Looking back at 2021—Nuclear News October through December

January 7, 2022, 2:59PMNuclear News

This is the fifth of five articles posted today to look back at the top news stories of 2021 for the nuclear community. The full article, "Looking back at 2021,"was published in the January 2022 issue of Nuclear News.

Quite a year was 2021. In the following stories, we have compiled what we feel are the past year’s top news stories from the October-December time frame—please enjoy this recap from a busy year in the nuclear community.

Preferred site picked for Poland’s first nuclear plant

January 6, 2022, 12:07PMNuclear News

A location in northern Poland near the Baltic coast, Lubiatowo-Kopalino, has been selected as the preferred site for the nation’s first nuclear power plant, winning out over nearby Żarnowiec, Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe (PEJ) announced recently. The site is approximately 40 miles northwest of Gdansk, the capital of Poland’s Pomeranian province.

From the pages of Nuclear News: Industry update

December 21, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News

ADVANCED REACTORS MARKETPLACE

GEH’s BWRX-300 SMR technology chosen for Darlington clean energy project

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has been selected by Ontario Power Generation as technology partner for the Darlington site's new nuclear plant project. GEH will work with OPG to deploy a BWRX-300 small modular reactor as early as 2028 at the Darlington site in Canada.

■ NuScale Power and Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants LLP have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the deployment of NuScale VOYGR power plants in Kazakhstan. KNPP specializes in the development of nuclear power plant construction in Kazakhstan. The agreement calls for a sharing of nuclear and technical expertise between NuScale and KNPP. Under the MOU, NuScale will support KNPP’s evaluation of NuScale’s SMR technology, including nuclear power plant engineering, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance, and project-specific studies and design work.

PKN ORLEN and Synthos Green Energy have signed an agreement to set up a joint venture, ORLEN Synthos Green Energy, with a goal to prepare and commercialize small nuclear reactor technology, particularly GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s BWRX-300 reactors, in Poland. Related, BWXT Canada Ltd. signed a letter of intent with Synthos and GEH for the manufacture of key SMR components for Poland.

France submits EPR offer to Poland

October 15, 2021, 12:06PMNuclear News

A cutaway view of an EPR. (Image: EDF)

French utility giant Électricité de France has thrown its chapeau into the ring to be the large-reactor supplier for Poland’s embryonic nuclear power program, joining U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Company, which has made concerted efforts this year to convince Poland to choose its AP1000 technology.

On Tuesday, EDF submitted a nonbinding preliminary offer to the Polish government for the construction of four to six EPR reactors, representing a total installed capacity of 6.6 to 9.9 GWe across two to three sites.

The pitch: The offer “covers all key parameters of the program, such as plant configuration, industrial scheme, plans for the development of the local supply chain, cost estimate, and schedule,” EDF said in a press release, adding that its proposal “aims at setting the principles for a Polish-French strategic partnership framework in support of Poland’s ambitious energy transition plan, aligned with the European carbon neutrality target.”

From the pages of Nuclear News: Industry update

October 14, 2021, 12:00PMNuclear News

Here is a recap of industry happenings over the course of the past month:

ADVANCED REACTOR MARKETPLACE

Ukraine’s Energoatom signs deals for nuclear power exploration and deployment

Energoatom, the state-owned nuclear utility of Ukraine, and Westinghouse Electric Company have signed an agreement to bring Westinghouse AP1000 reactors to multiple sites in Ukraine. The signing took place at the U.S. Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, D.C., and was witnessed by Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, U.S. energy secretary Jennifer Granholm, and Ukraine’s energy minister German Galushchenko.

In addition, Energoatom signed a memorandum of understanding with NuScale Power to explore small modular reactor deployment in Ukraine. Under the MOU, NuScale will support Energoatom’s examination of NuScale’s SMR technology, including a feasibility study for proposed project sites and the development of a project timeline and deliverables, cost studies, technical reviews, licensing and permitting activities, and project-specific engineering studies and design work.

Westinghouse to invest in Poland’s nuclear future

March 17, 2021, 9:29AMNuclear News

Patrick Fragman (left), president and CEO of Westinghouse, and Piotr Naimski, Poland’s secretary of state for strategic energy infrastructure, met on March 15, 2021, in Warsaw. Photo: Westinghouse

The signing last October of a bilateral agreement between the United States and Poland to cooperate on the latter’s civil nuclear power program appears to be bearing fruit. On March 15, following a meeting in Warsaw between Patrick Fragman, president and chief executive officer of Westinghouse Electric Company, and Piotr Naimski, Poland’s secretary of state for strategic energy infrastructure, Westinghouse announced its intention to invest in nuclear technologies in Poland.

The agreement, which entered into force earlier this month, calls for the United States and Poland to cooperate over the next 18 months on a report laying out a plan for implementing Poland’s nuclear power program, as well as potential financing arrangements. It also defines areas of U.S.-Polish cooperation for decades to come, including support for relevant business entities and government-led efforts ranging from regulation to research and training to supply chain development.

Polish energy policy for next two decades adopted

February 4, 2021, 2:59PMNuclear News

Poland’s Council of Ministers has approved a long-term energy policy that emphasizes clean forms of energy, including nuclear.

On February 2, the country’s Ministry of Climate and Environment announced the official adoption of Energy Policy of Poland until 2040 (PEP2040), originally published in draft form in November 2018 and revised the following year. The full text of PEP2040 has not been published at this writing, but an 18-page abstract can be accessed online.

In its announcement, the ministry described PEP2040 as “a clear vision of Poland’s energy transformation strategy” and “a compass for entrepreneurs, local governments, and citizens in the transformation of the Polish economy toward low emission.” By 2040, the document states, more than half of Poland’s installed capacity will be zero-emission sources, adding that both offshore wind energy and nuclear energy “will play a special role” in reaching that goal.

Ex-Im Bank, Poland sign MOU on U.S. energy investment

December 21, 2020, 7:01AMNuclear News

Polish Minister of Climate and Environment Michał Kurtyka (left) and Ex-Im Chairman Kimberly Reed sign an MOU on U.S. energy investment in Poland on December 11. Photo: EXIM

In another sign of U.S. interest in helping Poland develop a civil nuclear power program, the Export-Import Bank of the United States announced last week that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Polish government to promote U.S. energy investment in the Central European nation. (For an earlier agreement, see here.)

The MOU was signed in Warsaw on December 11 by Ex-Im president and chairman, Kimberly A. Reed, and Poland’s minister of climate and environment, Michał Kurtyka, during Reed’s three-day visit to Poland.

The Ex-Im: As the official export credit agency of the United States, Ex-Im provides loans, loan guarantees, and insurance to foreign customers purchasing U.S. exports.

The MOU particulars: The MOU calls for Ex-Im and Poland to “explore and identify potential opportunities for Ex-Im financing and to work together to promote business development opportunities related to strategic energy projects and programs,” according to Ex-Im’s announcement. The agreement includes, but is not limited to, support for projects in nuclear energy, in particular in support of strategic projects under Poland’s nuclear power program, low- and zero-emission technologies, clean energy innovation, and critical energy infrastructure, including cybersecurity solutions.

U.S. takes next step in support of Poland’s nuclear vision

August 18, 2020, 7:10AMNuclear News

Pompeo

Morawiecki

While the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement grabbed more attention, it was not the only U.S.-Poland pact inked in Warsaw last week. The two countries also initialed a draft bilateral agreement to cooperate in the development of Poland’s civil nuclear power program, according to the State Department. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on August 15 to discuss the partnership, in addition to other matters including the improvement of regional energy and infrastructure through the Three Seas Initiative, the department said.

U.S., Poland to talk nuclear later this week

June 22, 2020, 3:08PMNuclear News

Duda

Energy, including nuclear energy, will be among the topics discussed at a June 24 meeting in Washington between President Donald Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda, according to remarks by Duda at a June 18 news conference. “We will definitely talk about cooperation between Polish companies and Polish authorities, and companies and authorities from the United States, over conventional nuclear energy and its use,” he said. The meeting will take place just days before Poland’s June 28 presidential election.

U.S. and Polish officials continue strategic talks

March 11, 2020, 9:22AMNuclear News

The third Strategic Dialogue on Energy between government officials from Poland and the United States was held on February 26 as a way to extend the nations’ advanced nuclear energy cooperation. U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette met with Piotr Naimski, Poland’s secretary of state in the chancellery of the prime minister and plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure, and Poland’s Minister of Climate Michal Kurtyka at the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, D.C. In a DOE press release, Brouillette acknowledged the U.S. nuclear industry’s continued interest in providing clean, reliable, and resilient nuclear energy to Poland as a means to strengthen their energy security. In a post on Twitter, Kurtyka described the meeting as “fruitful.”