Poland has granted environmental approval for the first nuclear power plant in the country, reported the state-run news agency Polska Agencja Prasowa (PAP).

The Polish government aims to build its first nuclear power plant at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in Pomerania, on the Baltic coast by 2033, with plans to start the construction in 2026.

According to Poland’s General Directorate for Environmental Protection (GDOS), the construction and operation of the nuclear power plant will not adversely affect the environment.

Also, the project will not affect the Natura 2000 areas or damage the natural habitats.

GDOS took more than one and a half years to review the evidence in the environmental impact report and make the decision to issue to permit, reported Euronews.

Poland’s Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said: “This is a milestone in the implementation of an investment that is crucial from the point of view of energy security.

US Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Kathryn Huff said: “The agreement is another important milestone in our cooperation with Poland. I am extremely confident that these two partners, Westinghouse and Bechtel will bring the high calibre of nuclear energy technology to the Polish people.”

Earlier this year, US-based engineering company Bechtel and nuclear power company Westinghouse Electric agreed to design and build the first nuclear power plant in Poland.

The US consortium is expected to sign an engineering services contract with the Polish utility Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe, next week.

In November last year, the Polish government selected the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor technology for its first-ever nuclear energy program.

The government is working on licensing and engineering work related to the project, which is expected to deliver reliable, clean and safe power to [Poland.

The AP1000 is said to be the only operating Generation III+ reactor with fully passive safety systems, modular construction design and the smallest footprint.

Bechtel nuclear, security and environmental global business unit president John Howanitz said: “Bechtel and Westinghouse bring more than 140 years of combined nuclear power experience.

“Together we have both the proven technology and the hands-on experience required to build Poland’s first-ever nuclear energy program. We are eager to partner with the local workforce, suppliers, and community, to deliver the clean and reliable energy Poland needs.”

Westinghouse Energy Systems president David Durham said: “This is a team with demonstrated ability to deliver on large nuclear energy projects.

“The fleet experience we have earned with our advanced, proven AP1000 technology, including a 100% complete design and construction lessons learned, will serve Poland well as it seeks decarbonization and increased energy security.”