Nuclear opportunity for Polish industry

– Poland plans to build 6 large nuclear units with a total capacity of about 6-9 thousand MW. There are also plans to build small reactors. This means that in our country there is a chance of the emergence of a large industrial sector working for nuclear energy – says Andrzej Sidło, chief specialist of the Ministry of Nuclear Energy at the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

  • 79 Polish companies have carried out at least one project in the last 10 years for foreign nuclear power plants, nuclear fuel production plants and research and development reactors.
  • In the case of the first nuclear reactor in Poland, at least 40 percent. the value of the project must be borne by the Polish industry. These numbers should be greater in subsequent reactors.
  • Nuclear power projects are more profitable than conventional and other industries; they are also technologically and organizationally more advanced.

Currently, there are 79 Polish companies that have carried out at least one project for foreign nuclear power plants, nuclear fuel plants and research and development reactors in the last 10 years.

Some companies have only realized one or a few contracts, but there are also companies that have had many orders, resulting in up to 20-30 nuclear references.

On three continents

Polish companies worked in 25 countries on three continents, performing tasks in 44 nuclear power plants, 2 research and development centers and 2 nuclear fuel plants.

Our companies were present during the construction of new nuclear power plants, as well as during their repair and modernization, which allowed us to extend working hours. Domestic companies were also involved in the demolition of such power plants.

Polish companies have appeared in most EU nuclear power plants and other nuclear installations, as well as in the nuclear sector in Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey, Russia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India, China and the United States.

In the supply chain

Polish companies are included in the supply chains of major companies in the nuclear sector, such as GE, EDF, Rosatom, Hitachi, Siemens, ABB, Schneider Electric, Buygue, Vinci etc. – at different levels of cooperation.

Another 25 Polish companies are at an advanced stage of preparation for the implementation of nuclear projects, for example, certification has been obtained for the implementation of nuclear projects.

And more than 220 Polish companies and Polish branches of international groups have sufficient competences to gain access to the global supply chains of the nuclear sector as quickly as possible.

A chance for success

What are the conclusions of this presentation of competences and opportunities? Poland has big plans for developing nuclear energy. The Polish Nuclear Power Program (PPEJ) provides for the construction of 6 nuclear reactors with a total capacity of about 6-9 thousand MW. In addition, several groups, both state-owned and private entities, are planning to build small nuclear reactors (SMR).

Therefore, it is a huge area for development by Polish industry. At the same time, we must not forget the possibilities of foreign contracts in the nuclear energy sector, which are and will remain within the reach of our companies.

– All this means that it is now possible and meaningful to take action for the domestic industry to prepare it for the greatest possible involvement in the Polish nuclear project – says Andrzej Sidło, chief specialist of the Ministry of Nuclear Energy at the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

As he explains, the main aid methods include supporting domestic entities in obtaining costly nuclear certification, training and information activities, and support in international markets. The plans also include support for the process of clustering and association of companies and the transfer of nuclear technologies to Polish industry.

Countless benefits

Andrzej Sidło emphasizes that the expected benefits of the high involvement of the domestic industry in nuclear projects are many.

– It is a comprehensive order book and additional orders for domestic companies. These will be difficult orders, but with a higher profitability than in conventional energy and in other industries – assures Andrzej Sidło.

He points out that nuclear energy projects are technologically and organizationally more advanced than conventional energy, petrochemicals or offshore wind energy.

In addition, there is a long time horizon of completed projects, ie about 3-5 years or more, which allows a given company to make optimal use of its own resources: personnel, equipment and financial resources.

– Participation in nuclear energy projects will lead to an increase in the general level of quality for the execution of works in even more difficult sectors, such as the aerospace industry – assures Andrzej Sidło.

And here, for example, the company Limatherm Sensor from Limanowa draws attention. This company tried to enter the nuclear power sector, and over time it began to fulfill orders in the space sector, its devices are installed on some satellites. From the point of view of requirements, for example cleanliness class, the space sector is much more demanding than nuclear energy.

Overall macroeconomic benefits, such as tax revenues, also arise from the development of the nuclear industry.

What percentage of the share of Polish companies?

The PPEJ states that in the case of the first nuclear reactor in Poland, min. 40 percent of the value of the project should be carried out by Polish industry – with an upward trend in the next.

– All three companies applying for the construction of nuclear power plants in Poland declare a higher level of Polish participation (about 50%). As part of the development of the nuclear program, we want the nuclear technology supplier and the general contractor to assess the possibilities and determine the way to improve the competences of Polish companies in the future, emphasizes Andrzej Sidło.

In consultation with the government, technology suppliers will also establish a specific list of products and services, the performance of which can be outsourced to domestic companies. The tools and path for improving the competences of Polish enterprises will also be defined – to increase the participation in the project implementation in case of successive construction of more than one reactor using the same technology.

Such analyzes become an integral part of the contract with the selected entity. The role of the Ministry of Climate and Environment will be to ensure that the participation of Polish industry is as high as possible – while maintaining the priority of efficient implementation of investments.

– The Polish industry has sufficient competences to carry out most works in the field of supplies and services in the area of ​​the conventional island and the turbine island and generator. This includes earthworks, construction works, pipeline installation, HVAC (technical industry dealing with heating, ventilation, air conditioning – editor’s note) and electrical duties. Certain components of the so-called nuclear islands remain within the reach of Polish industry, but involvement in this area requires additional preparations and investment – Andrzej Sidło assesses.

Also Read: Jacek Sasin: We Need To Switch From Coal To Renewable Energy And Nuclear Immediately

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