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Poland: Nuclear Power Plant Law to Be Revised

(Mar. 1, 2011) On February 22, 2011, the Polish government announced its plan to amend the country's current law on construction of nuclear power plants; the Council of Ministers adopted regulations on investment in the industry separately. If approved by the parliament, the revisions will become effective on July 1 of this year. The bill on building nuclear plants includes principles and detailed rules covering all aspects of the construction and operation of such plants, beginning with pre-construction preparations. In addition, it outlines the role of the State Nuclear Development Security Committee in supervising the facilities. (Poland Adopts Draft Law on Investments in Nuclear Energy, Polish Embassy in Washington website (Feb. 23, 2011),,14943,.html; Poland to Revise Law on Nuclear Power Plant Construction, KCNA (Pyongyang) (Feb. 25, 2011), World News Connection online, subscription database, Doc. No. 201102251477.1_f0f9002d70459cf9.)

The current proposal follows a government resolution of January 13, 2009, calling for the development of nuclear power plants to “ensure the national energy security.” (Government Resolution on the Measures Undertaken in the Area of Nuclear Power Development, National Atomic Energy Agency website, (last visited Feb. 28, 2011).) The plan announced at that time was to build two nuclear power plants, with the goal of having at least one in operation by 2020. (Id.) There has been some dispute within the Polish government recently over the costs associated with this construction plan. The Finance Minister, Jacek Rostowski, has reportedly questioned the estimated $289 million price tag. The new legislation is a key step toward completion of the building proposal, making it possible for the government to begin the nuclear technology selection process. (Adam Easton, Budget Dispute Could Delay Polish Nuclear Program: Report, PLATTS (Warsaw) (Jan. 17, 2011),

Poland's National Atomic Energy Agency (Państwowa Agencja Atomistyki) maintains a website with unofficial translations of laws and regulations related to atomic energy and radiation, at (last visited Feb. 28, 2011).

Poland now relies on coal or lignite for 95% of its energy needs; by 2030 the government hopes to rely 15% on nuclear energy. (Easton, supra.)