Alerts Energy Nuclear 26 April, 2024 7:30 am   

Canadian precedent may pave the way for SMRs in Poland

Przygotowania-do-budowy-malego-reaktora-w-Darlington-OSGE Preparations for the construction of a small reactor in Darlington. Picture by OSGE.

Canadians have decided that an environmental decision for a large nuclear power plant in Darlington also applies to a Canadian SMR project that Poland’s Orlen and Synthos are hoping to pursue on home turf. This precedent may be important for Poland.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has ruled that the environmental decision issued for large-scale reactors at Darlington could also apply to the world’s first BWRX-300 reactor, called the small modular reactor (SMR).

Ontario Power Generation from Canada wants to build the world’s first BWRX-300 reactor, and Orlen Synthos Green Energy is its Polish technological partner. The Poles declared their interest in building such reactors in Stawy Monowskie and other locations later in the decade. The precedent from Canada may make it easier to obtain a permit for the Polish project, which still requires a number of administrative decisions.

“The Canadian Nuclear Regulatory Authority has confirmed that the selected reactor technology does not differ substantially from the reactor technologies assessed in the Environmental Impact Assessment for the site. As a result, a new environmental impact assessment is not required,” OSGE said in a press release.

“This is a milestone and a very positive event,” the company remarked. “The CNSC has determined that the existing environmental impact assessment for the new OPG Darlington nuclear project applies to the four GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 units because the technology is not fundamentally different from the reactor technologies assessed in the original environmental impact assessment,” said Rumina Velshi, strategic advisor to the OSGE board, chairwoman of the CNSC in 2018-2023. “I am confident that before making a final decision, the CNSC will carefully analyze the entire range of documents received. The next step is a public hearing on the CNSC’s building permit application. However, it is worth emphasizing that the licensing of the world’s first BWRX-300 reactor, which will be built in Darlington in the suburbs of Toronto, is proceeding according to schedule,” Rumina Velshi added.

OSGE / Wojciech Jakóbik