GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), BWXT Canada, and Polish firm Synthos Green Energy (SGE) yesterday announced their intention to cooperate in the deployment of GEH’s BWRX-300 small modular reactors in Poland. With its partners, SGE hopes to deploy at least 10 of the SMRs in the Central European state by the early 2030s.
According to the announcement, BWXT Canada’s supply chain participation in the plan could generate more than C$1 billion (about $780 million) in GDP for Canada, accelerate decarbonization of the Polish economy, and increase its competitiveness.
“BWXT Canada is pleased to be expanding our cooperation with GEH to deploy their innovative SMR technology to Poland,” said John MacQuarrie, the Canadian company’s president. “Our highly unique facilities and skilled workforce in Cambridge and at our other locations in Ontario are well suited to manufacture a variety of products for this advanced reactor.”
Todd Smith, Ontario’s minister of energy, commented, “This landmark agreement between GEH, BWXT Canada, and SGE is proof that the world is watching Ontario when it comes to SMRs. Our strong nuclear supply chain and talented workforce are already paying dividends and cementing our reputation as a global hub for SMR expertise.”
The tech: An evolution of GEH’s 1,520-MWe Generation III+ ESBWR design (approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2014), the BWRX-300 is a 300-MWe water-cooled, natural-circulation SMR with passive safety systems. According to GEH, as a result of design simplification, the BWRX-300 should require significantly lower capital costs per megawatt than other water-cooled SMR designs or existing large nuclear reactor designs. It is currently undergoing a prelicensing vendor design review by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
In case you missed it: Just last week, SGE and PKN Orlen, a Poland-based company active in the oil and gas sector, signed an investment agreement to establish a joint venture, ORLEN Synthos Green Energy, to prepare and commercialize SMR technology. The partnership’s focus is on the BWRX-300. Also earlier this month, Ontario Power Generation selected the BWRX-300 for deployment at its Darlington nuclear plant, located in Clarington, Ontario.