It is time to evaluate the technology and the technical solutions - the KGHM has submitted the first application in Poland for the deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs). The application was filed at the National Atomic Energy Agency today. The copper industry leader is working on the investment project together with the American company NuScale Power.
"This is a milestone not only for the KGHM, but also for Poland. We are taking another significant step toward nuclear power. Today - as the first company in Poland - we submitted an application to the National Atomic Energy Agency for evaluation of the SMR technology that we want to implement. Consequently, electricity generated in small nuclear reactors is becoming a reality in our country," said Marcin Chludziński, the CEO of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.
Step by step towards nuclear power
Marcin Chludziński added that the next step would be to prepare a location study. The KGHM is considering several sites and the selection criteria include compliance with Polish law, environmental protection, and economic aspects. Also, work is already underway to launch a Test Control Center in Poland. Operators and nuclear power specialists will be trained there.
In February this year, the KGHM signed an agreement with the US company NuScale Power to begin work on deploying advanced small modular reactors (SMRs) in Poland. The KGHM will commission the first reactors by 2029.
The construction of small nuclear reactors is directly related to the KGHM's Climate Policy whose main goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The KGHM's ambition is to successfully increase the share of renewable energy sources and in-house production in meeting its energy needs. The company has its own low-emission generation facilities powered by gaseous fuel. It also develops renewable energy projects, including photovoltaic power plants on land it owns.
Groundbreaking and the only one in the world
NuScale Power's modular light-water reactor nuclear power plant technology provides energy for power generation, district heating, desalination, hydrogen production, and other process heat applications. This breakthrough technology is the only small modular reactor technology to receive approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Clean energy from the first SMR power plant is expected to power the KGHM's production branches. The proposed design is modular, which translates into seamless scaling up of the entire project.
Worldwide support for nuclear power
The KGHM's American partner can count on the support of the U.S. government. At the recent G7 summit, President Joe Biden cited NuScale Power as an example of a provider of technologies that strengthen the energy security and assured his support for the investment projects planned in Europe. Also, this week, the European Parliament adopted the European Commission's proposal to include nuclear power and natural gas in the EU taxonomy.
It should be emphasized that last year's study by the Ministry of Climate and Environment showed that as much as 74 percent of Poles support the construction of nuclear power plants in our country.
The National Atomic Energy Agency is the nuclear regulatory agency that looks after nuclear safety and radiological protection in Poland.