A trio of companies have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at installing small modular reactors (SMRs) in former coal-fired power plants in Poland.
The three are US SMR engineer NuScale Power, Oklahoma-based integrated energy company Getka Group and Polish energy company Unimot.
The agreement envisages NuScale offering its in-development SMR to Getka and Unimot as a way of turning coal-burning power stations into clean nuclear plants, among other possible uses. The companies will now study the technical, economic, legal, regulatory, financial and organisational challenges to the plan.
John Hopkins, chairman and chief executive of NuScale Power, commented in a press statement: “NuScale is excited to partner with Getka and Unimot on the potential deployment of NuScale Power plants in Poland.
“The partnership between these three companies demonstrates the versatility and value of NuScale’s SMR technology for a variety of applications. NuScale’s SMRs are an ideal clean, reliable, and affordable energy solution to repurpose retiring coal-fuelled power plants across Poland.”
Dariusz Cichocki, his opposite number at Getka Group, added that his company’s role would be to promote SMR technology as a reliable alternative for coal technologies, and acquiring business partners in the Polish market.
Adam Sikorski, president of Unimot, said: “Ultimately, we also intend to create a platform of collaboration with Polish academic centres and potential Polish component suppliers to develop this technology in our country. Because of this, we can actively support the energy transformation of Poland, simultaneously diversifying our group’s business.”
In August last year, NuScale became the only SMR developer to receive design approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and in July the commission published the proposed rule that would certify the NuScale design – a crucial step towards the final approval of the technology (see further reading).
NuScale’s light water reactors can generate 77MW of electricity using a smaller version of a pressurised water reactor. The company is hoping to build plants fitted with up to 12 modular reactors.
The majority investor in NuScale is Texas engineer Fluor Corporation.
Image: NuScale’s rendering of a possible SMR reactor site