Poland looks to nuclear to replace coal

01 December 2008

[Bloomberg, 28 November; AFP, 1 December] Poland's prime minister, Donald Tusk, has said that the coal-dependent country could construct a nuclear power plant by 2020 in a drive to switch to a cheap and clean energy source. He said, "Poland wants to make a rapid decision on building a nuclear power plant." The "ambitious and absolutely realistic" goal could be achieved by 2020, according to Tusk, who added, "Nuclear energy really is cheap and clean." Poland currently derives over 90% of its energy from coal-fired plants. Last week, Poland's economy minister Waldemar Pawlak commented, "We will need nuclear energy if it turns out that renewable sources aren't efficient enough, or if it's too difficult to lower emissions from technologies based on coal." He said the first nuclear power plant was proposed by 2023 at the northern town of Zarnowiec. Poland had four 440 MWe Russian units under construction in the 1980s at Zarnowiec, but these were cancelled in 1990 and the components were sold.