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HomeNuclearContract for SMR BWRX-300 project in Poland signed in Washington

Contract for SMR BWRX-300 project in Poland signed in Washington

The Orlen Group’s Synthos Green Energy has signed a joint investment agreement on the development of the BWRX-300 technology, co-signed by companies from the United States and Canada, the Polish Orlen Group announced on Thursday (23 March).

The agreement will enable Orlen to obtain a design consistent with both European and Polish standards and speed up the start of the construction of Poland’s first small nuclear reactor (SMR) power plant. The design will also be applicable to subsequent SMR deployments, which will significantly streamline the entire process and reduce the cost of building the BWRX-300 fleet, Orlen said.

“The collaboration that has been established proves that our plans to deploy small modular reactors in Poland are feasible,” said Daniel Obajtek, CEO and President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN. “This is a major step forward towards building an entire fleet of reactors we intend to develop together with our partner ORLEN Synthos Green Energy. The result will be stable energy supplies flowing to the Polish industry and households by the end of this decade. Each successive SMR will bolster the energy security of our country, and we are talking of an absolutely safe and, on top of that, a low-emission source of energy.”

The total cost of the joint investment is estimated at over 400 million US dollars (462 million euros) and is expected to reduce costs related to the deployment of the BWRX-300 technology. The work will include the BWRX-300 standard design and detailed design for the reactor building and other components with a reactor pressure vessel and internals. 

As part of the project, the Polish multi-utility energy company will work with the Canadian Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and the US federally-owned Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The involved companies will also cooperate with the US GE Hitachi, responsible for leading the BWRX-300 design project.

“For the first time ever, a private Polish company is investing in a design for nuclear power plants. We do this because GE Hitachi’s state-of-the-art modular technology is simply ideal for decarbonising energy and heat production in Poland, and also for our other zero-emission projects in the United Kingdom and throughout Central Europe,” said Rafał Kasprów, CEO of Orlen Synthos Green Energy.  

The collaboration and additional funding will ensure that the standard design is deployable in different parts of the world and in multiple jurisdictions, Orlen said. To this end, a special team consisting of representatives of the agreement signatories will oversee the technology’s compliance with the provisions and standards of various legal orders. The goal is for the technology to be licensed and subsequently implemented in the US, Canada and Poland, but also in other countries, the company noted.

In Poland, ORLEN Synthos Green Energy began the pre-licensing process following a request for a general opinion on BWRX-300 from the President of the Polish State Atomic Energy Agency. The company is now conducting site studies for the planned fleet of BWRX-300s. Details on the planned locations will be presented next month. 

Orlen Synthos Green Energy now has exclusive rights to build reactors using BWRX-300 technology in Poland.

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