Construction works at Paks nuclear plant expected to start in September

The construction phase of the Paks 2 nuclear plant may start in September, Peter Szijjarto, the minister for foreign affairs and trade, said on Friday, after talks with Rosatom head Alexey Likhachev in Istanbul, where he said all pending issues had been cleared in advance of the new phase.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that Rosatom was providing the documentation necessary for another four permits from the National Nuclear Energy Office (OAH) before construction can start.

“If all goes according to today’s agreement, it is entirely possible that the next phase will start in September,” the foreign ministry quoted Szijjarto as saying.

The aim is for the two new blocks to start operating in 2030, raising the plant’s capacity from 2,000MW to 4,400MW, he said.

“Hungary will take a big leap towards electricity independence; an enormous advantage at a time of irrationally growing prices in the global market,” Szijjarto said.

“We won’t be as vulnerable to the hitches and crises of the international market as we are now, and much less than many other countries are,” he said.

European Union sanctions against Russia specifically exempt the peaceful use of nuclear energy from all restrictions, Szijjarto said. Accordingly, Rosatom is not on the EU’s sanctions list, he noted.

Szijjarto also announced that Gergely Jakli, the former head of the Hungarian Eximbank, will take over as head of the Paks 2 company.

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