Yesterday we added to our ongoing case for uranium by posting about how crypto miners were starting to forge partnerships with nuclear power plants to combat the "bitcoin is not good for the environment" argument. Today, the case for nuclear has taken another positive step forward.
That's because copper producer KGHM in Poland has now also turned to nuclear power, according to FT.
Noting that finding cheaper and greener sources of energy was in Poland's "national interest", KGHM's CEO Marcin Chludzinski said the company would be building four small modular reactors for alternative energy. Each reactor would have a capacity of 77MW.
US group NuScale will be tasked with building the reactors, with the first due to come online in 2029, the report notes. It would make KGHM "self-sufficient in energy production and insulate[d] from volatile energy prices".
The company is already Poland's second largest consumer of electricity.
Chludzinski said: “To be globally competitive, energy-intensive businesses like ours . . . need to have access to the cheapest electricity possible, and that is our goal. It is not only a challenge for us . . . it is a challenge for all businesses in Poland, because if energy continues to become more expensive at this rate, then our ability to invest will fall.”
Last year, Poland generated almost 70% of its energy from coal. However, CO2 emissions have risen in cost as the European Union has actively worked to phase out fossil fuels in favor of green energy. As we (and many others) have predicted, nuclear seems to be the "common sense" compromise at the middle of the equation.
As a result a "number of companies" other than KGHM have looked into small modular reactors.
Chludzinski has argued that Poland was being penalized too harshly for being reliant on coal energy, but he said technology like small modular reactors could help move the country off the fossil fuel.
“Poles are very flexible. If it turns out that these are the conditions we have to compete in, and they cannot be changed, then we are able to adapt quite quickly. And I think that the energy transformation, which is meant to take place over time, could happen more quickly,” he said.
The SMRs will make KGHM a net energy producer, he concluded: “We’re not going to go from being a copper producer to being an energy company. We are focused above all on copper. But we have to be self-sufficient in energy terms, and if we have more energy than we need ourselves, then we will sell it.”