are ahead of us in obtaining all the permits necessary to start construction.
Sometimes various analyses need to be done for this. Many projects catch delays already at this stage,
especially if we intend to implement new technology. That is why we need to prioritise proven solutions.
proven solutions first.
PERSPECTIVES
Maciej Lipka, head of the Reactor Analysis and Measurements Department at the National Centre for Nuclear Research,
commented on the possible future of nuclear power: – It is difficult to say how nuclear technology will develop
technology will develop in 100 years. At present, we are dealing with several types of reactors that are proven and
working. Sometimes we try to go back to old technologies. In the near term, the most popular
will be large and small light-water reactors. Will new types be developed? In my opinion, not soon.
He added that there is a great prospect of development in the European and world market, but he also pointed out the
problems.

Research reactors, which produce radiopharmaceuticals, result in around 6 million EU cancer patients
oncology patients receive adequate treatment. We are currently faced with opportunities that did not
were even 10 years ago. Unfortunately, both the EU and Poland have neglected this market. European reactors
research reactors are old and inefficient. New ones are not being built. This is such a spoonful of tar to our optimistic discussion.
Poland has one experimental reactor. If it were properly funded, we could become an exporter of radiopharmaceuticals.
exporter of radiopharmaceuticals.

Jakub Wiech spoke at the end of the panel: – Acceptance of the atom is growing in Europe. As recently as
A few years ago, this was unthinkable. In Poland, in my opinion, there was no extreme lack of acceptance for
nuclear energy. Of course, the fear of Chernobyl is present in Poland, but Poles are not afraid of a repeat of Chernobyl.
Chernobyl. Rather, they fear that new nuclear power plants will be built in a way that deviates from
safety standards, which will have disastrous consequences in the future. This is where education and
to make changes.

Dawid Piekarz addressed the public’s fear of nuclear power plants: – A small nuclear reactor will be
35-45 m underground, is an improved version of proven solutions, shuts itself off on any
hesitations. How we talk to the public is important. What will determine
whether we will be convincing is honesty, and getting across other points of view.
Alice Neffe also touched on the subject of Polish specialists: – I had the opportunity to be in a nuclear power plant in
Finland. There were many Poles working there. These people are often interested in returning home to work on domestic projects.
at home projects. This will be a very important factor in spreading awareness of the atom.
The worst thing we are in danger of if a nuclear power plant goes awry is that it shuts down

Two days filled with meetings, more than thirty debates, round-table discussions, motivating power speeches, dozens of Polish and foreign experts – this is how the largest environmental event in Central and Eastern Europe – the TOGETAIR 2023 International Climate Summit – is presented. The event takes place at the University of Warsaw Library on 20-21 April.  TOGETAIR 2023 has received prestigious patronage from Polish and foreign institutions, including the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, and the Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki.

The full agenda of the event including panellists is available at: https://togetair.eu/agenda/

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Media contact: media@a-smiejatogetair-eu

THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US – TOGETAIR 2023!

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