In response to restricted access to Russian gas and oil, Poland has announced plans to create its own source of energy by hiring a U.S. firm to construct a nuclear-power plant.
- In an effort to decrease dependence on coal and increase its own energy independence, Poland has chosen U.S.-based manufacturer Westinghouse to build its first nuclear-power plant.
- Poland will spend around $40 billion to build two nuclear power plants near the Baltic Sea, though the exact location has not yet been announced.
- The country has chosen to build two nuclear power plants that have three reactors each. The final plant will be launched in 2043.
- Poland’s deal with the U.S. and Westinghouse covers the first three reactors that will produce electricity by 2033.
Why it’s news
Poland’s announcement is part of a decades-long plan to bring nuclear power to the country.
Currently, the central European country has some of the worst air pollution in Europe and relies on coal-fired plants that are nearing the end of their useful life. In the 1980s, the country did begin construction on a nuclear plant, but the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 squelched any support.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year and subsequent energy shortages has spurred Poland’s incentive to develop more reliable energy sources.
Polish officials will gather on Wednesday to discuss details of the project and begin environmental approval and investment procedures. The government will need to improve infrastructure around the area where the plant will be built.
The agreement is positive news for American workers as well. U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says that more than 100,000 American jobs will be crested over the course of the project.
“This announcement also sends a clear message to Russia: We will not let them weaponize energy any longer. The West will stand together against this unprovoked aggression, while also diversifying energy supply chains and bolstering climate cooperation,” says Granholm.