Study completed on BWRX-300 deployment in Poland

December 22, 2020, 7:00AMNuclear News

The completion of a study assessing the feasibility of deploying a fleet of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s (GEH) BWRX-300 small modular reactors in Poland was announced recently by the Polish firm Synthos Green Energy (SGE).

The feasibility study, which was prepared by Exelon Generation, was not made publicly available by SGE. The study covers the analysis of key aspects of SMR technology implementation, including cost issues, personnel policy, regulatory and security issues, construction models, and operational issues, according to SGE.

SGE is a subsidiary of Synthos S.A., a manufacturer of synthetic rubber and one of the biggest producers of chemical raw materials in Poland. According to SGE, it views SMR technology as an opportunity for the deep decarbonization of Polish industry and the country's heating sector.

SMR roadmap: “The feasibility study is a very important step in the implementation of our project of introducing SMR technology on the Polish market,” said Rafał Kasprów, SGE’s chief executive officer. “The document will be the basis for creating an accurate roadmap for the whole project.”

Added Ralph Hunter, managing director and chief operating officer of Exelon Nuclear Partners: “Exelon is ready to support Synthos using our nuclear experience and know-how to deploy one or more small modular reactors in Poland.”

Background: In October of this year, GEH announced that SGE had initiated discussions with Poland’s National Atomic Energy Agency regarding a potential BWRX-300 project. The previous year, GEH and Synthos S.A. signed a strategic cooperation agreement focused on the development and deployment of the BWRX-300. Other companies involved in the agreement include Exelon Generation, Fortum, and CMS Legal Warsaw.

The BWRX-300: An evolution of GEH’s 1,520-MWe Generation III+ ESBWR (approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2014), the BWRX-300 is a 300-MWe water-cooled, natural-circulation SMR with passive safety systems. As a result of its design simplification, GEH expects the BWRX-300 to require significantly lower capital costs per MW than other water-cooled SMR designs or existing large nuclear reactor designs, the company said.

On December 1, GEH announced that the NRC had issued a final safety evaluation report for the first of several licensing topical reports submitted by the company for the BWRX-300.

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