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U.S. sees $18 billion from purchases in nuclear power agreement with Poland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Poland have struck a nuclear power agreement in which Poland will likely buy $18 billion in nuclear technology from U.S. companies, the U.S. energy department said on Monday.

The United States has been competing with China and Russia and other countries to supply nuclear power technology to countries hoping to build their first reactors, or boost their programs.

“We are hopeful that the ultimate decisions that are made by Poland ... over a period of time will result in them choosing U.S. technology,” U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette told reporters in a teleconference.

Brouillette said the reactors would help lessen Poland’s dependence on Russia for energy security.

Poland, traditionally a large purchaser of Russia’s natural gas, which competes with nuclear power, aims to halt those purchases after 2022. Instead, it will take pipeline deliveries from Norway and liquefied natural gas, from the United States and others.

Over the next 18 months, the United States and Poland will work on an a report for the program that seeks to build six reactors, as well as potential financing arrangements, the department said.

The first reactors are planned to be in operation by 2033 in a program that will potentially be worth $40 billion, a senior U.S. energy department official said. Poland would buy at least $18 billion from U.S. companies, the official said.

Westinghouse, owned by Brookfield Asset Management BAMa.TO, Bechtel and Southern Co SO.N and the U.S. government, will participate in a first step in the agreement, an engineering study for planned plants, the official said.

This month the United States and Romania came to an initial $8 billion agreement on the construction of two reactors on the river Danube. Romanian state-owned nuclear power producer Nuclearelectrica ROSNN.BX ended talks with China General Nuclear (CGN) about the construction of the reactors after they had dragged on for six years.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Marguerita Choy

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