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Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant, Pomerania, Poland


Environmental protection was not on the list of priorities of the communist Polish authorities, which ruled in 1944-1989. During the years of intense industrialization, the subject of air and water poisoning was known only to a small group of scientists. In turn, environmental organizations operated practically throughout this period. However, they functioned to a limited extent, not exposing themselves to dignitaries [9].

In the 1970s, the financial condition of the state was good, mainly due to taking out foreign loans. In 1971, the decision was made to build the first Polish nuclear power plant. By 2000, it was planned to build a few more plants of this type. In 1972 its location was established in the northern part of Pomerania, on Lake Żarnowieckie, on the land of the village of Kartoszyno. The future nuclear power plant - next to the pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant that was being built at that time - was to be a pillar of the new industrial area. The plans for the development of nuclear energy that were outlined at that time of inception were unrealistic [9].

The decision to build the Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant (EJŻ) was made by the Council of Ministers only on January 18, 1982, one month after the imposition of martial law (until July 22, 1983) [11]. The construction work started in spring. However, this next great socialist construction was not accompanied by enthusiastic moods. During the martial law period (shortages of everyday products, repressions) hardly anyone was interested in it. The construction plans, however, aroused opposition from the very beginning from part of the society, especially the population living near the power plant itself [10].

The first protests against the construction of the EJŻ took place at the end of 1984 when work on the construction of the main building of the power plant began. The organizer was the Polish Ecological Club. However, they could not take too harsh forms and mainly boiled down to creating protest lists sent to the authorities and collecting information on the potential ecological effects of the construction. Such actions did not have a greater impact on society [10].

In the following years, with the development of the anti-communist opposition and the growing economic crisis, the activities of Polish environmental organizations began to take on a political dimension. Moreover, on April 26, 1986, at the nuclear power plant named after W.I. Lenin, a catastrophe took place in Chernobyl (Ukraine) - there was a steam and hydrogen explosion that destroyed the reactor building. From that moment, Poles became interested in what was actually built on the shores of Lake Żarnowieckie. On the one hand, there is an increase in the ecological awareness of a part of the society, on the other - the fear of this investment is spreading. There was a clear escalation of the conflict around the EJŻ [1] [3] [4] [9].

The first active group in the protest campaign was Ecological Movement of St. Francis of Assisi (established in 1981 in Krakow, two years after John Paul II proclaimed Saint Francis the patron saint of ecologists). From 1986 to 1988, this organization organized a series of lectures presenting the potential risks associated with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Moreover, the inhabitants of Pomerania were particularly active - after all, they would be the first victims of a possible catastrophe. 

In this context, it is worth mentioning the activities of local scientific and ecological communities. Gdańsk Ecological Forum, which together with the Gdańsk Scientific Society organized scientific sessions (mini-conferences) devoted to, inter alia, the ecological, economic, and social aspects of the development of nuclear energy. Since 1988, the Forum has also organized public resistance campaigns (demonstrations, sending letters to the authorities, throwing leaflets in the Tri-City), aimed at forcing the authorities to abandon the continuation of the construction of EJŻ and discontinue the development of nuclear energy in Poland. This group started a wave of street protests, which were joined by nationwide organizations of a pacific character, such as the "Freedom and Peace" movement (WiP; founded in 1985). Their important feature, distinguishing them from most environmental movements, was their illegal and radical nature. These groups were able to include part of the society in the resistance movement. It was not difficult at the time, because Poles (especially young people) eagerly used any excuse to protest against the communist government [8].

On February 6 - April 5, 1989, the Polish Round Table Talks took place, including negotiations within the framework of the Ecology Round Table Subgroup. The government initiated talks with the banned trade union "Solidarity" and other opposition groups in an attempt to defuse growing social unrest. Among others, activists of the Polish Ecological Club and activists from the Ecological Movement of St. Francis of Assisi participated in the Round Table [2]. The only controversial issue during the meetings was the construction of the EJŻ. There was even a protocol of disagreement on this matter (the only one at the Round Table).

At the beginning of 1989, a WiP congress was held in Poznań, during which the "nationwide campaign against nuclear energy" was announced. Its main assumption was protest actions organized in every city where there was a movement [9] [10]. On February 24, 1989, at Długi Targ (square in the old town) in Gdańsk, a meeting of many groups took place - from the Confederation of Independent Poland, the “Twe Twa” Movement, to the anarchist Alternative Society Movement. The WiP movement prepared several banners for the demonstration with the slogans: "Down with Żarnowiec - we want to live" or "Chernobyl ass". The protest petition was read. About 1,000 people took part in the demonstration. The first anti-nuclear march did not go far, as the demonstrators were blocked by a cordon of Motorized Reserves of the Citizens' Militia (ZOMO; paramilitary-police formations during the communist era in Poland). The demonstration was considered successful, which encouraged the organizers to intensify their activities. At this meeting, it was decided to meet at the same place every Friday at 4pm until the government's plans were knocked out. The choice of the date was not accidental: according to the law in force at the time, the militia could detain the protesters for 48 hours, later the court would have to charge them. However, this rarely happened, so if you were detained on a Friday afternoon, you would go out on a Sunday evening in the worst case, without any problems with absence from school, university or work [4] [5] [8].

More and more participants took part in illegal demonstrations in the Old Town of Gdańsk every week. They chanted the following slogans: "Żarnowiec tomb!" Or "A better tractor than a reactor!". Some of them took the form of happenings. This was the case on March 10, 1989, when some of the organizers dressed up in animal masks (hare, fox, cat), others in white aprons. In addition, people put on masks with the image of Lenin, a cardboard nuclear reactor was built, a "mutant match" was organized, etc. On April 7, after the militia were called to disperse, the youth began chanting: "Change the record!" and throwing vinyl records at the police cordon. On April 28, a delegation of protesters met with a representative of the Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR; communist party, which ruled the Polish People's Republic as a one-party state). The result of the meeting was the consent to hold a public debate among supporters and opponents of the construction of the power plant. Activists decided it was a success because the authorities recognized them as a group [5].

On May 19, 1989, the promised debate took place at the International Press and Book Club at Długi Targ (Gdańsk). The discussion covered issues related to the safe operation of a nuclear power plant, economic issues related to the construction of the power plant, and the issue of environmental protection during its operation. There was a sharp exchange of views, but the meeting itself did not bring any results. At the end of the meeting, representatives of the Anti-Atomic Federation, WiP, Alternative Society Movement, FMW, Confederation of Independent Poland, Ecological Movement of St. Francis of Assisi, "I Prefer To Be" Movement presented negative positions on the construction of EJŻ [5].

The last Friday demonstration before the summer holidays was held on June 16, 1989. Weekly meetings were suspended during the summer break in school. In general, even then, demonstrations became less and less numerous, because people who protested mainly for political, not environmental reasons, stopped coming [5] [8]. It was on June 4, 1989, that communism ended in Poland - the first parliamentary elections after World War II - partially free - were held.

After the start of the school year (in Poland, the beginning of September), the organization of demonstrations in Gdańsk resumed. Generally, thanks to the involvement of the WiP Movement, the fight against the construction of the EJŻ has acquired a national dimension. On October 31, a group of WiP participants from all over Poland and the youth from the "Twe-Twa" Movement started a several-day anti-nuclear picket in the capital (in Warsaw) in front of the seat of the Council of Ministers. The participants of the picket handed out leaflets informing passers-by about the purpose of the protest. On November 3, there was an ecological rally in front of the Ministry of Industry and on November 9, a demonstration at the end of the picket in front of the headquarters of the Council of Ministers. During those days, the government postponed the decision on the future of nuclear energy [5].

On September 12, 1989, the first Polish government was established after the fall of communism. The fact that the continuation of the construction of the power plant is also taken into account by the post-communist authorities, the public could see on November 15, when two reactors made according to the Soviet technology, intended for Żarnowiec were delivered to the Gdynia port from Czechoslovakia (via combined road, river - Danube and sea transport - from the port of Constanta in Romania). The "Freedom and Peace" Movement together with the FMW, the "Twe-Twa" Movement, the Greens Federation and the "I Prefer To Be" Movement organized a picket in front of the Container Terminal in Gdynia the next day against the delivery of reactors. One terminal corridor was occupied and picketers spread out sleeping bags and blankets. Outside, banners with the following slogans: "We do not want Chernobyl", "New government - old mistakes?", "Żarnowiec, a tomb of the economy," etc. The Port branch of the trade union Solidarity called on its members to boycott and not to participate in the transshipment [5].

The activists faced the harsh reality of the place: the shipping terminal covers an area of ​​several hectares with at least a few entrance gates. They helped activists, among others, by local residents who brought food and let them bathe in their apartments. After a few days of blockades and after negotiations with the terminal authorities, a consensus was reached on the presence of the demonstrators: they received hot drinks from the canteen, were admitted to the terminal area (near the gates), and they could also observe the gates from the offices of some officers [8].

On November 19, 1989, 13 participants of the picket undertook a ten-day hunger strike. It ended during a demonstration that took place on November 30 in Gdańsk. The participants of the picket and hunger strike presented demands to stop the construction of a nuclear power plant and called for a local referendum on EJŻ. On that day, activists of the "Freedom and Peace" Movement in Warsaw hung a banner "Żarnowiec is a grave for the other world" in the Sejm (the lower house of the national parliament). Support for starving youth was expressed on November 27 by the Commission for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of the Citizens' Committee under the chairman of NSZZ "Solidarity" Lech Wałęsa [5].

In December 1989, resistance to the construction of the power plant took its most dramatic form. On December 7, five people (four men and one woman) undertook an indefinite fast. Later, other people joined them. Both Lech Wałęsa and the Archbishop of Gdańsk were against the hunger strike. Three days later, a ten-day information picket began at the Gdynia Główna railway station, during which 185,550 USD and 10,000 signatures were collected for the motion to abandon the construction. All collected funds were allocated to publishing activities. The picket was organized, among others, by Fighting Solidarity in the Tri-City, which used the collected funds for publishing activities [5].

Despite the ongoing picket at the Container Terminal, the employees of the EJŻ were able to remove the reactor components on December 14th. On this occasion, physical violence was used against the youth, they were pushed, kicked, and dragged along the ground. Later, on December 20, in Gdynia, opponents of the construction of the Żarnowiec NPP organized a rally for the inhabitants of the Tri-City. On the other hand, a day later, on the initiative of WiP, "Twe-Twa" and "I Prefer To Be" Movements, a picket was organized at the main railway station in Gdańsk. During the session on December 22 and 23, 1989, the Council of Ministers decided to suspend the construction of the EJŻ for at least one year. However, the government argued its decision not with a wave of social protests, but with the poor economic situation of the state [5].

Meanwhile, in the Student House No. 3 in Gdańsk-Oliwa, after the announcement of the government's decision, the hunger strike continued. The protesters spoke by phone to the then Minister of Industry. It confirmed the belief that the authorities did not have a clearly defined opinion on the further fate of Żarnowiec. In such a situation, they decided that the suspension of the construction of the power plant for one year actually meant its further continuation. They expressed this in an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister on December 26, signed by the hunger strikers. The protesters spent Christmas together. The hungry were supported by the Ecological Movement of St. Francis of Assisi, which organized medical care for them [5].

The protests against the construction of the EJŻ gained new dynamics in January 1990. Taking advantage of the wave of public enthusiasm during political changes, the leaders decided to use a democratic tool - a referendum. The referendum procedure on the future of Żarnowiec was initiated on January 17, 1990 at a meeting of the Provincial National Council (until May 1990, such elements of the old system were still in use). Three days later, young people from Gdańsk ended their hunger protest that had been going on for 44 days! This was due to the declaration of the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association, the Ecological Forum and the Catholic Intelligence Club concerning the holding of a referendum on Żarnowiec together with the local elections announced for May 1990 [5] [8].

The referendum vote was preceded by extensive leaflet campaigns by Gdańsk environmental organizations and independent organizations. As part of this propaganda initiative, easy-to-read (but untrue) statements were largely used about the plans to install a reactor identical to that used in Chernobyl in Żarnowiec, about "deep-sea tectonic movements" that would lead to the rupture of the upper reservoir of the pumped-storage power plant and flooding nuclear power plant, or about the inevitable radioactive contamination of the lake resulting from the use of an open cooling system. Moreover, there were rallies; young people organized special rock concerts. However, just before the upcoming elections, it turned out that it was in danger. The then-election commissioner announced a week before the planned referendum that it could not be held on the premises and in front of committees. The organizers' determination and the support of the public demanding the closure of the Żarnowiec power plant resulted in the organization of 599 premises and as many commissions [5] [8].

Local elections and a referendum were held on May 27, 1990. 44.3% of Pomeranian eligible voters voted in the referendum, 86.1% were against the continuation of construction, and 13.9% were in favor. The required 50% voter turnout for the referendum was not exceeded for it to become binding. This result confirmed that the public had become listless and tired, but at the same time opposed to the idea of ​​building a power plant. Activists proved that they are not alone in their struggle and that they are not extremists who want to impose their will on society by fasting (as suggested by the authorities and the media). It is worth mentioning that the referendum committees were attended by representatives of independent local organizations (e.g. Kashubian-Pomeranian Association), the League for Nature Conservation, and people from the "Solidarity" printing house [5] [8].

After the unsuccessful referendum, there were protests in which, unlike the actions of 1988 and 1989, the inhabitants of the vicinity of the investment participated mainly. Residents periodically blocked access roads to the construction site with tractors and agricultural machinery, and as a result, the construction of the power plant was practically paralyzed. In turn, the anarchists continued their demonstrations in Gdańsk. Moreover, activists changed their strategy of resistance. They sought international recognition for their actions against the EJŻ. The links between the "Greens Federation" and activists from Western Europe were most often used. During the Rainbow meeting in 1990, Greenpeace decided to launch a pan-European campaign aimed at putting pressure on the Polish government to give up its plans to build a nuclear power plant. This was done mainly by sending letters to the government on behalf of Western European environmental organizations. The largest demonstrations were organized in France, Spain and Scandinavia. Occupations of embassies and consulates were also organized [8].

With time, the authorities realized that there was no point in insisting on building the EJŻ. The team of the President of the National Atomic Energy Agency for the Żarnowiec nuclear power plant issued the following opinion: "In the current economic situation of the country, the construction of the EJŻ should not be continued." [6] [13] Therefore, On December 17, the Council of Ministers put the power plant into liquidation (deadline: December 31, 1992) [11] [14]. At that time, the construction of the power plant was very advanced (the first reactor was 98% completed, the second - 80%), and $ 770,000,000 has been spent so far (at 1990 prices) [11]. This decision - with severe economic consequences (the cost of demolition was huge) - was made despite the interest and declarations of support from European companies and institutions (Siemens, EDF, IVO Engineering, Commission of the European Communities) and the US (Westinghouse, US government) [8]. The parliamentary resolution allowed for the construction of new generation nuclear power plants, ensuring economic efficiency and radiological safety. With time, several of already constructed buildings were looted and devastated [7]. 

Therefore, plans for the development of domestic nuclear energy are revived from time to time. Currently, the Polish nuclear power program (2020 version) provides for the construction and commissioning of 2 nuclear power plants with 3 reactors each. The choice of technology will take place in 2021, and the choice of the location for the first power plant in 2022 (decision: the Choczewo commune near Żarnowiec). Start of construction of the first reactor in 2026, its commissioning in 2033; commissioning of the last reactor in the second power plant in 2043 [15].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant, Pomerania, Poland
State or province:Pomeranian Voivodeship
Location of conflict:Krokowa Commune
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Nuclear
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Nuclear power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Industrial waste

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The power plant was to consist of 4 units equipped with VVER-440/213 reactors (second generation), designed in the USSR and manufactured at the Škoda Pilzno plant in Czechoslovakia; 4K-465 turbine sets of Polish production (Zamech plant in Elbląg); GTHW-600 generators manufactured according to a Polish design (Dolmel company from Wrocław). VVER-440 was a Soviet version of the worldwide PWR reactor in which pressurized water was the coolant, moderator, and reflector, in contrast to the graphite-moderated RBMK reactors used only in the USSR, also in Chernobyl.

The power plant in Żarnowiec was built in the area of ​​an old Kashubian village - Kartoszyno. Its population was displaced in 1982; new houses were built for some families in Odargowo.

The power plant was to be built in two stages, in each of which two power units were to be commissioned. The total gross electric power was to be 1,860 MW (4x 465 MW), two stages of implementation, 2x 465 MW each. The thermal power of a single reactor was 1,375 MW. The first planned date for the plant to start operating was 1989. Then, December 31, 1991 (commissioning of the first reactor) was indicated as the opening date.

The power plant (4 reactors) would deliver the following amounts of radioactive waste during the year:

- 500 m3 of post-evaporation concentrates,

- 44 m3 of spent low-active ion exchangers,

- 40 m3 of spent intermediate-level ion exchangers,

- 460 m3 of low-concentration solid waste, including 70-80% compressible and combustible waste,

- about 105 thousand m3 of gaseous waste subject to treatment.

In total, after proper processing, there are approx. 1500 tons of solidified waste left for final disposal, the vast majority (approx. 95%) of low-activity waste.

In addition to the power plant itself, which was to consist of 79 buildings, the construction of 189 temporary buildings for back-up facilities was started. A total of 630 facilities were built, including: offices, a staff hotel, the New hotel in Nadole, halls for the production of precast concrete elements, a canteen, a fire station, etc. Part of the power plant's infrastructure was a modern radio meteorological center with over 200-meter meteorological mast and External Measurements with an experimental orchard to study the impact of NPP Żarnowiec work on fruit quality (radionuclide emissions).

The project provided for a change in the infrastructure of the entire area, including the reconstruction of public roads, the embankment of Lake Żarnowiec, drainage of the surrounding meadows, and construction of a railway siding and a railway station.

About 6,000 people worked on the construction site in the peak period (1987-1988), but if the works had continued, the target employment would have been about 10,000 people. After commissioning, the power plant was to employ 1,880 people of its own. The operational crew was to consist of 6 shifts: 4 shifts in continuous operation, 1 reserve and 1 training shift.

In addition, a process tunnel 3 km long, 7 m wide and 3 m high was to run under the power plant, which was to lead electric cables as well as water and steam pipelines. The ventilation chimney for blocks 1 and 2 was to be 150 m high.

In the case of this investment, the problem of storing radioactive waste was not fully resolved. It was planned to create a landfill in the bunkers of the Międzyrzecz Fortified Region (over 400 km away!) [11] [12] [13].

Project area:70 (with construction facilities and supporting facilities, a total of approx. 180 ha)
Level of Investment for the conflictive project2,080,000,000 (as 1990 prices)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:8 households (resettlements from Kartoszyno)
Start of the conflict:17/12/1990
End of the conflict:17/12/1990
Company names or state enterprises:Generalne Biuro Studiów i Projektów Energetycznych "ENERGOPROJEKT" (actually Energoprojekt Warszawa SA) from Poland - general designer
Przedsiębiorstwo Realizacji Budownictwa Energetycznego i Eksportu "ENERGOBUD" from Poland - general contractor
Przedsiębiorstwo Projektowania i Kompletacji Dostaw Obiektów Energetycznych "MEGADEX" (currently Elektrim-Megadex SA) from Poland - general supplier
Polskie Towarzystwo Handlu Zagranicznego "ELEKTRIM" (curretly ELEKTRIM S.A.) from Poland - importer of equipment from abroad (mainly reactor pressure vessels; steam generators for two reactors)
DOLMEL Wrocław from Poland - manufacturer of generators for power plant
ZAMECH Elbląg (curretly Zakład Mechaniczny ELZAM-ZAMECH Sp. z o.o) from Poland - manufacturer of turbines for power plant
Relevant government actors:- Council of Ministers (communist and non-communist)
- Ministry of Industry (communist and non-communist)
- Provincial Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party
- Provincial National Council
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- Ruch Ekologiczny św. Franciszka z Asyżu (Ecological Movement of St. Francis of Assisi)
- Polski Klub Ekologiczny (Polish Ecological Club)
- Ruch "Wolność i Pokój" (Freedom and Peace" Mouvement) - disbanded in 1992
- Ruch "Twe Twa" ("Twe Twa" Mouvement) - disbanded
- Gdańskie Forum Ekologiczne
- Ruch Społeczeństwa Alternatywnego (Alternative Society Movement)
- Gdański Towarzystwo Naukowe (Gdańsk Scientific Society)
- Konfederacja Polski Niepodległej (Confederation of Independent Poland) - disbanded in 2018
- Federacja Antyatomowa Polska (Anti-Atomic Federation Poland)
- Stowarzyszenie Federacji Młodzieży Walczącej - FMW (Association of the Federation of Fighting Youth)
- Ruch Ekologiczno-Pokojowy „Wolę Być” (Ecological and Peace Movement "I Prefer To Be") - disbanded in 1993
- Federacja Zielonych (Greens Federation)
- Komisja Ochrony Środowiska i Zasobów Naturalnych Komitetu Obywatelskiego przy Przewodniczącym NSZZ „Solidarność” Lechu Wałęsie (Commission for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of the Citizens' Committee under the chairman of NSZZ "Solidarity" Lech Wałęsa)
- Solidarność Walcząca Trójmiasto (Fighting Solidarity in the Tri-City)
- Klub Inteligencji Katolickiej (Catholic Intelligence Club)
- Zrzeszenie Kaszubsko-Pomorskiego (Kashubian-Pomeranian Association)
- Greenpeace International
- Liga Ochrony Przyrody (League of Nature Conservation)

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Industrial workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Trade unions
Wastepickers, recyclers
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Youth organizations
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Hunger strikes and self immolation


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Air pollution, Genetic contamination, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Violations of human rights
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures


Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Strengthening of participation
Fostering a culture of peace
Project cancelled
Proposal and development of alternatives:On 2 and 3 June 1989, the protesters against the construction of EJŻ formed the Alliance for Alternative Energy, under which an alternative to nuclear power was sought in the spirit of the then fashionable "constructive opposition" [1]. However, no specific proposals were made.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The activists' goal was achieved. The power plant was demolished and the nuclear development program in Poland was suspended. Yet, nuclear plans are revived from time to time in the country.

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

[13] The team of the President of the National Atomic Energy Agency for the Żarnowiec nuclear power plant (1990). RAPORT W SPRAWIE ELEKTROWNI JĄDROWEJ ŻARNOWIEC

[14] RESOLUTION No. 204 OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS of 17 December 1990 on putting the nuclear power plant "Żarnowiec" under construction into liquidation.

[15] Ministry of Climate and Environment (2020). Poland's energy policy until 2040.

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Waluszko J. (2013). Protesty przeciwko budowie elektrowni jądrowej Żarnowiec w latach 1985–1990 (Protests against the construction of the Żarnowiec nuclear power plant in 1985–1990). Gdańsk: IPN.

[2] Kiełbasa W. (2019). How it happened with “Żarnowiec” – a reflection in 30 years after construction stoppage. Part 1 – since the very beginning till construction halting, Postępy Techniki Jądrowej, no. 2, pp. 2-13.

[3] Dulewicz J. (2017). Postawy i reakcje polskiego społeczeństwa wobec zanieczyszczenia środowiska naturalnego w kraju (1971–1989) (Attitudes and reactions of Polish people to natural environment pollution in the country (1971–1989)), Polska 1944/45 - 1989, no. 15, pp. 79-96.

[4] Szulecki K., Borewicz T., Waluszko J. (2017). A Brief Green Moment: The emergence and decline of Polish anti-nuclear and environmental movement', Interface, vol. 7, np. 2, pp. 27–48 .

[5] Wąsowicz J. (2012). Niezależny ruch młodzieżowy w Gdańsku w latach 1981–1989 (Independent youth movement in Gdańsk in the years 1981–1989). Gdańsk: Europejskie Centrum Solidarności.

[8] Piotrowski G. (2017, April 25). Żarnowiec-grobowiec. Opozycja ekologiczna w Polsce i kampania antynuklearna (Żarnowiec-tomb. The environmental opposition in Poland and the anti-nuclear campaign).

[9] Michałowicz L. (2013, October 4). Wielka budowa, wielka katastrofa i wielka niewiadoma – spór o Żarnowiec (A great construction site, a great catastrophe and a great unknown - the dispute over Żarnowiec). Pomorski Przegląd Gospodarczy.

[10] Melańczuk M. (2019, February 29). Protesty (Protests). Blog EJ Żarnowiec.

[11] Jezierski G. (2006, January). Kalendarium budowy elektrowni jądrowej w Żarnowcu, czyli... jak straciliśmy swoją szansę? (Calendar of the construction of the nuclear power plant in Żarnowiec, or ... how did we lose our chance?).

[12] Energetyka Jądrowa website (2014, January 12). EJ Żarnowiec 1982-1990 (Żarnowiec NPP 1982-1990).

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[6] The Żarnowiec nuclear power plant in 1990 - reasons for the construction discontinuation. WysokieNapię YouTube account.

[7] Nuclear power plant in Żarnowiec. Sorengreen YouTube account.

Meta information

Contributor:Maciej Kałaska, [email protected] Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw
Last update03/06/2022
Conflict ID:5901



The nuclear power plant in Żarnowiec (2020, August 1)

After the construction was halted, a large amount of specialized equipment was immediately rendered useless. Most of it, including two of the four reactor vessels, were scrapped. The third reactor vessel, along with various other equipment, was bought by a nuclear plant in Loviisa in Finland for training purposes. The fourth is located in a training facility for nuclear industry workers in Paks, Hungary / Author: Mzywial; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Żarnowiec nuclear power plant - unfinished nuclear plant construction site. Buildings with changing rooms (2008, August 10)

The local government which took over the buildings was unsuccessful in preventing the already constructed buildings from falling into disrepair. Several of them were looted and devastated. No action was taken to preserve the reactor building; it was flooded with water and is unsuitable for resuming construction / Author: Łukaszewski P.; licence: CC BY-SA 4.0

Pickets of the „Wolność and Pokój” (“Freedom and Peace”) movement activists against Zarnowiec NPP

Banner "Żarnobyl" (combination of the words "Żarnowiec" and "Chernobyl") / Source: Kiełbasa W. (2019). How it happened with “Żarnowiec” – a reflection in 30 years after construction stoppage. Part 1 – since the very beginning till construction halting.

Pickets of the „Wolność and Pokój” (“Freedom and Peace”) movement activists against Zarnowiec NPP at the Gdańsk Old Town

The protesters from "Freedom and Peace" Movement displayed a banner: "Down with the Żarnowiec NPP. We want to live!" / Source: Kiełbasa W. (2019). How it happened with “Żarnowiec” – a reflection in 30 years after construction stoppage. Part 1 – since the very beginning till construction halting.