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Poland-US nuclear deal update: senior ministers on a visit to Washington

Poland’s Climate and Environment Minister, Anna Moskwa and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State Assets, Jacek Sasin held “constructive” talks with US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm about the offer to build a nuclear power plant in Poland. The meeting took place in Washington on 23 October.

“It is a very constructive and important meeting concerning our joint nuclear energy projects. Its purpose was to clarify any issues that remained to be clarified as regards the government’s decision to select a partner in the Polish nuclear power construction project”, said Deputy Prime Minister Sasin.

The head of the Polish Ministry of Climate and Environment emphasised that Poland appreciates the cooperation with the US based on the intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2020.

“These 18 months of contract performance by the USA, preparation of documents for the environmental and location decision – that was the performance of the contract. The last stage of this cooperation is to decide whether we accept the final report of the American side”, said Minister Moskwa.

Minister Anna Moskwa also added that the Polish government is currently facing the challenge of choosing the right technology. The Polish nuclear program envisages the construction of two power plants in two locations.

“In line with the Polish Nuclear Power Program, our country will choose the technologies for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Poland by the end of the year,” she said. “We want to meet this deadline so that the start of construction in 2026 is realistic. This means that the first reactor could start operating as early as 2033. The Polish nuclear program envisages the construction of 6 reactors to be commissioned successively every 2 years.”

Deputy PM Sasin gave an important indication of when the final decision could be made, saying that “we are close to making a decision to choose a partner. I think that after this meeting we are much closer to making this decision.”

Mr Sasin emphasised the importance of investments in nuclear energy for Poland’s energy security.

“We do not have time,” he pointed out. “The huge energy crisis that is affecting us now means that we must quickly make decisions about building the country’s energy security based on new, clean, cheap and reliable sources, and such a source is nuclear energy. We want decisive decisions to be made as soon as possible. That is why we asked the secretary for a meeting where we will clarify any issues that remain to be clarified.”

Climate and Environment, Minister Moskwa also underlined broader opportunities associated with Poland’s nuclear strategy.

“A nuclear power plant is not only about technology and workmanship. It is also the human potential that we would like to use in Poland,” she continued. “We would like to see Poland as a training centre and be a regional hub not only in renewable energy sources but also in other fields of energy. We wanted to explain to what aspect and scope this partnership with the US gives us a chance to be such a nuclear centre for the entire Central and Eastern Europe.”

Separately, the meeting was also an opportunity to discuss Poland’s proposal to suspend Russia as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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