Poland: SMR nuclear power plants for a clean energy future

Poland is embarking on an ambitious project to build SMR nuclear power plants to transform its energy sector and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
RWE Clean Energy - 2023-03-21T171323.106

SMR nuclear power plants in Poland will be built. Polish refiner Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen S.A. and Synthos Green Energy S.A. have announced the creation of a joint venture called Orlen Synthos Green Energy to develop zero-emission energy technologies. This announcement was followed by another important piece of news, namely the agreement between Orlen Synthos Green Energy and the National Environment Agency. This partnership will cover the construction of a network of nuclear power plants in Poland.

SMR nuclear power plants to be built at 10 selected sites in Poland

The objective of this project is to build a capacity of 10,000 MWe between 2029 and 2036. Initially, planners anticipate building GE Hitachi’s BWRX-300 SMR, a small modular reactor, at 10 sites selected for SMR plants. The National Environmental Fund has stated that the SMR nuclear power plant can be built in 24 to 36 months on a site that is only 10% of the land of a large nuclear power plant. In addition, the nuclear island will only occupy the area of a soccer field.

Officials believe that creating a network of small nuclear power plants is effective. Indeed, this would be the fastest way to transform the Polish energy and heating sector. The goal is to achieve decarbonization and the total elimination of greenhouse gas emissions.

Last month, Orlen CEO Daniel Obajtek told reporters that 26 sites would be announced in April to accommodate a planned fleet of 79 BWRX-300 fast neutron reactors. According to the Polish news agency PAP, the goal is to reach this number by 2038.

Joint venture approved by the European Commission

The SMR nuclear power plant project has also been approved by the European Commission. The creation of a full-function joint venture has been authorized. Consequently, Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen S.A. and Synthos Green Energy S.A. will collaborate together. Indeed, the European Commission concluded that this would not pose any competition problems. The parties justified this decision because of the very limited impact of this project on the market.

SMR nuclear power plants, an ambitious project for a clean energy future in Poland

The SMR nuclear power plant construction project is ambitious. Indeed, it represents an important step in Poland’s energy transition. The country currently relies on coal for more than 70% of its electricity production, which has negative consequences for the environment and public health. The construction of SMR nuclear power plants will help Poland transform its energy sector.

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