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Operating Life of Hungarian Paks Nuclear Plant Block 3 Extended

According to news agency MTI, The Hungarian National Atomic Energy Office (OAH) has extended the operating life of block 3 of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant by another 20 years.

The Paks plant is located 100 kilometers south of Budapest; the plant’s third block went online in 1986, and its operating permit was set to expire on December 31st, 2016.

The plant, which is the only nuclear facility in Hungary, is no stranger to controversy, as recent upgrades to the Paks 2 block led to a political debate that included a European Commission infringement procedure (read our articles on the infringement procedure here and here).

The interior of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant
The interior of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant

Antal Kovács, the plant’s director of communications, told MTI that a several-thousand page long scientific review has shown that the “Russian design, build with huge reserves,” meets safety requirements, and is technically sound for continued operation. Kovács added that keeping the Paks’ plant’s third block up and running is also a good solution from an economic point of view, as it can put out one kilowatt hour of power for a mere 20,000 forint (roughly €64), which is currently the least expensive solution available.

The OAH earlier extended the lifespans of the Paks plant’s number one and number two blocks by another two decades past their originally planned 30 years.

The operating lifespan of the plant’s fourth block is currently set to end on December 31st, 2017; an application to extend its lifespan was submitted this past November.

The 2000 megawatt Paks Nuclear Plant generated 15,834.4 gigawatt hours of energy in 2015; this accounted for 36.2% of total Hungarian energy demand, and 52.7% of domestic electricity generation.

Via MTI and Hungary Matters

Images via szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu and Russia Insider