US-based companies Westinghouse Electric and Bechtel will build the first nuclear power plant in the EU state
The Polish government has signed an agreement with two US companies to build the country's first nuclear power plant. Previously, Warsaw also expressed interest in joining NATO's Nuclear Sharing Program to potentially host American nuclear weapons.
On Wednesday, state-owned Polish utility firm Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe (PEJ) penned a contract with Westinghouse Electric Company and Bechtel for a nuclear power plant to be built in the northern Pomerania region. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and US Ambassador Mark Brzezinski were among the officials to attend the ceremony in Warsaw.
Under the contract, the two American companies will construct three nuclear reactors and train local personnel within 18 months. According to a statement released by Westinghouse, the first AP1000 reactor is expected to achieve commercial operation in 2033.
Anna Lukaszewska-Trzeciakowska, government plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure, hailed the project as capable of "fundamentally rebuild[ing] the Polish energy mix."
US Ambassador Brzezinski stated that "this is not just a commercial venture" but part of an effort to turn Poland into a "hub for civil nuclear technology deployment."
Westinghouse CEO Patrick Fragman expressed hope that the undertaking "will be a model for other countries that seek decarbonization and energy security."
An AP1000 reactor currently produces power for the US state of Georgia, while another is being prepared for commercial operations. Four reactors of this type are also active in China, with six more under construction. In Europe, Bulgaria has chosen AP1000 technology for its new reactor program, Westinghouse revealed.
In June, Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki told reporters that his country wanted to become part of NATO's Nuclear Sharing Program, which allows the deployment of US nuclear bombs on the territory of other nations.
Launched in 2009, the scheme has seen US B61 nuclear bombs arrive in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Türkiye. According to Russian estimates, 150 such bombs were deployed across Europe as of April 2022.
Warsaw cited Moscow's decision to station its own tactical nuclear arms in neighboring Belarus as the reason behind its appeal to NATO.