Poland is among the leading countries pioneering the use of a radiation-based technology to curb "acid rain" pollution from electric power plants burning fossil fuels. The technology is bei Pomorzany electric power station in the northeast industrial region near the port of Szczecin. IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei visited the plant in early March during an official visit to the country. The Agency, along with Japan and the Republic of Korea, supported the $20-million project for demonstrating the new technology in Poland.
Poland is heavily reliant on coal for the production of electricity, and has been working on ways to reduce associated pollutants and meet national and regional emission standards.. Pollution from coal-fired plants includes sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which contribute to acid rain and are linked to problems of global warming.
The Pomorzany project is an industrial-scale demonstration facility that uses electron beam technology to purify flue gases before their release into the environment through the electricity plant's smokestacks. While the process is not new, the IAEA-support project has stimulated interest among more than a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas in its application on a larger scale.