US-Poland nuclear cooperation progress reflected in new roadmap report

15 September 2022

The USA has delivered its “Concept and Execution Report for Civil Nuclear Cooperation” to Polish Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa in Warsaw. This was done through the US Department of Energy (DOE) and US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski joined by Westinghouse Poland President Miroslaw Kowalik and Bechtel’s General Manager for Nuclear Power Ahmet Tokpinar. 

The Concept and Execution Report is a detailed bilateral roadmap to construct six large nuclear reactors using US technology and a framework for strategic cooperation between the USA and Poland on civil nuclear energy. The report fulfils an obligation under the US-Polish Intergovernmental Agreement on Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation signed in October 2020.

It serves as more than a commercial offer and “reflects 18 months of intensive work and millions of dollars of US funded analysis and assessments”. To support the report, US project companies Westinghouse and Bechtel conducted detailed studies on the feasibility of AP1000 technology to deliver on the expectations of the Polish Nuclear Power Programme and Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe (PEJ), the investor in the construction of NPPs in Poland. The final document was “thoroughly reviewed by experts” and determined complete by a bilateral steering committee co-chaired by Deputy Minister Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertynski from Poland’s Ministry of Climate and Environment and Assistant Secretary Andrew Light from the US DOE.

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm described the report as “a major step towards Poland’s development of a robust civil nuclear industry that is zero-carbon emitting and will result in another European source of energy that is free from Russian influence”. She said the project “has the potential to ensure that the Polish people can receive the safest, most advanced, and reliable nuclear technology available”.

Poland’s Minister of Climate and Environment expressed his appreciation of the cooperation and dialogue which led to finalisation of the report. “This Report will be taken into account by Poland’s Government when it takes key technology-related decisions in the fall of this year. Nuclear power deployment in Poland will significantly contribute to socio-economic development and what recently became crucial due to the outbreak of Russia’s aggression to Ukraine – to ensuring energy security,” he said.

US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski said Poland “can find no better partners than Westinghouse and Bechtel”. He added that the report “is a reflection of the US commitment to Poland’s energy security and could mark the expansion of our multi-dimensional strategic relationship across the security and economic spheres”.

The other companies that have joined the race to develop nuclear energy in Poland include France’s EDF and South Korean Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP). Poland’s nuclear plans foresee having six reactors operational by 2040 with a capacity of up to 9GWe. The first – with a capacity of 1-1.6 GWe – should go online by 2033. The Polish government expects any partner in the nuclear programme to also take a 49% stake in the company managing the project and to provide financing in addition to technology.

PEJ has selected a site at Lubiatowo-Kopalino as the preferred location for the first plant. In addition, several Polish energy-intensive industrial companies have also been developing their own plans to build smaller-scale nuclear reactors Small modular reactors, and high-temperature reactors for industrial heat production have since 2016 been included in the government's draft development strategy.

Image: US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinsk and Polish Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa pictured at the presentation in Warsaw (courtesy of Ministerstwo Klimatu i Srodowiska)

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