Hungary, Opposition calls for NPP Paks expansion contract termination

, SEE Energy News

The united opposition called on the government to terminate the Hungarian-Russian contract for the expansion of Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant Paks, in view of the Russian attack on Ukraine.

The opposition noted that the EU sanctions imposed on Russia were also hitting the Russian bank financing the NPP Paks expansion. The Hungarian state has so far spent some 800 million euros on the project. Rather than a nuclear plant upgrade, Hungary should initiate talks with the Visegrad Group and other neighboring countries on sharing energy from renewable resources.

Local subsidiary of Russian Rosatom said earlier that the works on NPP Paks expansion are progressing as planned, despite the Ukrainian crisis.

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 was supposed to become operational in 2023.

Currently, NPP Paks provides about a half of Hungary’s total electricity generation and the new nuclear capacity will be even more significant following the closure of coal-fired TPP Matra.