Szijjarto: Paks upgrade project obtains implementation licence

The National Atomic Energy Authority (OAH) has issued the implementation licence for the upgrade of Hungary's sole nuclear power plant in Paks, paving the way for the construction stage of the project, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said on Friday, adding that the plant's two new reactor blocks could be operational by 2030.

The project has arrived at “a hugely important milestone”, as projects of this nature need to obtain thousands of permits, out of which this latest one is the most important, the foreign ministry cited Peter Szijjarto as saying on Facebook.

The new licence will allow the upgrade project to transition from the preparatory stage to the implementation stage, of which there will be visible signs at the construction site, Szijjarto said.

The more than 400,000-page licence request had been under review by Hungarian and international experts for two years before being approved.

The implementation licence certifies that the Paks plant’s new blocks meet the highest-level and strictest Hungarian and international regulations and requirements, the minister said, adding that this was completed with fire safety, disaster management, environmental protection and mining supervision approvals.

Szijjarto said the target for putting the two new blocks online by 2030 remained realistic.

“This is how we will be able to ensure Hungary’s energy security in the long term, protect Hungarians from extreme price fluctuations on the international energy market, in other words, maintain our efforts to keep utility prices low,” Szijjarto said.

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