Canadian firms sign framework for small modular reactors in Poland

GE Hitachi’s conceptual render of the BWXR-300 small modular reactor to be built at the Darlington nuclear plant site in Ontario, Canada (Courtesy of Ontario Power Generation)
Candu Energy, an AtkinsRéalis company, has signed a framework agreement to help Poland install small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) as an alternative to coal-fired power stations.

Canada-headquarted AtkinsRéalis, formerly known as SNC-Lavalin, said it had teamed up with Canadian contractor Aecon and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to deploy a fleet of GEH’s BWRX-300 reactors in Poland.

Their agreements are with Polish energy developer Orlen-Synthos Green Energy (OSGE).

If OSGE proceeds with the SMR plan, AtkinsRéalis could provide front-end engineering and consulting to install them at six sites.

Already happening in Canada

In Canada, AtkinsRéalis, Aecon, and GEH are building the first grid-scale SMR at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington site, set to come online by 2029.

AtkinsRéalis is also working with GEH to complete the standard plant design for the BWRX-300 SMR.

Joe St Julian, president of AtkinsRéalis’ nuclear business, said: “With global electricity demand tripling by 2050, we see there being a market for 1,000 new nuclear reactors to be built.

“Alongside large reactors, SMRs will make up a portion of those new builds to provide the quantum of extra power needed.

“We will draw on our expertise from the ongoing successful deployment of the BWRX-300 SMR in Canada at Darlington to repeat the outcome for Poland.”

Poland getting ready

OSGE is a joint venture between energy company Orlen and Synthos Green Energy, a Polish industrial group with rights to deploy BWRX-300 SMRs in Poland.

AtkinsRéalis said OSGE is already working with Ontario Power Generation to scale up their SMR expertise, and that Polish energy regulators are consulting with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to prepare the nuclear regulatory and licensing framework.

“We are positioning ourselves as the partner of choice for utilities worldwide on deploying nuclear power technology,” said AtkinsRéalis president and chief executive Ian Edwards.

“As Poland undertakes a visionary modernisation of its power grid, moving away from coal and toward nuclear power via both large and small reactors, we’re thrilled to offer our expertise to provide Poland with clean, reliable, and safe electricity for generations.”

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