Weekly Roundup: More Privately Funded SMRs for Poland?

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Polish copper giant KGHM is the latest private company to signal its interest in building small modular reactors (SMRs), announcing this week an early-stage deal with NuScale for the US vendor to explore the possibility of building 4-12 of NuScale's 77 megawatt SMR modules. These would replace existing thermal coal plants used to power KGHM's copper mines. KGHM's plans are similar to those by Polish chemical giant Synthos to replace separate coal plants with four to six BWRX-300s, the 300 MW SMR developed by NuScale rival GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy. "It was difficult to open a newspaper in September without having yet another" private Polish company announcing nuclear ambitions, Polish Climate Minister Michal Kurtyka quipped in a Sep. 23 press conference with US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Kurtyka said these private SMR initiatives are "complementary" to the conventional newbuild program the government is working on with Washington. Granholm explained the US government is developing financing options for US-supplied newbuilds, and advised interested parties to "stay tuned."

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