Poland’s Energy Ministry has signed an agreement with the National Centre for Research and Development to support development of high-temperature gas cooled reactors (HTRs) reactors in Poland.

The Director of the Ministry’s Department of Nuclear Energy, Józef Sobolewski, told a seminar on HTR reactors that, as part of the first phase of the Gospostrateg strategic programme, the HTR project would be receive funding of PLN18 million ($4.8m).

Meanwhile, the University of Tokyo and Poland's National Centre for Nuclear Research have signed a five-year agreement on academic exchange between institutions they represent. The agreement was also signed during Polish-Japanese seminar on high temperature reactor technology, held in Warsaw last week.

The draft programme for the implementation of high-temperature reactors in Poland is the result of the work of a team appointed by the Minister of Energy and it has generated special interest from both government and industry in the USA and Japan. The first phase of the Gospostrateg programme was launched in 2017 to implement the tasks set out in the Responsible Development Strategy adopted in 2016. Implementation of the Gospostrateg HTR project will identify legal and administrative barriers  and propose changes in regulations which will ultimately contribute to the efficient (budgetary and temporal) implementation of HTR technology in Poland.

The Gospostrateg HTR project will be implemented by: the Ministry of Energy and two scientific centres – the National Centre for Nuclear Research and the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology. Within three years, a series of technical, legal and socio-economic analyses will be prepared, which at a later stage will be used for efficient implementation of HTR technologies  

In January 2018, a report by NCBJ advised the Polish government that HTR technology represented an affordable and reliable heat source for domestic industry which could help reduce dependency on imported gas. HTRs could also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by replacing coal-fired boilers and lay the groundwork for exports by Poland’s nuclear industry, the report said. It  recommended the establishment of a special purpose company, owned mainly by Polish industrial heat consumers, to develop a preconception study based on the findings of the NCBJ team and negotiate with potential foreign partners.

Photo: Professor Tatsuya Okubo, Dean of School of Engineering, University of Tokyo and Professor Krzysztof Kurek, Director General of National Centre for Nuclear Research signed an agreement on academic exchange at the HTR forum in Warsaw in January (Credit: NCBJ)