Poland's Westinghouse choice 'deepens strategic relationship' with USA

31 October 2022

US firm Westinghouse has been chosen to build Poland's first nuclear power plant, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said, with US Vice President Kamala Harris saying the decision "can address the climate crisis, strengthen European energy security, and deepen the US-Poland strategic relationship".

(Image: Pixabay)

In a tweet on Friday Morawiecki said: "A strong alliance guarantees the success of our joint initiatives. After talks with @VP K.Harris and @SecGranholm we confirm our nuclear energy project will use the reliable, safe technology of @WECNuclear. Thank you @USAmbPoland. Council of Ministers resolution on Wednesday."

And US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm added shortly afterwards in her own tweet: "BIG NEWS: Poland's PM Mateusz Morawiecki just announced Poland will select the US government & Westinghouse for the first part of their $40B nuclear project, creating or sustaining 100,000+ jobs for American workers. Thank you for your hard work with @ENERGY, @USAmbPoland.

"This is a HUGE step in strengthening our relationship with Poland to create energy security for future generations to come. We are excited to continue this partnership to drive forward a clean energy transition with our counterparts in Europe.

"This announcement also sends a clear message to Russia: We will not let them weaponise energy any longer. The West will stand together against this unprovoked aggression, while also diversifying energy supply chains and bolstering climate cooperation."

US Vice-President Kamala Harris added: "In my conversations with PM Morawiecki of Poland, in Warsaw and on the phone, I made clear that US partnership on this project is advantageous for us all: we can address the climate crisis, strengthen European energy security, and deepen the US-Poland strategic relationship."

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. Westinghouse faced competition for the order from EDF of France, who submitted a "non-binding preliminary offer" to supply six EPR reactors in October, and from Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power who made an offer 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.

Reuters quoted a US official as saying they understood the decision will be "for the first three reactors and it is our expectation that Poland intends to eventually construct six AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse and will make a formal decision about the second set of three at a later date".

In a separate development on Monday, South Korea's energy ministry said Poland's ZE PAK, PGE (Polska Grupa Energetyczna) and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power had signed a letter of intent to cooperate on a nuclear power plant project in Patnow, Poland, assessing the viability of building South Korean APR1400 reactors on the site.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News