WARSAW, POLAND (AP) – Poland said it has chosen the United States (US) government and Westinghouse to build its first nuclear power plant, announcing an important step in its efforts to burn less coal and gain greater energy independence.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday that Poland’s nuclear energy project will use the “reliable, safe technology” of Westinghouse Electric Company, saying a strong Poland-US alliance “guarantees the success of our joint initiatives”.
Poland has been planning for many years to build a nuclear power plant to gain greater energy independence and replace ageing coal plants in a country with some of the worst levels of air pollution in Europe.
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the USD40-billion project would create or sustain more than 100,000 jobs for American workers.
“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,” Granholm tweeted.
The deal is for the first three reactors of a nuclear power plant that is to be built in northern Poland, with officials saying it should start producing electricity in 2033.
Poland had also considered offers from France and South Korea.
The US is one of the most important allies of NATO-member Poland.
State Assets Minister Jacek Sasin suggested there could still be a role for South Korea in the project, saying that “this is not our last word” and that more talks are being held in Seoul next week concerning the large nuclear energy project.