Small Modular Reactors

Romania / Nuclearelectrica And Polish Copper Giant KGHM To Collaborate On NuScale SMR Development

By Patrycja Rapacka
8 September 2022

Agreement could lead to deployment of Voygr technology in both countries
Nuclearelectrica And Polish Copper Giant KGHM To Collaborate On NuScale SMR Development
KGHM says small modular reactors can power industrial processes such as copper smelting. Courtesy KGHM.
Romanian state-owned nuclear operator Nuclearelectrica and Polish copper producer and industrial group KGHM Polska Miedź have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the development of small modular reactor technology for potential deployment in both countries.

The 36-month agreement, signed during an economic forum in Karpacz, southwest Poland, will include the exchange of technical, economic, legal, financial and organisational experience and know-how.

It includes “a comprehensive approach to all SMR project development activities, from site selection to decommissioning, in order to develop robust, safe and cost-effective SMR projects in Romania and Poland”, Nuclearelectrica said.

The planned SMR plant, which both Romania and Poland will develop in collaboration with US reactor developer NuScale, will have six modules, each with an installed capacity of 77 MW, for a total of 462 MW.

The project will provide 193 permanent jobs at the plant, 1,500 construction jobs, 2,300 production jobs and will help Romania avoid releasing four million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere annually, Nuclearelectrica said.

SMR control room simulators will be built in Poland and Romania to train operators and nuclear specialists.

“Romania has already initiated the development of the NuScale SMR project, the only internationally certified SMR technology,” said Nuclearelectrica managing director Cosmin Ghiță.

“We are happy to collaborate and share our experiences and lessons learned and support KGHM in the first steps to implementing a safe, clean and innovative technology,” he added.

KGHM, a leader in copper and silver production and large industrial energy user, said SMRs can help it assure its energy independence and lower operating costs.

Reactor Could ‘Repurpose’ Coal Plants, Says KGHM

Earlier this year, NuScale and KGHM signed an agreement to begin the deployment of NuScale’s “Voygr” SMR technology with the first plant scheduled to be operational in the eastern European country in 2029.

KGHM is evaluating NuScale Voygr plants as a way of “repurposing” existing coal plants. The company is also looking at opportunities to deploy Voygr plants to provide energy for its industrial operations such as mining and smelting and to support other Polish industrial energy users.

In August 2020 NuScale’s Voygr SMR technology became the first to gain design approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The company offers Voygr plants in four, six and 12-module configurations.

KGHM and NuScale began their collaboration in September 2021, after the two parties signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the development, licensing and construction of a NuScale Voygr plant in Poland.

KGHM has already applied to Poland’s nuclear regulator for a safety assessment of the Voygr nuclear technology.

Nuclearelectrica, which operates Romania’s two existing large-scale reactors at the Cernavodă nuclear power station, has also signed an agreement with NuScale for engineering studies, technical reviews, and licensing and permitting activities at a site in Doicesti, south-central Romania that is the preferred location for the deployment of a Voygr SMR that could be the first in Europe.

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