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    US nuclear power offer for Poland soon

    Westinghouse CEO Patrick Fragman expects the US government to submit a US nuclear offer to the Polish government in the next few days. Part of it will be the FEED engineering study prepared by Westinghouse and Bechtel.

    The Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) report is one of the important elements of the Concept Execution Report (CER), the US offer for the Polish nuclear programme. FEED is one of the elements of the implementation of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between Poland and the US for cooperation in the development of a civil nuclear power programme. The grant for the preparation of the report was awarded by the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).


    The FEED report was completed on schedule and submitted to USTDA, Fragman told reporters on Tuesday. “We have done our part of the work as stipulated in the IGA. There are a few steps left to be completed for the Polish government to decide on a partner. But our work has been completed,” The Westinghouse CEO stressed. He pointed out that the entire financial part of the bid would come from the US government. “These parts will be bundled into an offer that will be presented to the Polish government. And it is the Polish government that will make the sovereign decision on the choice of the partner,” he pointed out.


    In turn, as recalled by the head of Westinghouse’s Energy Systems and Environmental Services division David Durham, the IGA envisages that a draft of the US offer will first be submitted to the Polish government so that it can comment on it, raise questions and make any comments. Only then the final offer is made. The Polish government will therefore receive an offer with which it has already become partially familiar,” stressed Westinghouse representatives.


    As Fragman explained, FEED is more than just a feasibility study. It is a report of more than 1,000 pages on how the project should be managed, what the environmental impact will be, what supply chains are needed, and how many people would be involved in designing, building and operating nuclear power plants.


    “FEED describes the whole technical, industrial, and financial environment of the project. There is, for example, some assessment of the costs of building and operating reactors, and that comes from Westinghouse. We have included all the elements that we can responsibly give there. In our opinion, this is the only such a deep and detailed study of the Polish nuclear project,” he stressed.


    “It is important to remember that the US government has entities at its disposal that can provide significant funding for a wide variety of projects. This will certainly play a significant role,” Durham added.


    As the Westinghouse CEO added, the proposal that will go to the Polish government will be holistic and complete. Not only with the technological part, the industrial part, but also the financial part. “The Polish side will have everything on the table to make a decision,” he assessed. Nuclear technology is specific, among other things because of its complexity, and it must not be forgotten that the choice of a partner for it is a political decision, Fragman pointed out.


    As he pointed out, from Westinghouse’s point of view as a technology provider, the sooner the government makes a decision, the better. “There are a lot of things to do in Poland, which takes time. If Poland chooses the AP1000, which is a certified, proven technology, then 2033 as the start-up date for the first reactor is entirely realistic,” he said.


    As he added, while the war in Ukraine does not generate additional business risks in a stable country like Poland, it is clear today that the energy policy that Germany has pursued over the past decades has been a complete failure, not only for Germany but also for several other European countries. “It has led to dependencies that are now proving to be a drama. It is high time for Europe to take control of its destiny. I believe that Poland has made the right choice by opting for nuclear energy,” assessed Fragman.


    The American offer is to build Westinghouse reactors of the AP1000 type. Four such units are in operation in China, two are due to start operation in the US in the coming months. China plans to build a further four.


    According to the Polish Nuclear Power Programme, Poland plans to build modern but proven and large PWR-type reactors. Poland’s Energy Policy until 2040 assumes that the first unit of a Polish nuclear power plant with a capacity of about 1-1.6 GW will be commissioned in 2033. Subsequent units will be implemented every 2-3 years, and the entire nuclear programme envisages the construction of six units with a capacity of up to 9 GW. The Polish government expects that a partner in the nuclear programme will also take a 49 per cent stake in a special company, provide adequate financing and participate not only in the construction but also in the operation of the nuclear power plants.


    In October 2021, a preliminary non-binding offer to build 4-6 EPR reactors was made by France’s EDF. In April 2022, a technical and financial bid for 6 APR1400 reactors was submitted by Korea’s KHNP.


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