Poland's president hails nuclear 'partnership' with USA

28 March 2022

At a meeting with US President Joe Biden, Poland's President Andrzej Duda said that he believed the two countries' nuclear energy programme "will be able to get off the ground soon".

Presidents Biden and Duda had a bilateral meeting in Poland (Image: US Embassy in Poland)

President Duda said that, especially at the current time with "the Russian aggression on Ukraine", the diversification of energy supplies, including the import of American Liquefied Natural Gas, was of “extreme importance".

He said the country was also grateful "for the unceasing engagement in the programme of peaceful energy involving the construction of American nuclear power plants in Poland".

These were important both for climate protection reasons and for energy security, adding he was sure "this partnership … will continue in a spirit of close cooperation".

"I do believe that we will be able to get the programme off the ground soon, together with the American enterprises and under the patronage of the White House - it is urgently needed in Poland," he added.

Diplomatic notes Poland and the USA exchanged in 2020 on cooperation in the development of Poland's civil nuclear power programme officially entered into force in March 2021. This means the USA has 18 months from that date to prepare both a technology and a financing offer to build nuclear power plants in Poland.

Poland's Energy Policy for 2040 is based on three pillars: a just transition; a zero-emission energy system; and good air quality. The first 1-1.6 GWe nuclear unit is to be commissioned in 2033, with five more units, or 6-9 GWe, to follow by 2040. The seaside 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.

In July last year, Westinghouse announced the launch of front-end engineering and design (FEED) work under a grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency "to progress" the nuclear energy programme in Poland. Westinghouse said the FEED was one of the key elements in the implementation of the Intergovernmental Agreement between Poland and the USA regarding cooperation to develop a civil nuclear power programme.

Westinghouse is executing the FEED - which will be based on AP1000 technology - together with Bechtel. The two companies also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GE Steam Power last month to explore opportunities in their joint pursuit of civil nuclear power prospects in Poland. The FEED study will be reviewed later this year by the Polish government to help in its selection of the best partner for the nuclear power plant programme.

Also last month, NuScale Power and Polish copper and silver producer KGHM Polska Miedź SA signed a definitive agreement to initiate work towards deploying a first NuScale VOYGR small modular reactor power plant in Poland as early as 2029.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News