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Energy-hungry Poland eyes nuclear plants

Poland flagPoland hopes to reduce its heavy reliance on coal, which produces harmful greenhouse gases, by building a few nuclear power plants by 2030, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak said recently.

Pawlak’s ministry is currently working on a new energy strategy designed to meet the Polish economy’s booming demand for electricity and to modernize its communist-era power plants.

‘We are in consultations on a new energy policy for Poland up to the year 2030 and nuclear energy features strongly in it. We aim to build a few such plants over the next 10 to 20 years,’ Pawlak told a news agency.

He did not say when the new strategy would be published. Prime Minister Donald Tusk has previously expressed support for developing nuclear energy in Poland.

Poland produces its energy almost entirely from coal and lignite, has no nuclear power plants at present and has yet to develop renewable energy sources such as wind farms favoured by the European Union, which Warsaw joined in 2004.

‘On (nuclear) technology, we are in talks with France as well as with global partners such as the United States, Canada, South Korea and Japan,’ Pawlak said. Poland’s existing power plants need urgent modernisation but analysts say that will not be enough to meet expanding energy demand. Nuclear power is virtually free of the CO2 emissions which contribute to global warming.