American companies Westinghouse Electric and Bechtel have signed a design and engineering contract with Polish utility Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe to support the construction of Poland’s first nuclear power plant.
For 18 months, the three companies will work together to finalize the design of three Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear islands based on the Generation III+ nuclear reactor.
The facility, to rise in Lubiatowo-Kopalino, Pomerania, north of the country, is expected to become operational by 2033.
U.S. Ambassador Mark Brzezinski and the Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Andrew Light were in Warsaw on Wednesday to attend the contract signing ceremony alongside Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Anna Łukaszewska-Trzeciakowska, government plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure.
“This is not just a commercial venture. Our hope is to support Poland as it becomes a hub for civil nuclear technology deployment,” Brzezinski said in a statement marking the milestone. “Energy security is national security, and America’s security is interdependent with Poland’s security.”
Craig Albert, president and chief operating officer at Bechtel, described the nuclear power plant construction as a historic project supporting Poland’s energy security and energy transition goals.
“We’re excited to bring Bechtel’s seven decades of global nuclear power expertise to this effort, and we’re proud to partner with PEJ, Westinghouse, and the thousands of local Polish construction workers and suppliers who will join together to make this project a success,” he said.
In October 2022, Poland announced that it had selected the U.S. government as its partner in building the first of two planned nuclear power plants, kickstarting the collaboration.
According to a joint press release announcing the contract signing, Westinghouse’s AP1000 has fully passive safety systems, modular construction design and the smallest footprint per MWe on the market.
AP1000 units are already operational in the United States and China, and other countries in Europe and North America are studying it for adoption in their nuclear reactor programs.