Poland has the expertise to go nuclear: Climate Minister

Poland has “more than 100 companies working worldwide on nuclear projects” ready to offer expertise, Michał Kurtyka Tells PolandIN after unveiling a new plan for energy in which nuclear plants would balance with renewable sources, as Poland moves away from domestic coal use by 2030.

Click here to watch the full interview.

The newly-drafted plan for Poland’s energy sector brings forward the country’s shift from coal power generation and heating. The plan envisions upping green energy sources to 23 percent by 2030, with 7 MW of solar power. Coal heating is to be phased out by 2030 in urban areas and by 2040 in the countryside.

However, the keystone of the new plan is the idea to build six nuclear power stations, which would come online by 2033. Even although Poland had missed out on the opportunity afforded to all of its neighbours in the communist bloc to build nuclear capacity during the 70’s and 80’s, the minister said there was great expertise in the field of nuclear engineering in Poland.

“Astonishingly, we have more than 100 companies based in Poland working in nuclear projects worldwide,” said Mr Kurtyka.”It is not making the whole equation but it's providing us a grounding in terms of engineering and technical workforce so that we can think about this with optimism.

Asked about the safety of a nuclear strategy, Mr Kurtyka said “There are risks linked with all technology but we must contain this risk and introduce more safety measures. Environmental disasters linked with the Vistula River recently, have a bigger impact with such a situation than any European Union countries faced previously.

Funding is still a long way off, but the Climate Minister is optimistic. “Now the time is right because the right funding opportunities are available in terms of project finance.” Under the EU Green Deal, spending on nuclear infrastructure is not subsidised.