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Poland’s Greens oppose construction of small nuclear reactor in Kraków

MAY 17, 2023

The Greens (Zieloni), who are part of Poland’s largest opposition grouping, have raised concern over the proposed construction of a nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) in Kraków.

They argue that the technology, which is still in development, is not sufficiently tested and produces large amounts of nuclear waste. They have called for investment in renewables instead.

Last month, state energy firm Orlen announced that it would by the end of this year announce 20 potential locations for the SMRs that it is developing in partnership with a group of American and Canadian corporations and with financing from US government agencies.

Of the seven potential sites unveiled already, one is in the Nowa Huta district of Kraków. Yesterday, two Green MPs, Małgorzata Tracz and Klaudia Jachira, organised a protest against those plans, saying that “no one has asked residents of Kraków for their opinion”.

Jachira noted that SMRs are still an experimental technology and “there is no evidence whether they work and what the risks are”, reports Gazeta Krakowska. Tracz cited research from Stanford University indicating that SMRs produce up to nine times more radioactive waste per unit of energy than large reactors.

The pair called for Orlen to provide more information on the costs and benefits of SMRs, to explain how waste will be managed, and to hold consultations with residents.

In response, Orlen Synthos Green Energy, which is responsible for developing the SMRs, noted that. while Nowa Huta is among the preferred locations. no final decision has been made.

“Following studies and consultations with local authorities, [we] will spend two years studying in detail the possibility of building a small nuclear unit in Nowa Huta,” said the firm. “Once the potential is confirmed, priority will be given to inviting local communities to dialogue. Only on this basis will decisions be taken.”


May 18, 2023 - Posted by | EUROPE, politics

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