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Trump’s nuclear construction deal with Poland – strained with Biden victory ?

Poland plays down fears over nuclear power plans despite Biden victory.  Rightwing government’s relations with incoming US administration strained after Trump construction deal, 3 Jan 2021, 

  Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election will not derail Washington’s co-operation with Warsaw on plans to develop its own nuclear energy sector, Poland’s climate minister has said. Donald Trump’s administration built close ties with Warsaw, where the rightwing government is led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s Law and Justice party.
In October the US signed an agreement to draw up a design for Poland’s proposed nuclear programme, which envisages constructing six nuclear plants with a capacity of 6-9GW in 2033-43. But relations with Mr Biden’s incoming administration have been cooler.
During his campaign, Mr Biden sparked consternation in Poland by mentioning the country in the same breath as Belarus — where Alexander Lukashenko cracked down brutally last year after claiming victory in a flawed election — and “the rise of totalitarian regimes around the world”. Poland’s president Andrzej Duda — like his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin — was among the few world leaders who did not congratulate Mr Biden on his November 3 victory until it was confirmed in mid-December by the US electoral college.

However, Michal Kurtyka, climate minister, played down concern that the change would have a significant impact on Poland’s plans.

 ……France’s EDF has held talks with Poland over the project. But the frontrunner is the US, which Poland regards as its security guarantor. The Trump administration has been pushing for American companies such as nuclear reactor maker Westinghouse and engineering group Bechtel to be involved.  ……
 Despite the climate ministry’s enthusiasm, big questions remain. One issue is timing. Many nuclear projects in the EU are far behind schedule, and just 12 years before the first plant is due on line Poland has yet to choose a location or confirm its financing model.
 “Assuming that we can have the first nuclear plant up and running in 2033 is beyond optimistic,” said Joanna Flisowska, head of Greenpeace’s climate and energy unit in Poland. “We need to replace coal power stations now, because most are already set to close by 2035 at the latest . . . So nuclear is just the wrong answer. It’s too late. It’s too expensive and it’s not really a technology that works well with renewables.”  ……
A comment on original
The nuclear nuts have found a sucker—Poland which apparently wants an investor to share risk. Which risk? The long-run risk of nuclear contamination? Where are they going to store the spent fuel? They could ask Japan. Poland sees a nuclear future just as Germany is shutting nuclear power down due to the risks. In the UK the nuclear power gambit cannot find investors because none wants the risks. The investors want indemnity from the risks. 

January 4, 2021 - Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, USA

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