Alerts Energy Infrastructure / Innovations Nuclear 4 April, 2024 7:35 am   

America is fighting for a second nuclear site in Poland by inaugurating the world’s first nuclear center in Warsaw

Otwarcie-centrum-jadrowego-w-Warszawie Opening of the Nuclear Centre in Warsaw. Picture by Wojciech Jakóbik.

The agreement has been signed. A Training Centre for Clean Energy Technologies will be established under the auspices of Poland and the USA. The Americans are set to share their knowledge on nuclear energy during the construction of the nuclear plant in Pomerania, while also aiming for another location.

The agreement to launch the center was signed at the Warsaw University of Technology. Its purpose is for scientists and businesses from across Poland to collaborate with the USA in building the potential for implementing the AP1000 nuclear power plant project in Pomerania. “We will need thousands of engineers to effectively and safely implement our program,” admitted Miłosz Motyka, Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment during the inauguration. Polish companies are expected to receive support from the center to integrate into nuclear energy supply chains worldwide. The center is to provide training for nuclear personnel.

“The new government is fully committed to the energy transition and nuclear energy, which is an important element of this process,” Motyka said. He emphasized the importance of Poland and America building nuclear energy capacity together.

“This is a continuation of cooperation between Poland and the United States. Thinking about Poland in the next 30 years and the challenges that await it, which will be different than in the last 30 years, the key will be to build knowledge and resilience through this center,” said the U.S. ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski. He assessed that the construction of the center financed by the US Department of Energy was an “investment in Poland” implemented within the framework of the intergovernmental agreement on the development of civilian nuclear energy. The center in Warsaw is the first institution of its kind founded by Americans in the world.

“It will be a training hub in Central Europe to serve other countries in the region interested in nuclear energy from America,” said Michael Goff, the Chief Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy. at the U.S. Department of Energy, one of the two most important U.S. officials for nuclear power. He acknowledged that the Americans were also interested in the development of new technologies for small nuclear reactors in Europe.

Poland has chosen the American technology AP1000 for the nuclear power plant in Pomerania at the first location Lubiatowo-Kopalino, where three reactors are be constructed, the first one in 2033. However, the Americans are also hoping for a second location. “We want to build three to six nuclear reactors. We are ready, as US President Joe Biden said. In terms of cost and efficiency, this is the only option,” the US Ambassador said.

“The first classes and seminars at the centre will start shortly,” said Krzysztof Zaremba, rector of the Warsaw University of Technology.

“In order to maintain the pace of development of the agency, we develop human resources, hardware and intellectual potential. It is important to maintain a balance between these areas in order to ensure an adequate pace of licensing of the first Polish nuclear power plant,” explained Andrzej Głowacki, president of the Polish Atomic Energy Agency (PAA). “We are entering the licensing phase. As president of the PAA, I am proud to say that the nuclear cooperation between Poland and the United States goes far beyond current developments. We have been stable partners in this area for years,” he added.

The president of the PAA spoke about numerous trainings and visits to the United States to share knowledge about the nuclear sector. “The launch of the Nuclear Centre is particularly important for future challenges. PAA must build potential by employing educated and well-prepared staff,” pointed out Głowacki.

“We have supported the development of the nuclear sector in Poland, but from our point of view there is another aspect of the development of nuclear projects in our country. This is the participation of business entities from Poland in order to build a national contribution,” said Bogdan Pilch, president of the Chamber of Commerce for Energy and Environmental Protection. He spoke about years of events and workshops aimed at developing cooperation between more than 100 companies from Poland and the American nuclear sector. Pilch admitted that the development of small nuclear reactors in the future can also create new jobs in Poland.

It is worth recalling that the Polish Nuclear Power Plants and the American Bechtel and Westinghouse are bound by an agreement to prepare the atomic project in Pomerania, but are still negotiating the terms of the construction contract.

Wojciech Jakóbik