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Poland’s Power Progress Gains with Plans for Nuclear Energy

Dan Yurman's picture
Editor & Publisher, NeutronBytes, a blog about nuclear energy

Publisher of NeutronBytes, a blog about nuclear energy online since 2007.  Consultant and project manager for technology innovation processes and new product / program development for commercial...

  • Member since 2018
  • 1,651 items added with 1,342,213 views
  • May 30, 2023
  • Poland’s Power Progress with Nuclear Energy
  • Westinghouse And Bechtel To Form Consortium To Design And Build Country’s First Nuclear Station
  • Poland / State Control Over Strategically Important Nuclear Project Essential
  • Advanced Reactors / NRC’s ACRS Recommends Approval Of Kairos Power Construction Permit

  Poland / Regulator Confirms BWRX-300 Nuclear Plant Meets Safety Standards

PAA Logo(NucNet) Poland’s nuclear regulator, the National Atomic Energy Agency / PAA, has issued a “general opinion” to Orlen Synthos Green Energy (OSGE) that confirms the design of US-based GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s (GEH) BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) meets nuclear safety requirements.  (Full text source document in English)

OSGE said the PAA’s opinion is an important element in the process of preparing its BWRX-300 deployment project. The ruling for OSGE will be used to work on the detailed design for the power station reactor.

A company spokesperson said the general opinion means the assumptions adopted in the design of the technology are correct and meet the requirements of Poland’s atomic law and the safety of nuclear facilities.

“The conclusions presented by PAA will be used in the work on a detailed design for GE Hitachi reactors to be built in Poland.”

OSGE recently became the third company in Poland to submit an application for a decision-in-principle on the construction of new nuclear power reactors.

The company submitted six applications for the construction of nuclear power plants using BWRX-300 SMR technology, which is being developed by GEH for global deployment.

OSGE Announces Seven Possible Sites

OSGE, which is a joint venture between Polish multinational oil refiner and petrol retailer Orlen and Synthos Green Energy, is part of the largest chemicals industrial group in Poland. It has released a list of seven possible locations for the construction of SMRs in Poland.

The sites are Wloclawek in central Poland, Ostroleka in northeastern Poland, Warsaw in central Poland, Stawy Monowskie in southern Poland, the Nowa Huta area of Krakow, near the border with the Czech Republic in southern Poland, Tarnobrzeg special economic zone in southeastern Poland and Dabrowa Gornicza, southern Poland. It was not clear if the applications submitted by OSGE were for particular sites.

OSGE sites

OSGE has said it intends to deploy a first unit by the end of this decade with the potential in the future for a fleet of BWRX-300s.

In a document concerning the OSGE joint venture, the European Commission said OSGE’s aim is the commercialization of SMR and micro modular reactor (MMR)-generated electricity in Poland.

“Ultimately, OSGE’s core business activity will shift from manufacturing of industrial chemicals to the generation and supply of electricity in Poland.

World Nuclear News noted in this report that OSGE’s is the latest in a flurry of applications for decisions-in-principle for nuclear power plants in Poland.

On April 14th, copper and silver producer KGHM Polska Miedź SA submitted an application for a decision-in-principle on the construction of a NuScale VOYGR SMR power plant in Poland.

Three days later, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe submitted an application for a decision-in-principle on the construction of the country’s first large nuclear power plant, at either Lubiatowo or Kopalino in Poland’s Choczewo municipality in the province of Pomerania. The plant would be based on Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor technology.

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Westinghouse And Bechtel To Form Consortium To Design And Build Country’s First Nuclear Station

(Nucnetbechtel logoWestinghouse and Bechtel will jointly form a consortium to design and build Poland’s first commercial nuclear power station in the northern province of Pomerania.

A May 25th announcement said the two US companies had signed an agreement in Warsaw with Poland’s nuclear project company Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe (PEJ) to define the terms of cooperation. The contract for the design of the power plant is planned to be signed later this year.

The agreement with PEJ is the result of “intensive negotiations” in recent months, a statement said. The agreement will apply to commercial contracts for the construction of a nuclear power station in Pomerania. This is not one of the sites selected by OSGE for SMRs.

The agreement defines responsibilities and key rules and conditions to be followed by the partners. It specifies that Westinghouse and Bechtel will work together in areas such as designing the nuclear power station, implementing schedules, project control and quality control.

The EPC leader of the consortium at the design stage of the power plant will be Westinghouse and then during construction it will be Bechtel.

PEJ said earlier this month that it considered the establishment of a consortium involving Westinghouse and Bechtel to be its preferred model for the Pomerania nuclear station.

In November 2022, Warsaw said it had chosen Westinghouse to supply its AP1000 reactor technology for the three-unit nuclear power station at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site near the Baltic coast in Pomerania. Westinghouse will supply three AP1000 PWR type nuclear reactors with an estimated power rating of 1,150 MWe each. Warsaw wants construction to start in 2026 with the first unit online in 2033.

& & &

Poland / State Control Over Strategically Important Nuclear Project Essential

(NucNet) Poland’s first nuclear power station project in Pomerania is of strategic importance for the government and maintaining state control over it is “essential,” Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertynski, deputy climate and environment minister, told Polish news portal WNP.

He said the government is working on a financial model for the project but is “not predetermining” what it will look like at this stage.

“There are several possibilities for it,” Guibourgé-Czetwertynski said, adding that discussions are being held at EU level on reforming the bloc’s electricity market design, which could “create a framework for price support for all investments in the energy sector.”

He said these possibilities will form part of Warsaw’s approach to designing an appropriate financing model for its nuclear new-build ambitions.

According to Guibourgé-Czetwertynski, EU regulations do not allow the formal inclusion of local company participation in large projects at the contractual level, but the domestic Polish industry will have “the most competitive” offers for the nuclear project.

He said a localization content target for the new reactors of about 50% could be “realistically” attainable.

“If our companies will be able to prove their capabilities for the Polish nuclear project, they will also have a chance to work on other projects across Europe.”

Under a 2020 nuclear program, Poland has ambitious plans to build from 6,000 to 9,000 MW of installed nuclear with commercial operation of a first nuclear unit in a proposed set of six is planned for 2033, with the rest to follow throughout the 2030s and into the early 2040s.

& & &

Advanced Reactors / NRC’s ACRS Recommends Approval Of Kairos Power Construction Permit

(NucNet) The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s independent Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) has recommended approval of Kairos Power’s construction permit application for the Hermes low-power demonstration reactor.  (Full text ACRS Letter to Chairman, NRC 05/16/23)

Kairos Power, which is developing a fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR), said the ACRS safety evaluation is one of the final milestones in the NRC’s review of the Hermes construction permit application, which was submitted just 18 months ago.

That application is for a 140-MW low-power demonstration reactor known as Hermes to be built at the East Tennessee Technology Park Heritage Center site in Oak Ridge.

Karios Power reactor concept image

Kairos Power reactor concept image: Image: NRC

“Kairos Power plans to break ground at the Hermes site pending receipt of our construction permit, with operations scheduled to begin in 2026,” the company said in a statement to NucNet.

Kairos Power said the ACRS credited key attributes of the Hermes design, including low thermal power, functional containment, and passive heat removal capability, for providing large margins to regulatory siting criteria that allow a unique approach to safety classification.

In 2022, Kairos Power announced it had formed an advanced nuclear development advisory consortium with four North American nuclear operators – Bruce Power, Constellation, Southern Company, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Earlier this year the company signed an agreement to produce Triso fuel pebbles for the Hermes demonstration reactor at Los Alamos’ low enriched fuel fabrication facility in New Mexico.

Triso, or tri-structural isotropic particle fuel, consists of particles made up of a uranium, carbon and oxygen fuel kernel. The kernel is encapsulated by three layers of carbon- and ceramic-based materials that prevent the release of radioactive fission products.

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