Poland has chosen Westinghouse Electric Company to supply the reactors for its initial nuclear power plant, as the Central European nation seeks to lessen its dependence on domestic coal and Russian imports for its energy supply. On Friday, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced the decision on Twitter, confirming last week’s reports that Westinghouse’s AP1000 technology was the government’s likely choice.
“A strong [Polish-American] alliance guarantees the success of our joint initiatives,” Morawiecki tweeted. “After talks with [vice president Kamala Harris and energy secretary Jennifer Granholm], we confirm our nuclear energy project will use the reliable, safe technology of [Westinghouse].”
Competing with the American firm for the job were Électricité de France and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power. In October 2021, EDF submitted an offer to build four to six EPRs in Poland, while KHNP offered in April of this year to construct six APR1400 units.
A location in northern Poland near the Baltic coast, Lubiatowo-Kopalino, was selected last December as the preferred site for the nation’s first foray into nuclear power. Lubiatowo-Kopalino is approximately 40 miles northwest of Gdansk, the capital of Poland’s Pomeranian province.
U.S. reaction: “This is a HUGE step in strengthening our relationship with Poland to create energy security for future generations to come,” Secretary Granholm tweeted, following Morawiecki’s announcement. “We are excited to continue this partnership to drive forward a clean-energy transition with our counterparts in Europe. This announcement also sends a clear message to Russia: We will not let them weaponize energy any longer. The West will stand together against this unprovoked aggression, while also diversifying energy supply chains and bolstering climate cooperation.”
Meanwhile: According to this Reuters report, KHNP has signed a letter of intent to build a nuclear power plant in central Poland.
Background: In February 2021, Poland’s Ministry of Climate and Environment announced the official adoption of the 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 offshore wind energy and nuclear energy “will play a special role” in reaching that goal.
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.