Weekly newsletter

Financial Times: EU Blocks Hungary’s Paks Upgrade

Tamás Székely 2015.03.13.

According to Financial Times (FT), the European Union has blocked Hungary’s €12bn nuclear deal with Russia. All nuclear fuel supply contracts signed by EU member states must be approved by Euratom and arguments have raged for weeks over the technical, financial and fuel provision agreements of Hungary’s contracts with Rosatom. In the end, Euratom has refused to approve Hungary’s plans to import nuclear fuel exclusively from Russia, FT said. According to three people close to the talks, the European Commission has now thrown its weight behind Euratom’s rejection of the contract, FT reporters Andrew Byrne and Christian Oliver claim.

FT.com also said that the decision, details of which were kept secret, came at a meeting in Brussels last week of all 28 EU commissioners, including Hungary’s Tibor Navracsics. While the Hungarian EU Commissioner confirmed the media reports on EU’s decision to Hungarian news portal index.hu, the government’s state secretary András Giró-Szász firmly denied the report in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI. “It is not true that the EU has blocked the Paks II construction,” Giró-Szász said, and added that he has asked FT to issue a correction.

A loan from Russia would cover 80% of the cost of the nuclear plant upgrade with Russian energy giant Rosatom carrying out the project. Hungary awarded contracts to design, build and maintain two 1,200 megawatt reactors in the town of Paks, 75 miles south of Budapest, to a subsidiary of the Russian atomic energy company. Few weeks ago Russian news agency TASS said Rosatom might even build two additional blocks for Hungary’s Paks power plant in the future.

via ft.com, index.hu and MTI photo: eeagrants.org