Poland chose the US company Westinghouse to build its first nuclear power plant, against France’s EDF and South Korea’s KHNP, authorities in this Eastern European country said on Friday.
“We confirm that our nuclear power project will use @WECNuclear’s reliable and safe technology,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki tweeted.
The decision will be formally adopted on Wednesday during a cabinet meeting in Warsaw, it said.
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm praised the decision. “It’s a big step in strengthening our relationship with Poland for future generations,” she said.
Granholm stressed that Poland had chosen Westinghouse “for the first part of its $40 billion nuclear project,” but did not specify the amount of the investment.
A senior US government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, however, revealed that the deal was valued at “billions” of dollars and would create “thousands of well-paying jobs.”
“This is not just about a commercial energy project, this is about how we define what I would call interdependent security for decades to come,” he said.
Poland had been planning for years to develop the capacity to produce nuclear power for civilian purposes. The issue of energy security became more urgent due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Polish decision “sends an unequivocal message to [al presidente ruso Vladimir] Putin regarding the strength (…) of the alliance between the United States and Poland,” added the government official.
The Polish government wants the first nuclear power plant to be operational in 2033.