Warsaw, Poland, March 4, 2010 – GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Polska Grupa Energetyczna, Poland’s largest power company, agreed to collaborate on building commercial nuclear power plants.
Poland plans to build two nuclear power plants to help diversify its energy production, which relies heavily on coal-fired technologies.
European Union member states have agreed to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Nuclear energy is an attractive option because it generates electricity with near-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
PGE, one of the largest companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, is leading the country’s initiative to build two nuclear power plants, with each site featuring multiple reactors. Today, about 90 percent of Poland’s electricity comes from domestic coal-fired power plants. Poland’s first nuclear reactor is targeted for completion in 2020.
“As we prepare to build Poland’s first commercial nuclear power plants, we are pleased that GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is offering us their expertise,” said Tomasz Zadroga, Management Board President at PGE. “We are committed to carefully choosing a reactor technology that meets our economic and technical priorities.”
Under a new agreement, GEH will help PGE study the feasibility of building up to four reactors based on one of GEH’s reactor designs: the 1,350-MWe ABWR or the 1,520-MWe ESBWR, GEH’s newest design offering the world’s most advanced passive safety systems.
GEH’s Generation III+ ESBWR is the world’s most advanced passive safety and natural circulation reactor design, offering enhanced safety and lower construction and operating costs than previous generation reactors.
The ESBWR currently is progressing in the design certification process of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The agency’s published review schedule targets completion next year.
Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is a provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in June 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry.