While the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement grabbed more attention, it was not the only U.S.-Poland pact inked in Warsaw last week. The two countries also initialed a draft bilateral agreement to cooperate in the development of Poland’s civil nuclear power program, according to the State Department. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on August 15 to discuss the partnership, in addition to other matters including the improvement of regional energy and infrastructure through the Three Seas Initiative, the department said.
Background: Poland currently has no nuclear power facilities (most of its electricity is generated by coal) but has participated in talks with the United States over the years to explore ideas for a Polish nuclear power industry.
The U.S.-Poland Strategic Dialogue on Energy was first announced by President Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda at a White House meeting in September 2018. Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry launched the dialogue in Warsaw in November 2018 and held the first two strategic dialogues in 2019. Also that year, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding regarding cooperation in the use of nuclear energy for civil purposes and expressing the readiness of both parties to collaborate on a Polish nuclear energy program. In February this year, the third energy dialogue was held.
Plans: According to Energy Policy of Poland until 2040, Poland plans to build six nuclear reactors, each with a capacity of 1,000 to 1,500 MWe electric, for a total capacity of 6,000 to 9,000 MWe. The first reactor is to be in operation by 2033 and the remaining five by 2043. The first nuclear power plant in Poland is to be built in Pomerania.