Legnica / Poland: The construction of nuclear mini-reactors at the border with Germany takes more concrete forms

Legnica / Poland

The construction of nuclear reactors near the border with Germany takes more concrete forms

Rupert Oberhäuser / alliance photo

Audio: Brandenburg antenna | 08/10/2022 | Magdalena Dercz | Picture: Rupert Oberhäuser / alliance photo

In the energy crisis, neighboring Poland still relies on building new nuclear power plants. “Small Modular Reactors” are to be built in Legnica, just 200 km south-east of Frankfurt (Oder). Another one is planned near Gdańsk.

Energy crisis in Europe: Spain turns off street lighting in pedestrian zones, in Italy air conditioning does not work below 25 degrees, and in Germany they are considering extending the operating hours of the last three nuclear power plants.

But when it comes to nuclear energy, opinions differ, at least in Germany. Poland, on the other hand, is betting on the construction of a new reactor. The nuclear power plant is to be built in Żarnowiec near Gdańsk from 2026. Also in the Legnica special economic zone – 200 km south-east of Frankfurt (Oder) – new nuclear reactors are to be built as the so-called small modular reactors (SMR).

Preliminary contract already signed

A preliminary contract for such an installation with ten mini-actors was signed a few days ago. Two companies will take part in the construction of the facility – DB Energy and Last Energy Polska – says Ryszard Wawryniewicz, vice president of the Legnica Special Economic Zone. – We are looking for a suitable location for the settlement of mini-actors in the Legnica special economic zone in order to ensure energy supplies in the face of the global energy crisis – says Wawryniewicz. It is absolutely clean energy at an absolutely fair, affordable price for investors and the public. A small 200 MW nuclear power plant is planned near Legnica.

SMR would become a trend in Poland

Generally, SMR would play an increasingly important role in energy investments in Poland. While they are less efficient in terms of performance, they are safer in terms of potential threats such as a terrorist attack. In addition, the planned mini-reactors in Legnica are to be built underground, which would make a possible raid difficult, explained Andrzej Strupczewski from the National Center for Nuclear Research. In addition, a separate integrated cooling system is planned. Strupczewski is convinced that this prevents an external attack on the cooling system.

The Polish expert sees only the benefits

The final disposal of radioactive residues will also be addressed. “We will use the so-called perpetual storage – just like the Swedes and Finns do, ”he explained. Radioactive residues would be cast in resin or glass, then stored in stainless steel fibers and additionally concreted. “The radioactive waste sealed in this way is transported to salt or granite caves and stored at least 600 meters underground. In the caves, the remains are safe from tectonic movements / earthquakes. ‘ According to Andrzej Strupczewski, such suitable locations have already been found in Poland. It was reported that an appropriate expert opinion on the preparation is currently being prepared.

From Strupczewski’s point of view, there is still a problem of the lack of water to be able to operate the cooling systems. But it is still to be done, because Poland’s largest nuclear power plant is being built on the Baltic Sea, and a nuclear energy expert is also optimistic in this matter.

Broadcast: Antenne Brandenburg on August 10, 2022 2:10 pm

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