Comeca in Poland for the Franco-Polish nuclear industry days
The development of the nuclear market is not only taking place in France with the EPR2 but also in Poland where the government has expressed the wish to build its first nuclear reactors for electricity production, between 4 and 6 reactors capable of producing the equivalent of 6 to 9 GW.
Why consider a nuclear programme in Poland?
Poland is one of the few countries in Europe today that does not have a nuclear reactor dedicated to low-carbon power generation. On the contrary, it is one of the most dependent on coal and gas power plants with 37 GW installed, i.e. 66% of its total electricity production capacity. The rest of the electricity production is provided by wind (12% of installed capacity), solar (16%), hydro (4%) and biomass (2%).
With an average CO2 emission of between 500 and 800 gCO2eq/kWh depending on the time of year, compared to an average of 50 to 150 gCO2eq/kWh for France, the impact on the environment and the population is significant and achieving the objective of carbon neutrality by 2050 is becoming a real challenge for the country.
Apart from the environmental impact, Poland needs to be more energy independent from its main gas supplier, Russia.
Development of the Franco-Polish relationship to support the Polish nuclear programme
Launching a nuclear programme in 2022 with a strong industrial sector but not yet having the experience of the quality, safety and security requirements imposed by the nuclear safety authorities is a major industrial challenge for Poland, especially with an objective of a local share of 40% for the first reactor and 70% for the second. To this end EdF which has applied to build 4 to 6 EPR reactors in a bid submitted to the Polish government in October 2021, would like to develop relations between French nuclear manufacturers and their Polish counterparts so that strong partnerships can be established on a commercial level and in support of the development of local manufacturers' skills. The latter have already demonstrated in the recent past their ability to adapt and carry out technological projects with the construction of several so-called supercritical coal-fired power plants.
GIFEN, the French nuclear industry association, has joined forces with its Polish counterpart, IGEOS, to organise a major event on 22 and 23 June 2022 to bring together industrialists from both countries and to present the technical and quality requirements of the RCC-E and RCC-M as well as the safety requirements of ISO19443.
And what about Comeca?
With 45 years of experience in the nuclear industry in France and abroad (China, South Korea and South Africa) and as an active member of GIFEN since September of the same year, Comeca had to be present at this major event in order to make the first contacts with a Polish market that is still little known.
Numerous meetings were held with local companies with diversified activities such as mechanical and/or electrical assembly, EPC (Engineering Procurement & Construction), engineering offices, manufacturers specialising in power electronics and low voltage equipment.
This is the first step in a long process that should lead Comeca to be able to participate in the construction of future Polish nuclear reactors.