GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) Senior Vice President of New Plant Projects Danny Roderick addressed the Polish parliament’s joint committee on energy today, highlighting the company’s advanced nuclear reactor technologies and commitment to Poland. GEH’s nuclear technologies will generate low-carbon electricity and help to strengthen Poland’s energy security, Roderick told the committee.
Roderick’s presentation to the joint committee, tasked with reviewing preparations for future new nuclear power plant construction in the country, followed the signature of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Institute of Atomic Energy in Poland (POLATOM) yesterday in Warsaw. The Institute of Atomic Energy, a research institute that advises the Polish government on nuclear energy issues, is located in Świerk. As part of its overall work in studying the health and environmental impacts of nuclear energy, POLATOM operates the country’s only nuclear research reactor, which plays a leading international role as a medical isotope supplier.
POLATOM has now joined a growing network of Polish organizations that GEH is working with to help collaborate on potential opportunities with Polish utility Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. (PGE), which is leading government efforts to develop the country’s first two nuclear generating stations to help diversify Poland’s energy supply. PGE is still evaluating several reactor technologies for these first plants, including two GEH reactor designs: the 1,350-megawatt (MWe) ABWR and the 1,520-MWe ESBWR. The ESBWR is GEH’s newest reactor design and offers the world’s most advanced passive safety systems.
Poland’s government expects to begin construction of its first nuclear power plant in 2016 and has targeted 2020 as the commercial date of operation (COD) for the first plant.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to meet with members of the joint committee of the Polish parliament to share how GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s technology and expertise is already being deployed to help strengthen the country’s economy and national energy security,” said Danny Roderick, GEH’s senior vice president of new plant projects. “GEH is proud to support Poland’s nuclear energy program, which will provide inexpensive power to local industry, create jobs in both the construction and operation of the plants and expand the country’s nuclear energy knowledge base within Poland’s industrial and university sectors.”
GE already employs more than 10,000 people in Poland, Roderick noted.
The Warsaw suppliers conference was the second GEH-sponsored event in Poland in 2011 and focused on identifying potential engineering firms and local large construction companies that could provide support for site-specific engineering and design requirements.
In January 2011, GEH’s first Polish nuclear suppliers event in Gdansk focused on equipment and modular construction supply chain requirements. On Jan. 26, GEH announced MOUs with Poland’s Stocznia Gdansk, a major shipyard, and RAFAKO S.A., Europe’s leading boiler equipment manufacturer, to pursue opportunities to build nuclear reactor components for GEH.
At the Gdansk event, GEH also deepened its commitment to strengthening Poland’s workforce by signing agreements with Gdansk University of Technology, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin University and Koszalin University of Technology to train Polish students on nuclear technology and offer internships for students in the United States during the summer of 2011. GEH also donated two GE GateCycleTM software licenses to Gdansk University of Technology to help train a new generation of highly skilled nuclear engineers. GE’s customized GateCycle heat balance software is used to model nuclear steam cycles and is a valuable tool in teaching engineering students advanced methods of plant modeling and troubleshooting to optimize plant performance.
In 2010, GEH signed an MOU with global engineering services firm SNC-Lavalin Polska to collaborate on potential nuclear power plant construction projects in Poland. GEH also donated five GateCycle licenses to the Warsaw University of Technology.
Today, about 94 percent of Poland’s electricity comes from domestic coal-fired power plants. Poland plans to build its new reactors to help reduce the country’s dependence on coal-based technologies and overall national emissions levels as Poland and other European Union members seek to reduce their 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.
About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading 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. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety.
Tom Murnane, Masto Public Relations
P: +1 518 786 6488 / E: tom.murnane[.]mastopr.com.
Howard Masto, Masto Public Relations
P: +1 518 786 6488 / E: howard.masto[.]ge.com.
GE news, Masto Public Relations / E: information[.]mastopr.com.