Czechia, Slovakia, and Poland have been “competitively selected” to participate in a US-financed “Project Phoenix” to receive support for coal-to-SMR (small modular reactor) feasibility studies, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry announced on Thursday (7 September) during the Three Seas Initiative Summit in Bucharest, Romania.
During the event, US Secretary Kerry informed that the US and Slovakian governments will jointly host a Project Phoenix launch event, including a workshop with foreign partners in Bratislava on 9 November. Project Phoenix will aim to “create” pathways for coal-to-SMR power plant conversions while retaining local jobs through workforce retraining.
While in Bucharest, Secretary Kerry also launched the Nuclear Expediting the Energy Transition (NEXT) One Stop Shop for SMR Support.
The One Stop Shop will provide a suite of advanced project preparation tools and services for selected countries that are approaching SMR deployment decisions. These services may include, among others, in-person technical, financial, and regulatory consultancies and advisory services; expert study tours to visit US nuclear facilities, national laboratories, and universities; competitively selected provision of an SMR simulator to support workforce development as a regional training hub; and university-to-university partnerships for curricula development.
Project Phoenix and NEXT One Stop Shop are subprograms of the U.S. Department of State’s Foundational Infrastructure for the Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) Program.