U.S. small modular reactor developer NuScale Power said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. (KGHM) and Piela Business Engineering (PBE) to explore together the deployment of NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR) technology as a coal-power replacement in Poland.
The companies are seeking "a coal repurposing solution for existing coal-fired power plants and electricity and heat for KGHM’s industrial processes in Poland," the statement said.
KGHM is a Poland-based leader in copper and silver production and PBE is a Poland-based consultancy that specializes in business engineering advisory.
Under the MOU, NuScale will support KGHM and PBE’s examination of NuScale’s SMR technology as a coal repowering/repurposing solution for existing coal-fueled power plants. More broadly the MOU pushes for new nuclear plant implementations, as well as for energy in support of industrial operations throughout Poland.
Studies will include an analysis of technical, economic, legal, regulatory, financial, and organizational factors for NuScale's long-range SMR development ambitions.
“The retirement of aging coal-fired power plants is leading to changes in power generation, infrastructure needs, and workforce opportunity, said John Hopkins, Chairman and CEO of NuScale Power.
Among the goals of the agreement is the plan to offer plant operations jobs to Polish technicians already involved in the nuclear power industry. "NuScale’s SMR technology is an ideal solution to repurpose retiring coal fueled power plants and most importantly, retain and retrain the skilled power plant workforce already in place in these Polish communities.” said Hopkins.
"We are pioneers in Poland, as we expect that the first of our nuclear power plants will come online in 2029,” said Marcin Chludziński, President of the Management Board of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. “SMR technology will not only help us to protect the environment but will also substantially reduce the costs of operating our business."
NuScale's SMR design is the only SMR to receive design approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. As of July 2021, the Commission published the proposed rule that would certify the NuScale's SMR, a giant step forward for the future of small-scale nuclear power plants.
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