Poland switches to nuclear power, choosing US Westinghouse over EDF for construction

Poland switches to nuclear power, choosing US Westinghouse over EDF for construction

A country where coal is king, Poland is also switching to nuclear power. And if this decision is a good thing for the fight against global warming, the decision will make people cringe in Europe, particularly in France. Because Warsaw chose the American group Westinghouse to build its first nuclear power plant in 2033, and not EDF, which was a candidate for this contract, which was also claimed by the South Korean group KHNP. The American group has been chosen “for the first part of the Polish nuclear project worth 40,000 million dollars”, announced the US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm.

“We confirm that our nuclear power project will use reliable and safe technology from @WECNuclear” (Westinghouse, editor’s note), Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Friday, specifying that the decision would be officially confirmed during a meeting of the Advice. of Ministers in Warsaw next Wednesday.

Close ties between Washington and Warsaw

A decision that is not surprising given the close ties between Warsaw and Washington and the decisions already taken by Poland in the past in other strategic sectors such as defense and aeronautics. This is enough to reinforce criticism in Europe against Poland, which does not play the European card despite the fact that it has benefited since its entry into the European Union in 2004 of colossal help from Brussels to ensure its development.

However, Poland has always favored the United States because it is convinced that Washington will help faster than Europe in the event of a Russian attack. A feeling that was reinforced by the war in Ukraine. At the end of March, a month after the start of the war, during Joe Biden’s visit to Poland, Polish President Donald Tusk announced defense agreements with the United States and openly declared that civilian nuclear power would go through a partnership with Washington.

“I firmly believe that this partnership that we have between the United States and Poland for the development of nuclear energy in our country, in close cooperation between our two states, will be implemented and finalized. I have here with me Minister Piotr Naimski, responsible for this program on the Polish side. And I am sure that together with American companies, but under the strong patronage of the White House, we will be able to successfully implement this program in the near future, because Poland urgently needs it,” the Polish president said, according to a statement. White House account at the time.

“This is a big step in strengthening our relationship with Poland for generations to come,” said Jennifer Granholm.

“Interdependent security in the coming decades”

However, a senior US government official who spoke on condition of anonymity revealed that the deal was worth “billions” of dollars and would create “thousands of good-paying jobs.” “This is not just about a commercial energy project, this is about how we will define what I would call interdependent security for decades to come,” the official said.

Poland had been planning for years to develop the capacity to produce nuclear power for civilian purposes, and the issue of energy security became more urgent due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Polish decision “sends an unequivocal message to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin about the strength … of the US-Polish alliance,” the official continued.

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