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Hungary to Prolong Nuclear Plant’s Lifetime as Expansion Stalls

By Marton Kasnyik, April 21, 2023

Hungary aims to extend the lifetime of its sole nuclear power plant by 20 years to bridge major delays to its Russian-managed expansion, according to a senior official.

Extending the operation of the Paks plant in southern Hungary will maintain the source of about 40% of the country’s electricity consumption. The government is currently assessing safety issues after previous 20-year extensions to the four existing reactors in the last decade.

“Our plan is to get a further 20 years of life-extension,” Energy Minister Csaba Lantos said at a conference on Friday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s administration handed a €10 billion ($11 billion) contract to Russia’s Rosatom Corp. in 2014 to expand the Paks plant. The project has been marred by delays, including due to initial European Union opposition to the investment and the quality of Rosatom’s plans, which Hungary’s own regulator has said fell short of stringent requirements.

Last week, Hungary and Russia said they agreed to an amendment of their original contract following media reports of a potentially reduced role for Rosatom amid EU sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. 

The changes are “technical” in nature and don’t affect the project’s cost, Cabinet Minister Gergely Gulyas told reporters on Thursday, without elaborating.


April 22, 2023 - Posted by | EUROPE, safety

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