Polish Briefing 1 February, 2019 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: Poland can be a European pioneer of HTGR technology

What goes on in Poland on the 1st of February.

Sobolewski: Poland can be a European pioneer of HTGR technology

HTGR reactors are an opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions, which increases the pool of allowances available for hard coal and to reduce the dependence of gas imports. The first installation in Poland could be made in 2030-2031.

As Józef Sobolewski, Director of the Department of Nuclear Energy at the Ministry of Energy, argued during the parliamentary meeting of the Mining and Energy Team, Poland needs at least 10 HTGR reactors. – In Poland there is a place for 10-20 reactors – he said.

He noted that this type of reactors provide inherent safety, which means that the melting of the core is impossible. In addition, they can be located near industrial plants. According to data from the Ministry of Energy, the largest recipients of HTR technology in Poland are 13 largest chemical plants, which together have about 6,5 GWth of generation capacity.

Cost estimates

The director emphasized, however, that HTGR technology is not cheap. – It must be admitted. The issue of costs will be important first of all from the point of view of carbon dioxide emissions. The analysis shows that at a discount rate of 4 percent, the cost of LCOE steam from HTGR is comparable to the cost of steam from a gas boiler, and slightly higher than from coal – he said.

As Sobolewski assured, all estimates were made on the basis of advanced conceptual designs by adding up the costs of components and their assembly. – Available projects had different powers. Therefore, it was necessary to rescale 165 MWth to the target HTGR. For further analysis, however, an intermediate option close to PLN 2 billion was adopted. They treat the scatter estimate at plus-minus PLN 0,5 billion as a measure of the uncertainty of the estimate – he said.

He also drew attention to the need to build a European low power experimental reactor. In his opinion, such a 20 MW thermal power plant could be built at NCBJ in Świerk near Warsaw. – It would be the basis for building competence in this technology. It must be here – convinced the representative of the energy ministry.