Sep 27, 2021

KGHM goes nuclear as mining industry eyes renewable energy

Sustainability
KGHM
Nuclear
nuscale
Polish copper miner KGHM inks deal with NuScale Power and PBE Molecule for nuclear reactors to reduce mining emissions and target sustainability

It’s no secret that the mining industry is desperately searching for easily applicable yet long-term sustainable means of reducing the sector’s emissions and streamlining operational processes simultaneously. And KGHM - a Polish copper-focused mining giant - believes it has found its own means of achieving improved sustainability. The company has signed a deal with NuScale Power and PBE Molecule to introduce nuclear reactors as a means of producing clean, renewable, and more affordable means of generating energy for its mining projects, leading the sector by example when it comes to taking the leap and transitioning towards renewable alternatives. 

Nuclear power to stimulate sustainable advances in the mining sector

“NuScale is thrilled to partner with KGHM and PBE on the potential deployment of NuScale Power plants in Poland,” says Chair and CEO of NuScale Power John Hopkins in a statement. “The retirement of ageing coal-fired power plants is leading to changes in power generation, infrastructure needs, and workforce opportunity. NuScale’s SMR technology is an ideal flexible clean energy solution to repurpose retiring coal-fueled power plants and most importantly, retain and retrain the skilled power plant workforce already in place in these Polish communities.”

NuScale has successfully designed and delivered an exciting new modular light water reactor nuclear power plant that provides electrical energy, heating, hydrogen production, and more. Its innovation opens doors not only for the renewable energy industry but for the decarbonisation of the mining sector as a whole. 

Going nuclear to improve the industry’s sustainability outlook

Piotr Piela, Founder and Managing Partner of PBE, points out the importance of transitioning from an outdated high-polluting past into a greener, more sustainable future. 

“With the future energy sector, design modular energy sources will play an exceptionally important role. This is why the SMR, which is not competitive but truly complimentary to big nuclear reactors, is not only a crucial component fitting energy transformation of Poland and many other fossil fuels dependent European Union countries but also considered the ‘technology of common interest’ essential to successfully implement the Pan European Green Deal.”

KGHM’s deal with PBE and NuScale teases the potential for four to 12 separate small modular nuclear reactors being built, potentially becoming the biggest nuclear installation of its type globally. 

Theoretically, the nuclear project should be wrapped up by 2030, providing KGHM with a sustainable means of energy to power its mining operations.

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