The first Polish nuclear power plant. Bechtel announced the commencement of geological research

Luc Williams

Performing in-depth field research is part of the contract for the design of the power plant (ESC – Engineering Service Contract), which the Bechtel-Westinghouse consortium signed with the investor and the future operator of the power plant, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ).

The construction of a nuclear power plant is a strategic investment for Poland

The works will cover an area of ​​approximately 30 ha in the Lubiatowo-Kopalino location in the Pomeranian commune of Choczewo. They will involve drilling approximately 220 wells with depths ranging from 20 to 210 m. The area for testing has been properly prepared, and the so-called mobilization, i.e. setting up research facilities. The actual research will start in May and last until November.

The aim is to detail the research carried out so far on the geological, engineering and hydrogeological conditions of the area. Thanks to the drilling, we will learn the structure of the soil, its resistance and many other parameters important for the final project, said Leszek Hołda, head of Bechtel's Polish branch on Tuesday. The results will also be used to prepare a Location Report, which is the basis for the investor to obtain a construction permit from the nuclear regulatory agency – the National Atomic Energy Agency.

As the head of Bechtel's nuclear business line, John Howanitz, emphasized, the construction of a nuclear power plant is a strategic investment for Poland and must be carried out while maintaining the highest standards. “We fully support Poland's aspirations for decarbonization and energy independence and hope that by establishing cooperation with local suppliers, we will contribute to achieving these goals,” Howanitz added.

Maciej Bando, the government's plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure, expressed hope that the Polish project will become an example of how to reverse the trends that have recently occurred in all nuclear projects, i.e. delays and cost overruns. He assured all stakeholders that the Polish administration would do everything to ensure there were no bureaucratic obstacles. The administration's readiness to cooperate was also declared by the Pomeranian Voivode, Beata Rutkiewicz. The administration's task is also to show the benefits, such as jobs; infrastructure such as roads and railways; new directions in schools and universities.

PEJ's proxy, Jan Chadam, added that this is the most complicated type of project in civil engineering – it requires competence, both financial and engineering, determination, and mutual trust and understanding of the parties will also be extremely necessary.

A step forward on the path to creating a civilian nuclear sector in Poland

The project is gaining momentum, so far the work carried out by the American side has been limited mainly to preparatory and analytical issues – noted Leszek Juchniewicz, acting president of PEJ.

According to the United States ambassador in Warsaw, Marek Brzezinski, this is another important step forward on the joint Polish-American path to creating a civilian nuclear sector in Poland, and proof that the United States is implementing a common commitment to Poland's energy security and supporting the Polish energy transformation.

Energy security is national security, and the choice of Bechtel and Westinghouse makes energy security the basis of Polish-American cooperation, Brzezinski noted. “What we offer will bring huge benefits to Poland, especially considering how much of the work will be done by Polish companies,” added the ambassador, assuring that the US government and American companies are ready to act.

Also in the opinion of Deputy Minister of Climate Miłosz Motyka, the investment is very necessary, and it would not have happened without mutual trust between Poland and the USA. “I am convinced that Polish companies will be a reliable partner in this largest investment in decades,” added Motyka.

The current version of the Polish Nuclear Energy Program (PPEJ) from 2020 assumes the construction of two nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 6-9 GW, with 100% ownership. to the State Treasury, PEJ as an investor and operator. The previous government indicated the Westinghouse-Bechtel consortium as a partner for the first power plant. Construction at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino location would begin in 2026, the first AP1000 reactor using Westinghouse technology would be launched in 2033, and the next two within the next three years. The Ministry of Climate announces the update of PPEJ in 2024.


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.