In July, US-based Westinghouse Electric Company and Bechtel Corporation announced the start of the study, which will provide Poland’s Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe (PEJ) – the company responsible for managing the country’s first nuclear power project – with layout plans for the location of a first nuclear power station, together with a licensing plan, project schedule and cost estimate.
The US Trade and Development Agency has released a grant to fund the study.
“US industry and government have come together at a critical juncture in the development of Poland’s nuclear energy programme,” Ms Granholm said during a press conference in Warsaw.
“It is an opportunity to give American technology to help meet Poland’s clean energy needs and Westinghouse is going to offer its AP1000 nuclear reactor for the project,” she said.
According to Ms Granholm, nuclear provides clean baseload power and Washington wants to make sure countries that want access to nuclear can have it.
She said US nuclear energy partnership is vital for Poland on the way to achieving European Union carbon reduction targets and guaranteeing Poland’s energy security.
Ms Granholm also said the US would like to “have conversations” with countries about how to help finance and set up a nuclear programme, whether for a small modular reactor or a larger AP1000 reactor.
She said president Joe Biden’s administration believes the falling nuclear power share in Europe is “an alarm bell” and “we’ve got to up our game in clean, dispatchable, secure, power”.
Ms Granholm was on a two-day visit to Warsaw where she has been taking part in the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy and Climate Cooperation (P-TECC) Business Forum and Ministerial, a conference promoting clean energy for central and eastern Europe.
Poland wants to build from 6,000 to 9,000 MW of installed nuclear capacity based on proven, large-scale, pressurised water nuclear reactors of the Generation III and III+ design. Commercial operation of a first nuclear reactor unit in a proposed set of six is earmarked for 2033.
The government has not yet announced a technology or investor tender for the project. France and South Korea have also expressed their formal interest in Warsaw’s nuclear plans.