Poland set to have first nuclear plant after 2030 - audit office

The planned date of launching Poland's first nuclear plant set for 2024 is unrealistic, Poland's Supreme Audit Office (NIK) wrote in a report.

NIK experts added that taking into account the sophisticated nature of work on the project such a plant could be ready after the year 2030.

"The planned (in the Polish Nuclear Programme-PAP) completion of the construction and commissioning of the first block in Poland's first nuclear plant to the end of 20124 is unrealistic. The advancement of work indicates a high probability of its launching only after 2030," NIK wrote in its report.

The Audit Office pointed out "the lack of implementation of key tasks specified in the Programme, relating to preparations for the construction of the first Polish nuclear power plant." NIK experts also noted that between 2014 and 2017, economy ministers, and later on energy ministers, did not "have sufficient arguments for the development of nuclear energy and did not motion the Council of Ministers to take strategic decisions on starting the construction of a nuclear power plant," reads the report.

NIK added that in effect of the five-year delay in the construction of the plant the country's economy may suffer higher costs linked with the need to purchase CO2 emission allowances. "Depending on the scenario, they are estimated at PLN 1.5 billion to as much as PLN 2.6 billion (EUR 6.2 million).

According to NIK's estimates, the public administration, the Polish Energy Group (PGE SA) and its subsidiary PGE EJ1 spent a total of PLN 776 million (EUR 183,62 million) on the project between 2014-2017. Earlier, PGE EJ1 spent PLN 133.2 million (EUR 31.52 million) on preparatory work.

In September 2017, the then Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski said the estimated cost of one block's construction was to reach PLN 23-25 billion (EUR 5.4 - 5.9 billion). According to him Poland needed a three-block nuclear power facility with a power output of around 4.5 gigawatts.