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Issue 27
, 2010
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Poland, USA agree to nuclear cooperation

Source: World Nuclear News, Date: , 2010

The USA and Poland have signed a joint declaration for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy. The signing of the agreement followed a US nuclear trade mission to Warsaw.

The agreement was signed in Warsaw by Polish government commissioner for nuclear power Hanna Trojanowska and US under secretary of commerce and international trade Francisco Sanchez.

The declaration outlines the two governments' intention to cooperate in the civil nuclear power area. Specifically, the governments seek to encourage their private sectors to participate in the construction of nuclear plants and supporting infrastructure; to foster scientific research and development works to make nuclear solutions safe, effective, economical and friendly for the environment; and to promote fair, open, and transparent tender procedures in the nuclear energy sectors in their respective countries. The declaration also noted the intent to cooperate in the development of human resources for the civilian nuclear energy sector.

Sanchez led a mission to Poland on 12-13 July of representatives of the US Department of Energy and the Department of State, as well as senior executives from ten US suppliers of nuclear technology, equipment and services. The purpose of the missionís Warsaw visit was to highlight how US technologies, services and experience could help Poland achieve its plans to establish a nuclear power program.

Sanchez commented: "Signing the joint declaration underscores the importance the US government places on supporting the development of Poland's civilian nuclear energy infrastructure." He added, "US nuclear energy technology suppliers can make a vital contribution in the realization of Poland's nuclear power program."

Waldemar Pawlak, Poland's economy minister and deputy prime minister, said, "Development of nuclear energy will be an important component of Polandís energy balance." He added, "We have a preliminary list of locations, [and] developing a legal framework for this enormous investment."

A proposed roadmap for nuclear energy was unveiled by the Polish government in August 2009, setting out the steps it will take with the aim of generating nuclear power by 2020.

By the end of 2010, Polish leaders want to have drafted the legislation required to give a stable framework for nuclear liability as well as power plant construction and operation. At the same time it will develop training programs and establish research facilities and institutions for nuclear energy. These will be under the domain of a forthcoming National Atomic Energy Agency. It is hoped that a consortium to actually build the first nuclear power plant will be formed.

Locations for the power plant are to be identified between 2011 and the end of 2014, with a final decision taken towards the end of the period. By this time, the building consortium should have sourced its finance and selected the reactor technology it wants.

State-owned Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA (PGE) has previously said it would like to build two nuclear power plants, each with a capacity of 3000 MWe - two or three large reactors each. One potential site would be the northern town of Zarnowiec, where four Russian VVER-440 pressurized water reactors began construction only to be cancelled in 1990.