Poland's copper and silver giant to sign small nuclear reactors deal

KGHM, a Polish copper and silver company, is set to pen an agreement with US firms NuScalle Power LCC and PBE Molecule to develop small modular reactors (SMRs), the company said in a Thursday statement.

The deal, which is to be signed later on Thursday, is expected to be valid for three years.

The new reactors are either to replace KGHM's existing coal-fired turbines or become separate sources of energy for the company, KGHM said.

KGHM plans to acquire from one to 12 SMR modules generating 77 MW of power each.

The project is expected to last until 2030 and the first nuclear reactor is planned to become operational by 2029.

In June, Polish chemical firm Synthos signed a cooperation deal with the country's biggest oil and gas company, PKN Orlen, with a view to developing SMR technology. Two months later, Synthos signed an agreement with energy group ZE PAK aiming to construct four to six SMR reactors on the grounds of a phased-out lignite mine.

The SMR concept, which is still at the development stage, emerged in the US some 10 years ago as an alternative solution to large nuclear power plants, which are costly. 

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