Atomic energy authority issues construction permit for new Paks reactor building

The National Atomic Energy Authority (OAH) has issued the construction permit for the reactor building of one of the new blocks of Hungary's sole nuclear power plant in Paks, paving the way for the start of construction works, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said on Tuesday.

The reactor building will guarantee that no harmful substances will be released into the environment during the energy production process, the foreign ministry cited Peter Szijjarto as saying. This, he added, will ensure that “there will be no need to fear radioactive contamination in the event of any external natural or human influences or — God forbid — attacks.”

The plant is being built in line with the strictest safety requirements and the special double-wall containment structure would even prevent contamination if a large passenger plane were to crash into it, Szijjarto said.

He noted that the OAH had recently issued the implementation licence for the plant’s upgrade, allowing for the start of groundwork at the site.

“The construction stage of the Paks nuclear plant can finally become more intensive and dynamic,” Szijjarto said. “This will ensure that the new blocks can be built and go online by 2030, allowing us to take important steps towards ensuring Hungary’s energy security.”

The two new reactor blocks will allow Hungary to be immune to the long-term uncertainties of the international energy markets and will guarantee the country’s secure energy supply, he said.

Szijjarto on Tuesday is scheduled to attend an informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Prague after holding talks with Czechia’s transport minister, Prague’s new archbishop, Andrej Babis, head of the opposition ANO movement, and Tomio Okamura, head of the opposition SPD party.

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