Michal Solowow and his chemical company Synthos will work with US-Japanese company GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to develop technology for small nuclear reactors. According to the memorandum signed, a 300 megawatt reactor could be completed in southern Poland as early as 2027. This is six years before plans to launch the country's first nuclear power plant.
The country's plan envisages nuclear power output of at least six gigawatts (roughly three times higher than the performance of the Czech Temelín nuclear power plant). The aim is for Poland to get rid of its dependence on coal-fired power stations in the future. The country is now facing increasing pressure from the European Union to curb carbon emissions.
But the big nuclear projects in Europe and the world are not easy, but actually all are lagging and expensive. The Czech Republic has been waiting for a new nuclear tender since 2014, when CEZ canceled the last one for Temelin settlement due to financing problems.
According to the Polish newspaper Puls Biznesu, Solowow estimated investment in small nuclear reactors to be less than one billion dollars (around 23 billion CZK). In comparison, the new nuclear unit in Dukovany is estimated to cost nearly ten times – around 200 billion crowns.
Patria said that Solowow, a businessman and former rally driver, hoped that a small modular reactor from GE would be licensed in North America in 2024. This would then allow the construction of units in Poland.
Synthos also operates in the Czech Republic, where it owns the chemical company Synthos Kralupy. It is one of the biggest European rubber producers.
CEZ agreed last month to develop a small nuclear reactor together with US company NuScale. It was a nuclear source of lower yields that Prime Minister Andrej Babiš described this spring as the optimal solution for the construction of new nuclear units in the Czech Republic.
The country and CEZ are now preparing to sign a framework financing agreement, but need to be negotiated with the European Commission on the issue of state aid. Babiš appeared a few weeks ago with shocking statements to many that the Czech Republic had to build new nuclear units even at the expense of violating European law.