Polish billionaire Michał Sołowow’s big plans to construct mini nuclear power plants might help Poland become energy independent.
As co-owner of Synthos, a chemical firm, Solowow has partnered with international energy titan GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to develop a small module reactor (SMR).
Dubbed BWRX-300, each mini power plant would generate up to 300 megawatts, basically enough to power a town of 100,000. In comparison, the largest nuclear power plant in the world, the Korean Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, generates 7965 megawatts of power.
The project would reportedly cost less than $1 billion over the course of 10 years, significantly less than other major nuclear power projects. Both Sołowow and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy have argued that the small scale of the investment is one of its greatest strengths, allowing for impressive power generation without massive capital outlays.
Another advantage of such a small power plant is the building process. Various elements can be constructed in separate factories and then delivered to the building site instead of building everything from the ground up as is the case for standard power plants. This makes SMRs relatively cheap to build and easier to operate with a small staff due to increased automation.
So far it is unknown where Sołowow plans to construct the plants but in a statement he said, “Small modular reactors can play a significant role in addressing Poland’s energy challenges, the modernization of the nation’s energy sector and in achieving necessary and responsible deep decarbonization.”
There are three such small nuclear power plants throughout the world, one on the Chinese-Pakistani border, one in India and one in Siberia. Five more are also being currently contrasted, two in Russia, two in China and one in Argentina. Poland currently has no power plants and mostly relies on coal to generate electricity.