The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) review mission has praised steps taken in Poland to develop the necessary infrastructure for nuclear power.

The review, known as a Phase 2 Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review, took place from 15 to 25 April at the request of the Polish Government with the aim of checking the country’s readiness to invite bids or negotiate a contract for its first nuclear power plant.

The review team “identified good practices that would benefit other countries developing nuclear power in the areas of contracting approach, strategic approach to funding, early authorisation of technical support organisations to support the nuclear regulator, engagement with the electrical grid operator, stakeholder involvement and industrial involvement”.

Mehmet Ceyhan, technical lead of the IAEA Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section, said: “The Polish Nuclear Power Programme (PNPP) was initiated with clear objectives and is progressing towards the construction stage in a structured way. We observed strong and dedicated teams in each of the key organisations that will help to achieve the government’s objectives for the PNPP.”

To move on from here, Poland must “further review its legal and regulatory framework, and finalise the preparatory work required for the contracting and construction stages”.

Poland will begin building its first nuclear power plant at Lubiatowo-Kopalino in the province of Pomerania in 2026. There will be up to six reactors in two or three locations, with a total generation capacity of 6–9GW of electricity. The power plants are expected to come online in 2040.

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Poland previously considered obtaining a stake in the planned Visaginas nuclear power plant in Lithuania. Politicians have been deliberating the introduction of nuclear power since 2005, but problems in sourcing financing and political wrangling led to regular delays. The latest developments will help the country move away from its reliance on coal, from which it currently derives 69% of its power.