Poland’s Orlen Synthos Green Energy (OSGE) has applied to the Ministry of Climate & Environment for a fundamental decision for six NPPs with BWRX-300 small modular reactors (SMRs). The applications, submitted by OSGE Vice President Dawid Jackiewicz, relate to six sites named during a recent conference. The locations are: Ostroleka, Wloclawek, Stawy Monowskie, Dabrowa Górnicza, Nowa Huta, Tarnobrzeg Special Economic Zone.

The decision will formally confirm that the investment in the nuclear plants is in line with the public interest and the policies implemented by the state, including energy policy. This decision will also authorize the investor to apply for a decision to determine the location and other decisions necessary for the preparation, implementation and operation of the facilities.

In December 2021, GE Hitachi, BWXT Canada and Synthos Green Energy (SGE) signed a Letter of Intent to cooperate in deploying BWRX-300 SMRs in Poland. OSGE is a joint venture between chemical producers SGE and PKN Orlen. In July 2022 OSGE submitted an application to Poland's National Atomic Energy Agency for the assessment of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy's BWRX-300.

Earlier in April, copper and silver producer KGHM Polska Miedź SA submitted an application for a decision-in-principle for the construction in Poland of a US NuScale VOYGR SMR. In addition, Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe submitted an application for a decision-in-principle on the construction of a Westinghouse's AP1000 NPP at either Lubiatowo or Kopalino in Choczewo municipality.

In response to OSGE’s latest application, three local leaders from areas near one of the named sites, Stawy Monowskie, located on the border of the city and the Auschwitz commune, sent a joint letter to OSGE. It noted that the planned reactor “is supposed to be a source of energy for Synthos, which is based in Auschwitz”.

The letter was signed by the head of Oświęcim commune, Mirosław Smolarek; the president of the city of Auswi Wcim, Janus Chwierut; and the mayor of Oswi uscimski, Andrzej Skrzypiński. “We understand that these kinds of investments are a big step into the future. However, it raises a lot of uncertainty and concerns for the surrounding community,” it said. “For us as local authorities, the security of our residents is as important as the development of the city and the municipality of Auschwitz and the entire land of Auschwi micim. We have to respond to all the questions and doubts, and we are responsible for the future of the region.”

It continued: “Therefore, we expect from the company a partnership and detailed information about the planned investment, primarily the exact location, technology, the investment process, the formal and legal status of the project and its schedule. This will allow us to take a stand on an undertaking that undoubtedly will be of great importance to our community, and also answer questions you may have. We also expect that Orlen Synthos Green Energy will include residents in the information process, listen to their opinions and provide reliable knowledge about small nuclear reactors and the investment itself in our territory.”

Image: Poland's Orlen Synthos Green Energy has applied to the Ministry of Climate & Environment for a fundamental decision to deploy six SMRs in the country (courtesy of OSGE)