Energy Nuclear 16 May, 2023 7:00 am   
COMMENTS: Joanna Słowińska

KGHM’s SMRs getting closer? NuScale Power CEO: We have the most advanced technology

Rozmowy-KGHM-NuScale-o-SMR-KGHM-1536×1023 KGHM-NuScale talks about SMR. Picture by KGHM.

KGHM’s American partner in building a small modular reactor has the most advanced SMR technology. This was stated during a meeting John Hopkins, president of NuScale Power, held with journalists in Poland.

In 2022, KGHM signed a preliminary work agreement with NuScale Power LLC (an American nuclear technology provider), which represents the first step in the implementation of SMR technology within the KGHM group’s business activities. In April, the copper giant submitted an application to the Ministry of Climate and Environment for a decision on the construction of a small modular nuclear power plant (SMR) in Poland.

Last Monday representatives of NuScale Power met with the top management of KGHM. In an interview with Polish journalists, CEO John Hopkins noted that NuScale has the most advanced technology for small modular nuclear power plants – as the first and so far the only SMR technology provider to receive certification for a 50 MW module from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The President of the American company added that in January this year, NuScale had applied to the NRC for certification of the 77MW module, which it is expected to receive in 2024.

“Our first reactor will be located in Idaho and will be launched in 2029. However, we are able to provide all projects on time, also in this case we do not expect delays,” he noted. Hopkins said SMR was an innovative technology ideal for the needs of large-scale industry, but can also be used in other ways. “SMRs can also provide electricity to cities. If the demand for energy increases, new units can always be added. SMRs are small and their construction does not take a lot of time,” he pointed out.

NuScale has already placed the first order for the production of pressure tank components in December 2022, which is a sign that this technology provider has made significant progress in the process of actual implementation. In May 2023, at the request of NuScale, Doosan Energy began production of forgings for the first VOYGR6TM power plant with a capacity of 462 MW, to be built in Idaho for Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS).

KGHM reports that it operates in accordance with the idea of sustainable development and constantly strives to make the entire technological chain safe, innovative and in line with the idea of a circular economy. Its activities and commitments in these areas are contained in the company’s Environmental and Climate Policy, whose overarching goal is to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

For the copper tycoon, investments that contribute to the energy transition are also crucial. KGHM strives to diversify energy sources, including actively using renewables. By 2030, 50 percent of the electricity consumed by KGHM will come from its own sources, including renewables. The Sierra Gorda mine in Chile is completely powered by energy from renewable sources.

KGHM / Jacek Perzyński / Wojciech Jakóbik