Poland interested in SMR collaboration with Canada says minister
Poland is interested in cooperating with Canada on the construction of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), the presidential minister has said.
The Polish government intends to build Poland's first nuclear power plants as the country implements a programme that will see it move away from fossil fuels. Under the plan, the government has already struck deals with US and South Korean firms to help in the construction of the nuclear plants.
"Poland is at the stage of remodelling its energy strategy... If we are moving away from coal, the choice was simple," Minister Andrzej Dera from the President's Office said at a meeting with the Polish community in Ottawa, referring to Poland's decision to build nuclear power plants in cooperation with the US and South Korea.
"Poland also needs small reactors... and Canada is a leader in this technology... the system will be so much safer if they can be built," he added.
The world's first grid-scale SMR is to be built in Ontario by the government-owned Ontario Power Generation (OPG) company using the BWRX-300 technology. The new reactor is expected to produce electricity as early as 2028.
In October, when Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith visited Poland, he told PAP the construction of the BWRX-300 SMR would allow for decarbonisation and meet growing demand for electricity.
During his visit to Poland, Smith met Deputy Climate Minister Adam Guibourge-Czetwertynski to discuss opportunities for cooperation in the nuclear energy sector, in particular in the development of SMR technology.
Poland's Orlen Synthos Green Energy (OSGE), a joint venture between Synthos Green Energy and dominant petrochemicals firm PKN Orlen, is interested in building a number of BWRX-300 SMRs and would like to have the first one operational by the end of 2029.
Synthos Green Energy has also signed a cooperation agreement with OPG's subsidiary Laurentis, which is involved in the project in Ontario.
At the end of October this year, President of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association Francesco Sorbara told PAP after his visit to Poland that energy security and diversification of supplies are areas of possible cooperation between Canada and Poland.
But he also pointed out at the time that Poland had not yet ratified CETA, the free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, signed six years ago.