Minister: Further developments needed in Paks after 2030

Projections show that there will be a shortage of energy capacity in Hungary in 2030 after the current Paks nuclear power station expansion project is completed, so further development plans are needed, Janos Suli, the minister in charge of the upgrade project, told a hearing in parliament’s national security committee on Wednesday.

In response to a question by green opposition LMP’s co-leader Bernadett Szel concerning a possible “Paks 3”, Suli said no physical space for further blocks would be available at Paks following the current expansion, and a large base power station would be needed in addition, which included not only a nuclear power station but also solar, wind and water generation.

The committee’s (Socialist) head, Zsolt Molnar, called for a permanent committee to be set up to monitor the current Paks 2 project. Suli said if parliament decided to set up such a committee, the government would support it.

Concerning the planned expansion to be carried out by Russia’s Rosatom, state secretary in charge of maintaining Paks, Attila Aszodi, said rules stipulate the protection of each side’s business secrets. The Hungarian side has no objections concerning the publication of information which is not classified data, but the Russian main contractor also has the right of veto, he added.

Szel asked whether the Hungarian government bore responsibility for the current 22 month delay in the expansion project whether the Hungarian taxpayers would bear any additional costs. She also repeated a demand for the exact total cost of the project to be revealed.

Aszodi said in response that the budget law included the allocations for Paks each year, so this data was in the public domain. Commenting on the delay, he said the European Commission was carrying out an in-depth examination of the project at the request of the Hungarian government. This has resulted in a stand-still which was neither the Hungarian nor the Russian side’s responsibility. The basic contract and the fixed price remains the same, however, he added.

In August, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said preliminary work on the 12 billion dollar Pak upgrade would start in January next year.

Hungary signed an agreement in Moscow in January 2014 on the construction of two blocks at the Paks nuclear power plant by Russia’s Rosatom.

Source and photo: MTI

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