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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Poland chooses a US company to build its first nuclear power plant

Poland chooses a US company to build its first nuclear power plant


Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki arrives in Brussels for the EU Summit on October 21, 2022 in Brussels. afp_tickers

This content 28 October 2022 – 23:10 . was published on

(AFP)

Poland has selected US company Westinghouse to build its first nuclear power plant, at a time when the European country seeks to bolster its energy security amid rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine’s invasion.

Westinghouse was chosen over France’s EDF and South Korea’s KHNP in development of the multibillion-dollar project, although Poland left open the possibility of considering other nuclear bidders in the future.

“We confirm that our nuclear power project will use the reliable and safe technology of @WECNuclear,” tweeted Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

The decision will be formally adopted during a cabinet meeting in Warsaw on Wednesday, it said.

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm appreciated the decision. “This is a big step towards strengthening our ties with Poland for generations to come,” he said.

He added in a video, “I think this sends a clear message to Russia that the Atlantic Alliance is united to diversify our energy supply … and opposes Russia’s use of energy as a weapon.” “

Granholm insisted that Poland had chosen Westinghouse “for the first part of its $40 billion nuclear project”, but did not specify the total amount of the investment.

A senior US government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the deal was valued at “billions” of dollars and would create “thousands of well-paid jobs.”

“It’s not just about a commercial energy project, it’s about how we define what I would call interdependent security for decades to come,” he said.

– Operational by 2033 –

Poland had been planning for years to develop the capability to produce nuclear power for civilian purposes. The issue of energy security became more urgent after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter that he was “extremely pleased” with the deal to “help produce safe, clean and reliable nuclear power”.

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

In September, a new pipeline was introduced to transport Norwegian gas to Poland via Denmark, after Russia cut off supplies.

The Polish government wants the first nuclear power plant to become operational in 2033.

He chose the city of Choczevo, near the Baltic Sea coast, as the site for the plant.

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

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