Westinghouse to invest in Poland’s nuclear future

March 17, 2021, 9:29AMNuclear News

Patrick Fragman (left), president and CEO of Westinghouse, and Piotr Naimski, Poland’s secretary of state for strategic energy infrastructure, met on March 15, 2021, in Warsaw. Photo: Westinghouse

The signing last October of a bilateral agreement between the United States and Poland to cooperate on the latter’s civil nuclear power program appears to be bearing fruit. On March 15, following a meeting in Warsaw between Patrick Fragman, president and chief executive officer of Westinghouse Electric Company, and Piotr Naimski, Poland’s secretary of state for strategic energy infrastructure, Westinghouse announced its intention to invest in nuclear technologies in Poland.

The agreement, which entered into force earlier this month, calls for the United States and Poland to cooperate over the next 18 months on a report laying out a plan for implementing Poland’s nuclear power program, as well as potential financing arrangements. It also defines areas of U.S.-Polish cooperation for decades to come, including support for relevant business entities and government-led efforts ranging from regulation to research and training to supply chain development.

What they’re saying: “We commend the Polish government for their vision and leadership to address carbon emissions, air pollution, and increasing demands for reliable energy,” Fragman said. “Westinghouse has a long history of successful nuclear innovation and is well-positioned to partner with Poland to address [its] needs, create jobs, and secure the country’s energy future.” The announcement also touted Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor, stating that it “offers the highest safety and operability available in the market” and that “the operating plants continue to set industry records in the ease and duration of commissioning and refueling outages, as well as outstanding capacity factors.”

If selected by Poland as a nuclear power partner, the announcement added, Westinghouse “will source and develop a nuclear supply chain estimated to create more than 2,000 jobs in Poland, ensuring the highest quality of components, expertise, and accountability.”

In case you missed it: On February 2, Poland’s Ministry of Climate and Environment announced the official adoption of Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 (PEP2040), originally published in draft form in November 2018 and revised the following year.

In its announcement, the ministry described PEP2040 as “a clear vision of Poland’s energy transformation strategy” and “a compass for entrepreneurs, local governments, and citizens in the transformation of the Polish economy toward low emission.” By 2040, the document states, more than half of Poland’s installed capacity will be zero-emission sources, adding that both offshore wind energy and nuclear energy “will play a special role” in reaching that goal.

Nuclear’s role: PEP2040 contains eight specific objectives, one of which is the implementation of nuclear power. According to the document, Poland will launch its first nuclear power reactor in 2033, with a capacity of 1.0 to 1.6 GW. Additional units are to be “implemented” every two to three years after that. The nuclear program envisions the construction of six units by 2043.

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