Poland chooses US company to build 1st nuclear power plant: PM

Poland chooses US company to build 1st nuclear power plant: PM


Poland on Friday hired US firm Westinghouse to build its first nuclear power plant as the country seeks to strengthen its energy security at a time of rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine.

Westinghouse beat out competing bids from France’s EDF and South Korea’s KHNP for the multi-billion dollar (euro) deal, although Poland has raised the possibility of more nuclear tenders in the future.

“We confirm that our nuclear energy project will use @WECNuclear’s reliable, safe technology,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Twitter.

Morawiecki said the decision will be officially adopted at a cabinet meeting in Warsaw on Wednesday.

Welcoming Poland’s announcement, US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm tweeted: “This is a major step in strengthening our relationship with Poland for future generations.

“I think it sends a clear message to Russia that the Atlantic Alliance stands together to diversify our energy supply…and oppose Russia’s energy arming,” she said in a video.

Granholm said Poland selected Westinghouse “for the first part of its $40 billion nuclear project” without specifying the size of the investment.

A senior US government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said only that the deal was worth “billions” and would create “thousands of well-paying jobs.”

“This is a big deal because it’s not just about a commercial energy project, it’s about how we’re going to define what I would call interdependent security for decades to come,” the official said.

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The decision “sends an unequivocal message to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin about the strength and growing together of the US-Poland alliance,” the official added.

And US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a tweet that he was “extremely pleased” with the deal to “contribute to the production of safe, clean and reliable nuclear energy.”

“The United States is proud to be Poland’s strong energy and security partner,” Blinken tweeted.

Poland has been planning civilian nuclear power capacity for years, but the issue of energy security has gained additional urgency due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Denmark, Norway and Poland last month unveiled a new pipeline that will carry Norwegian gas to Poland via Denmark after Russia halted Warsaw’s supplies.

The Polish government has announced that its first nuclear power plant will be connected to the grid in 2033.

She chose the village of Choczewo near the Baltic Sea coast as the location for the plant.

The first plant is said to have three reactors and the government has announced that it will select a supplier to build three more reactors in the future.

“The second set (of 3 reactors) will be launched at a date to be determined subject to a decision by the Polish government, and we expect Westinghouse will be too,” the US official said.

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