Hungary: NPP Paks expansion permitted

, SEE Energy News

The permit for the construction of the expansion by building two new units of the country’s sole nuclear power plant Paks was given by Hungary’s energy regulatory authority (MEKH).

Atomeromu Zrt, the company in charge of the project, submitted an application for a construction permit to MEKH in October 2020, the statement noted. After examining the contents of the application to ensure that it complies with the relevant legislation, MEKH said that the construction of the plant with a nominal capacity of 2,524 MW can proceed. The agency considered the security of supply to the electricity network and the procedures related to the security of the nuclear technology carried out by the National Atomic Energy Agency in the course of its assessment.

Istvan Mittler, the project’s communications director, said that the MEKH permit is of paramount importance for the project, similarly to such specific permits as the environmental permit and the site permit, preconditions for the construction, production, procurement and installation of the new units, as well as for the construction permit issued by the National Atomic Energy Agency (OAH).

In January 2014, Hungarian Government has signed deal with Russia`s Rosatom, with a goal to increase output of the power plant, from current 2,000 MW to 4,400 MW by adding two more reactors. Under the agreement, Russia will provide 10 billion euros loan for the construction of new unit in existing NPP, which is around 80 % of estimated construction cost. According to initial plan, first unit should become operational in 2023. However, In mid-January the European Commission released a report in which it states that Hungary has failed to provide sufficient information to support its argument that the agreement for the expansion of NPP Paks will not provide the company unfair economic advantage. In March 2017, EC has granted its approval to the Hungarian state providing a subsidy for the project. According to the statement, EC concluded that Hungary’s financial support for the construction of two new reactors at NPP Paks involves state aid, but it has approved this support under EU state aid rules on the basis of commitments made by Hungary to limit distortions of competition.