US offers to build Poland 6 nuclear plants, diminish Russia dependency
Poland's Minister of Climate and Environment receives a letter from the US Ambassador proposing that Washington and Warsaw develop a bilateral strategy for the building of six nuclear reactors in Poland.
Polish Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa received a letter from the US ambassador Mark Brzezinski with a proposal suggesting Washington and Warsaw build a detailed bilateral roadmap for the construction of six nuclear reactors in Poland under the guise of gradually phasing out coal and diminishing Russian energy dependency.
Moskwa announced this earlier on Monday detailing that the construction of the project would be set to finish by 2040.
Westinghouse Electric Company spokesperson, the US firm bidding to take on the project, said that “It's more than a commercial offer, it reflects 18 months of work and millions of dollars spent on analysis and evaluations.”
On her end, US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm stated that the project would be “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.”
Additionally, Granholm said that “This project has the potential to ensure that the Polish people can receive the safest, most advanced, and reliable nuclear technology available.”
After supplying the technology, the Polish government expects the partner in its nuclear program to take a 49% interest in the firm as well as assist in operating and financing the plants.
It is worth noting that as of yet the Warsaw administration has not evaluated the US proposal and is expected to make a decision prior to the annual technology talks that will be coming up this autumn.
Washington's offer is made just days after Poland declared itself the "locomotive of development" for the entirety of Europe while challenging Germany's allegedly flawed energy policies.
“Germany’s policies have inflicted tremendous damage on Europe,” Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said, branding the phase-out of coal and nuclear power "premature." The PM also chastised Berlin for allowing the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines to be built and chastised Berlin for becoming energy dependent on Russia.
Germany's policy reversals
In a policy reversal, Germany announced, on September 5, that it will maintain two nuclear power plants in standby status through the end of the year as the cutoff of Russian gas imports causes Europe to look for alternative energy sources.
Following a new network stress test, Economy Minister Robert Habeck announced in a statement that two of the three remaining nuclear power plants will "remain available until mid-April 2023 in case needed," somewhat postponing a nuclear withdrawal envisaged under the previous chancellor Angela Merkel.
The facilities would be held in reserve in case they were needed to "make a further contribution to the electricity grid in southern Germany," where the development of renewable energy lagged behind throughout the north.
According to Habeck, such a catastrophe is still "very unlikely" because Germany has "very high security of supply."
The Green Minister also emphasized that Germany was sticking to its plan to abandon nuclear power, with all plants being disconnected from the grid at the end of the year, and that it was not changing course.
New fuel rods won't be installed, and the reserve program will end after mid-April 2023, according to Habeck. Following a preliminary stress test in March, it was determined that the remaining nuclear fleet could be gradually disposed of by year's end as originally intended since it was not necessary to maintain energy security.
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