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Polish ministry approves plans for Rolls-Royce SMRs

15 May 2024

Polish industrial group Industria’s plan to construct a power plant based on Rolls-Royce’s small modular reactor (SMR) has been approved by the Ministry of Climate and Environment.

How a Rolls-Royce SMR might look (Image: Rolls-Royce SMR)

Industria submitted its application for a decision-in-principle in December last year to Polish Climate and Environment Minister Paulina Hennig-Kloska. The application concerns the construction of a nuclear power plant using Rolls-Royce SMR technology – a 470 MWe design based on a small pressurised water reactor – and a used nuclear fuel storage facility as an integral part of the power plant.

On 10 May, Hennig-Kloska issued the ministry’s decision-in-principle, saying that she believes the investment would be in the public interest and in line with Poland’s energy and climate policies. The application was positively assessed by the Head of the Internal Security Agency and the Minister of State Assets.

The decision-in-principle represents official state approval for the planned investment in accordance with the assumptions and concept presented by the company. It is the first decision in the process of administrative permits for investments in nuclear power facilities in Poland that an investor may apply for. Obtaining it entitles Industria to apply for a number of further administrative arrangements, such as a siting decision or construction licence.

“Today’s decision-in-principle by Poland’s Environment Minister is extremely positive news and allows us to advance our commercial and technical discussions on the deployment of Rolls-Royce SMR power plants in Poland,” said Rolls-Royce SMR’s Director of Strategy and Business Development Alan Woods. “Poland is one of a number of key export opportunities for Rolls-Royce SMR as we look to build on our progress in the UK and exploit the important competitive advantage our SMR design has over its competitors.”

Last year, state-owned Industria – part of Industrial Development Agency JSC (IDA) – selected Rolls-Royce SMR technology to fulfil the zero-emission energy goals of the Central Hydrogen Cluster in Poland and as part of their plans to produce 50,000 tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen every year.

In July 2023, Industria signed a letter of intent with the Kostrzyn-Słubicka Special Economic Zone SA (KSSSE) regarding cooperation on the location of a modular power plant based on Rolls-Royce SMR technology in the areas covered by the KSSSE.

Poland’s Ministry of Climate and Environment issued a decision-in-principle in July last year on copper and silver producer KGHM Polska Miedź SA’s plan to construct a NuScale VOYGR modular nuclear power plant with a capacity of 462 MWe consisting of six modules, each with a capacity of 77 MWe.

In December, the ministry issued decisions-in-principle to Orlen Synthos Green Energy for the construction of power plants based on GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s BWRX-300 SMR at six locations. A total of 24 BWRX-300 reactors are planned at the sites.

The ministry has also issued decisions-in-principle for the construction of two large nuclear power plants: one for a 3750 MWe plant in Pomerania using Westinghouse’s AP1000 technology, the other for a plant comprising two South Korean-supplied APR1400 reactors in the Patnów-Konin region.

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