Poland and the US signed a cooperation agreement on October 19 outlining cooperation on a nuclear power programme, which Poland hopes will be the decisive step in decarbonisation of the country’s emissions-heavy energy sector.
Warsaw plans to build as many as six reactors by the early 2040s with the construction of the first one starting as early as in 2026 and the completion currently planned for 2033.
Poland derives some three-quarters of its electricity from burning coal and lignite. Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the country’s power sector make it one of the EU’s largest climate polluters.
Poland's long-term energy strategy envisages that nuclear power will supersede coal in the country’s energy mix so that the share of burning the climate-warming fuel will dwindle to just 11-28% in 2040.
CEE's largest economy currently generates over 600 grams of CO2 per every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of power produced. The corresponding figure for the nuclear-dominated energy sector in France is just 55 grams.
“Over the next 18 months, the US and Poland will work together on a report delivering a design for implementing Poland’s nuclear power program, as well as potential financing arrangements,” the text of the Poland-US agreement stated.
“This will be the basis for US long-term involvement and for the Polish government to take final decisions on accelerating the construction of nuclear power plants in the country,” it also said.