No coal mines to be shut down before nuclear plant operates says dep PM
Poland will not shut any coal mines until the country’s first nuclear reactors are put into operation, a deputy prime minister has said.
In its nuclear energy programme, Poland plans to have 6-9 GW of nuclear power capacity, with the first reactor going into operation in 2033 and the following units being commissioned every two years.
"We have to postpone the process of closing the mines," Jacek Sasin, who is also the state assets minister, told the Sieci newspaper on Monday.
"We can't have an increase in dependence on imported coal, which is much more expensive than ours," he said.
Sasin added that the government was not pulling out from a deal, signed with trade unions in April 2021, to gradually close the country's coal mines by the end of 2049.
"We are not withdrawing from the end date of 2049, but this steadily falling curve will be flattened," he said.
But, Sasin added that "no mine could be closed until the first nuclear units were put into operation."
He admitted that the government was facing a very serious decision on the scale of investments in mining.
"We assumed that the shutdown of mining would last until 2049, we built a schedule for closing mines, we ensured social peace in this process.... Today we have to revise this schedule," Sasin said.
He also said that coal production in Poland would be slightly higher than in previous years and did not rule out the opening of new mine shafts.