WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish and United States (US) officials signed an agreement Wednesday in Warsaw for the construction of Poland’s first nuclear power plant, part of an effort by the Central European nation to move away from polluting fossil fuels.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called the deal to build the plant at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in the Pomerania region near the Baltic Sea the beginning of a new chapter for Poland, and described nuclear energy as a stable and clean energy source.
Last year, Morawiecki’s government announced that it had chosen the US as its partner for the project, which will be based in the Pomerania province near the Baltic Sea coast.
A consortium made up of Westinghouse and Bechtel signed the agreement with the Polish state-owned company overseeing the nuclear program, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ).
Poland is planning to spend $40 billion to build two nuclear power plants with three reactors each, the last one to be launched in 2043. The deal with the US is for the first three reactors of the Pomerania plant, which officials said should start producing electricity in 2033.
Poland has planned for decades to build a nuclear power plant to replace its ageing coal-fired plants in a country with some of the worst air pollution in Europe.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its use of energy to put economic and political pressure on European nations added urgency to Poland’s search for alternative energy sources.