France’s Framatome to have bigger role in Paks expansion

Hungary is in talks on increasing the role of France's Framatome in the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant with a view to preventing the German government from being able to block the delivery of control technology required for the project, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said in Flamanville on Monday.

The expansion of the Paks plant cannot succeed without cooperation with France, given that the control system for the new reactor blocks is being supplied by a French-German consortium, Peter Szijjarto said after inspecting Framatome’s nuclear plant being built in Flamanville, according to a ministry statement.

Szijjarto said it was “unfair” that the German government continued to block delivery of the system to Hungary, arguing that decisions concerning the energy mix fell under national competences and that energy security was a matter of sovereignty.

The government is therefore in talks on further increasing the role of France’s Framatome in the project so that Berlin cannot continue to block the delivery of control technology, Szijjarto said.

Hungary is expanding nuclear cooperation with France with a view to ensuring that the Paks plant uses western European control technology, he said.

Meanwhile, the minister said the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed in response to the conflict had resulted in a global energy supply crisis, while the world is under increasing pressure to act on climate change.

The world will need safe, cheap and long-term energy supplies that also take into consideration environmental protection aspects, he said, adding that these goals could only be met by nuclear energy.

Hungary is a European leader in the area of nuclear energy and a member of the nuclear coalition that is “clearly led by France, which pursues a rational energy policy”, Szijjarto said.

He welcomed the cooperation between France and Hungary which he said would have “practical impacts”.

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