Nuclear industry news


Hungary needs new nuclear units to boost power supply, economy: minister


Hungary's plan to build two new nuclear power reactors at the Paks nuclear power plant is important for the country because it provides a reliable and secure electricity supply and creates jobs, Miklos Sesztak, Hungary's minister for national development, said Monday at the Platts European Nuclear Power conference in Budapest.

"Nuclear power provides inexpensive electricity for the economy and the people," Sesztak said in a keynote address, adding that it also increases electricity generation within the country and creates jobs.

Hungary's parliament on June 22 ratified a Eur10 billion ($13.7 billion) credit agreement between the governments of Hungary and Russia to finance the construction of two new units at Hungary's Paks nuclear power plant.

The new units, most likely of 1,200 MW each, will be built by Russian state nuclear company Rosatom, according to a separate agreement signed in January.

The lack of a public procurement tender -- as well as government plans to effectively subsidize the price of electricity produced in the new units by having taxpayers pay for construction financing costs -- may come under scrutiny from the EU, which prohibits certain forms of state support for businesses, according to local media reports citing legal specialists.

On the sidelines of the conference, Sesztak said that while he considers the agreements with Rosatom to be an internal affair within Hungary, "we look very carefully at information coming from the EU headquarters."

Sesztak said energy security of supply is the country's No. 1 priority.

"We cannot imagine we could supply safe and secure energy without nuclear power," he said.