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Nuclear energy a tough sell in Poland

November 12, 2013

While other countries are turning away from nuclear power, the Polish government plans to boost the use of atomic energy in a bid to move to a greener future. But, the plans aren’t popular among the country’s population.

protest sign in poland, against plans to build new nuclear power plants (Photo: DW/Naomi Conrad)
Image: DW/N.Conrad

Poland, which is hosting the UN climate conference, has long blocked the European Union’s climate goals. The country remains hugely dependent on polluting coal, which meets over 90 percent of its country’s energy needs. Now, in a bid to cut carbon emissions, Poland is turning to nuclear power and plans to build two atomic power plants. The aim is for nuclear power to fulfill around a tenth of the country’s energy needs by 2030, reducing the use of polluting coal-powered plants. One of the atomic plants could come up in Zarnowiec, around 80 kilometers west of Gdansk. It’s already home to the ruins of a huge nuclear power plant whose construction was stopped in 1990 through a popular referendum. Since then, the residents of Zarnowiec have been staunchly opposed to nuclear power. And they remain skeptical about the government’s latest nuclear drive.

A film by Kilian Schütze

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