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On the Baltic Sea coast in Pomerania: Poland is building its first nuclear power plant

On the Baltic coast in Pomerania
Poland builds first nuclear power plant

Poland was once supposed to get a nuclear power plant of Soviet design – but this was never completed. Warsaw has been pushing new plans for years. A US company has now been awarded the contract to build Poland’s first nuclear power plant. Others, also with international participation, are to follow.

The Polish government has passed a resolution to build the country’s first nuclear power plants. The US group Westinghouse Electric Company was awarded the contract for the first location, as the PAP news agency reported after a cabinet meeting in Warsaw. The basis is a cooperation agreement between Washington and Warsaw on the civilian use of nuclear power from the year 2020. “We see clearly that we not only have to rely on proven technology, but also on proven partners,” said the national conservative Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

According to the Polish government, Poland’s first nuclear power plant will cost around 20 billion euros. The government wants the first reactor to go online in 2033 in the northern town of Lubiatowo-Kopalino. In total, Poland wants to set up three sites, each with three reactors. This should cover 30 percent of the electricity requirement.

Poland wants to meet climate commitments

The preferred nuclear power plant location Lubiatowo-Kopalino is on the Baltic Sea coast in the Pomeranian Voivodeship northwest of Danzig (Gdansk). Three pressurized water reactors of the AP 1000 type are planned. A second nuclear power plant site is also planned. “This is a project involving the construction of a nuclear power plant in Poland by a Korean company with the participation of Polish companies,” Morawiecki explained. There is no further information on a possible third project in central Poland. France had also expressed interest in the orders.

Warsaw has been pushing ahead with its nuclear program for years, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has made the issue of energy security even more urgent. With the construction of nuclear power plants, the Polish government also wants to fulfill its obligations under the Paris climate agreement.

In the 1980s, construction of a Soviet-designed nuclear power plant began near Danzig (Gdansk). Zarnowiec NPP was never completed after protests. Coal-fired power plants currently cover around 70 percent of Poland’s electricity needs.

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