Poland has announced that it will build its first power plant with the help of the US government and Westinghouse. These efforts will use less coal and give Poland more independence over energy.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, while announcing the move, said, “Poland’s nuclear energy project will use the “reliable, safe technology” of Westinghouse Electric Company. A strong Poland-U.S. alliance guarantees the success of our joint initiatives.”
The plan for building a nuclear power plant was in the pipeline for many years as there was a need for a bigger independence on energy and finding alternatives to coal plants to fight off damaging levels of air pollution in a country which has the highest of it in Europe.
Poland’s hunt for alternate sources of energy has become more significance as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its use of energy as a tactic in a bigger confrontation with the West.
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the $40 billion project would create or sustain more than 100,000 jobs for American workers.
She tweeted, “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.”
She also said, “this announcement also sends a clear message to Russia: We will not let them weaponize energy any longer. The West will stand together against this unprovoked aggression, while also diversifying energy supply chains and bolstering climate cooperation.”
The US deal includes first three reactors of a nuclear power plant that will be built in northern Poland. The officials are of the view that the reactors will start producing electricity in 2033. Poland had also received offers from France and South Korea. The United States is one of the crucial partner of NATO-member Poland. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February it heightened its military presence in the country, making a permanent presence for the first time, and using Poland as a center for sending weapons to Ukraine.
South Korea may still have a role to play in the project, according to State Assets Minister Jacek Sasin, who added that “this is not our last word” and that additional talks about the significant nuclear energy project will take place in Seoul the following week.