Poland aims to build six nuclear plants in the coming years and has had offers from the USA’s Westinghouse, South Korea’s KHNP and France’s EDF. As the country’s deadline for making a decision approaches, Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin and Climate Minister Anna Moskwa held talks in Washington with US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.
Speaking after the meeting Sasin said it had been a “very constructive and important meeting concerning our joint projects in the field of nuclear energy. It served to clarify all the issues that remained to be clarified when it comes to the government’s decision to choose a partner in the Polish nuclear power project”.
“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 possible.”
“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,” he said, adding that during the meeting the aim was for remaining issues to be “clarified”.
Moskwa added: “Construction of a nuclear power plant is a strategic investment for the sustainable development and energy security of the entire country. Today we discussed the decisive elements of the US offer. There are still a few issues that we expect to be clarified by the American side. I think that in the coming days we will be able to announce the government’s decision on this matter.”
In September last year, it was announced that six large pressurised water reactors with a combined installed capacity of 6-9 GWe could be built by 2040 as part of Poland’s plan to reduce its reliance on coal. According to the adopted schedule, the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Poland will start in 2026, with the first reactor, with a capacity of 1-1.6 GWe, being commissioned in 2033. Subsequent units will be implemented every 2-3 years.
In July last year, Westinghouse announced the launch of front-end engineering and design work – based on AP1000 technology – under a grant from the US Trade and Development Agency “to progress” the nuclear energy programme in Poland. EDF of France submitted a “non-binding preliminary offer” to supply six EPR reactors in October. Poland has also received an offer from Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power for the construction of six APR-1400 reactors.
The coastal towns of Lubiatowo and Kopalino in Poland’s Choczewo municipality have been named as the preferred location for the country’s first large nuclear power plant.