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Polish copper giant KGHM signs deal with US firm for nuclear reactors

15.02.2022 07:45
Polish state-run copper and silver producer KGHM has signed an agreement with US firm NuScale Power to bring small modular reactors (SMRs) to Poland. 
Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin speaks at a news conference in Washington on Monday.
Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin speaks at a news conference in Washington on Monday.MAP/Gabriel Pietka

The deal struck on Monday follows a memorandum of collaboration announced by the two firms last autumn.

NuScale Power’s CEO John Hopkins told a news conference in Washington on Monday that said his company was stepping up cooperation with KGHM by signing an agreement to initiate work towards implementing advanced small modular reactors in Poland by 2029.

Under the deal, NuScale is expected to deliver six SMRs for KGHM. The first of the SMR-based power plants is due to be ready by 2029.

As a result, Poland could avoid emitting up to 8 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin, who attended the news conference, told reporters: “NuScale has assured us that the first of the six reactors that will be built under today’s agreement can be launched as early as 2029.” 

'Nuclear energy is becoming a reality in Poland'

Sasin, who is also minister for state assets, noted that, in another recent deal, Poland's biggest oil refiner PKN Orlen teamed up with US corporation GE Hitachi to secure its own SMRs. 

“More Polish firms are lining up to work with American companies,” Sasin told reporters.

He added: “We have made the important decision that the United States and US firms will be Poland’s strategic partner in this great process of building nuclear energy in the country.”

He later tweeted that "nuclear energy is becoming a reality in Poland."

Sasin also told reporters that the government in Warsaw was working on a wider plan to replace coal-fired power plants with SMRs. 

“This would enable us to make the energy transition in a much cheaper way and wouldn’t require us to build plants from scratch ... as we could make use of the existing infrastructure,” he said.

According to Sasin, three SMR-type nuclear reactors, each with a capacity of around 300 MW, could replace a typical 1 GW coal-fired power plant, the PAP news agency reported.

In addition to SMRs, Poland plans to build at least two full-size nuclear power plants, Sasin also said, as quoted by PAP.


Source: PAP, TVP Info