Work progresses to deploy NuScale power plant in Poland

13 September 2022

NuScale Power and Polish copper and silver producer KGHM Polska Miedź SA have signed the first task order and a statement of commencement to begin work under the Early Works Agreement signed by the companies earlier this year. Meanwhile, NuScale has signed a contract for the supply of neutron monitoring equipment for use in its small modular reactor (SMR).

From left to right, NuScale President and CEO John Hopkins, Poland Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, KGHM CEO Marcin Chludziński and Professor Ludwik Pieńkowski from AGH University of Science and Technology view a model of NuScale's SMR technology at the Economic Forum (Image: NuScale Power)

In February, KGHM - which submitted an application to Poland's National Atomic Energy Agency (NAEA) on 8 July to evaluate NuScale's SMR technology and prepare a site study - signed a definitive agreement with NuScale to initiate work towards deploying a first NuScale VOYGR SMR power plant in Poland as early as 2029.

Under the task order - signed on 7 September during the Economic Forum in Karpacz, Poland - NuScale will continue to support KGHM's application to the NAEA through activities including drafting additional preliminary safety analysis reports and coordinating with the NAEA. The task order also sets the stage for the subsequent tasks in the EWA as proposed by NuScale to KGHM.

"This announcement is an important next step to building the basis of project initiation towards the first NuScale VOYGR SMR power plant deployment in Poland and Central Europe by allowing KGHM to become a catalyst for SMRs in the region," NuScale said.

"This agreement marks a significant milestone in NuScale and KGHM's partnership history, making KGHM and Poland leaders in the race to rapidly decrease emissions worldwide," said NuScale President and CEO John Hopkins. "NuScale is proud to partner with KGHM, an experienced innovation leader, and we are excited to work together to bring forth the next era of advanced clean energy deployment and confront the climate crisis."

The announcement came as KGHM and Romanian utility Nuclearelectrica signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the development of SMRs. The MoU aims at the exchange of experience and know-how, with a duration of 36 months, in the technical, economic, legal, financial and organisational fields for the development of SMR projects to be developed by Romania and Poland.

The VOYGR nuclear power plant projects that both Romania and Poland will develop, in cooperation with NuScale, will have six modules, each with an installed capacity of 77 MWe. NuScale's SMR technology is the first to have gained approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in August 2020. NuScale offers VOYGR plants in 12, four and six-module configurations.

Contract for neutron monitors

Reuter-Stokes - part of Baker Hughes - and Paragon Energy Solutions have signed a contract to design and manufacture neutron monitoring detectors for NuScale Power.

Reuter-Stokes' detector assemblies will be responsible for monitoring the fission rate, ensuring the production of zero-emissions nuclear energy. The first NuScale project to use Reuter-Stokes detectors will be the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) in Idaho Falls, USA, with the first NuScale VOYGR SMR power plant, scheduled to begin generating power in 2029.

The agreement with NuScale follows a teaming agreement signed in 2021 between Reuter-Stokes and Paragon Energy Solutions that includes project development and execution in the SMR and advanced reactor markets to provide a holistic nuclear instrumentation solution.

"We're excited to be working with both Reuter-Stokes and Paragon as we take the next step toward providing clean, safe energy at an accelerated scale across the globe, including for the CFPP located at the Idaho National Lab," Hopkins said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News