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Key updates on Poland’s nuclear transformation

Earlier last week, US Ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzeziński and the president of Westinghouse Polska, Mirosław Kowalik presented an offer to build a nuclear power plant in Poland to the Polish Minister of Climate and Environment, Anna Moskva.

The offer, titled Concept and executive report on cooperation in the field of Civil Nuclear Energy is a detailed bilateral roadmap to the construction of six large-scale reactors predicated on American technology. Additionally, it creates a framework for strategic cooperation between the US and Poland in the field of civil nuclear energy. 

The report fulfils the obligation resulting from the Polish-American intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy signed in October 2020.

In order to prepare the report, US companies Westinghouse and Bechtel conducted detailed studies of the adaptation of Westinghouse’s AP1000 technology to the expectations of the Polish Nuclear Power Program and Polish Nuclear Power Plants as an investor in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Poland. The final version of the report was extensively assessed by experts and deemed complete by a bilateral steering committee chaired by Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński and Secretary Andrew Light of the US Department of Energy.

“I hope that Poland will choose a partnership with the USA so that Poles can receive the safest, most advanced and most trustworthy technology available. I see this project as a foundation to facilitate civil nuclear power application and joint research” said US Secretary for Energy, Jennifer Granholm.

Then, US Ambassador Brzeziński met with the CEO of PKN Orlen, Daniel Obajtek, during which the two sides discussed “the possibility of an American-Polish partnership in the field of energy”, as confirmed on Twitter.

Warsaw’s initial reactions

The Minister of Climate and Environment, Anna Moskwa noted that Poland values the cooperation with the US, based on the intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2020 which led to the finalisation of the Concept and Executive Report.

“The report will be taken into account by the Government of the Republic of Poland when making key decisions regarding the technology this fall,” said the Minister. “The use of nuclear energy in Poland will significantly contribute to the reduction of the amount of emitted emissions, socio-economic development and increase the energy security of our country, which is the highest priority due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Speaking to Polish Radio’s Program 3, Minister Moskwa confirmed that the cost of building the first power plant cannot be revealed at this stage. However, she also highlighted that “it is a big expense due to the huge amount of gigawatts produced and the durability of this technology.”

Notwithstanding, “nuclear energy is by far the cheapest source of energy, but we do not yet have a selected technology and we do not have an environmental decision, and this will mainly determine the costs,” the Climate and Environment Minister added.

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