“SMRs may be the future, but are a long way off”, Mr Naimski said, adding there is no working example of an SMR and a first plant might be built in “in a dozen or so years”.
He said SMRs would mainly be applied to industrial needs or be deployed in geographically remote areas, with limited energy demand.
“This is in parallel to the large government programme”, he said. “If private businessmen decide to undertake these [SMR] studies, this is good”.
Poland wants to build from 6,000 to 9,000 MW of installed nuclear capacity based on proven, large-scale, pressurised water nuclear reactors of the Generation III and III+ design. Commercial operation of a first nuclear reactor unit in a proposed set of six is earmarked for 2033.
The government has not yet announced a technology or investor tender for the project.
Over the last few months, a number of large Polish industrial firms, including Orlen, ZE PAK, CIECH, and Synthos have signed agreements to look into the option of deploying SMRs to meet private energy needs
Synthos Green Energy, a subsidiary of Synthos, which is among Poland’s largest chemical groups, has signed a number of agreements on SMR and microreactor development with companies including GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Tractabel and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation.