Polish nuclear project faces further delays  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

Reuters has an article on obstacles facing nuclear power enthusiasts in Poland - Polish nuclear project faces further delays.

Legal hurdles, funding problems and a lack of skilled workers will likely push Poland's plans to build the country's first nuclear power plant beyond 2022, further delaying the some 18-billion euro project.

The European Union's largest ex-communist state is pursuing nuclear energy to wean its economy from highly-polluting coal -- a source that currently generates more than 90 percent of the country's power needs.

"Poland's nuclear target sounds a little bit tough to me as there are few financing opportunities out there right now," Kaan Nazli, Director for Emerging Europe at the U.S.-based Medley Global Advisors, told Reuters.

The government, which is also seeking ways to ease the future impact of strict EU environmental regulations limiting carbon emissions, has tapped Poland's domiant utility PGE to lead the project.

Poland, which plans to build two nuclear plants with a total installed capacity of 6,000 megawatts, in August pushed back its original deadline for the first bloc to 2022 from 2020 due to technology constraints that surfaced after talks with three potential suppliers.

Officials at Areva, which is one of three companies seeking to help build the plant, told local media this week the original 2020 deadline was possible but analysts suggest even the 2022 target is likely overambitious.

"If you look around the region at the ongoing nuclear projects all of them suffer from delays, we are not going to be an exception," an energy market analyst at international consultancy said. ...

Safety concerns in a region where many people associate nuclear power with the 1986 Chernobyl accident which contaminated vast areas of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia could also slow the project.

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