Hungary agrees new deal for two Russian reactors

The Paks Nuclear Power Plant in central Hungary (Barna Rovács/CC BY-SA 4.0)
Hungary and Russia have reached a new agreement to add two VVER-1200 reactors to the Paks nuclear power plant, the Budapest Business Journal reports.

The agreement modifies the original contract between the two countries, signed in 2016.

It was concluded after talks in Moscow on Tuesday between Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, and Alexey Likhachev, the chief executive of Rosatom.

Szijjártó acknowledged that the project would be “not made any easier” by the war in Ukraine and the EU’s sanctions against Russia.

He said: “We’re moving forward with the project, but the financing and construction contract needed to be clarified to guarantee the investment could be carried out in this changed environment.”

The agreement was signed by Alexey Likhachev (left) and Péter Szijjártó (Rosatom)

The two sides’ lawyers are making the final changes to the text of the contract, after which it will be submitted to the European Commission for approval.

Szijjártó said: “We hope the commission does not wish to jeopardise the long-term security of Hungary’s energy supply … which can be guaranteed by the construction of the new blocks at Paks.”

The cost of the project is estimated to be €12bn, €10bn of which is to be met by a Russian loan.

The European Commission approved the original proposals in 2019.

Paks is Hungary’s only nuclear power plant, and its four Rosatom VVER-440 reactors generate about half of the country’s electricity.

Rosatom commented on its website: “At present, general construction work continues on the site of the future Paks-2 station for the construction of auxiliary buildings and facilities.

“The process of obtaining license documentation for certain types of work and equipment manufacturing has been launched. The main license for the construction of the Paks-2 NPP was issued by the Hungarian regulator in August 2022.”

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