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Slurry Wall Construction Starts at Paks Nuclear Plant

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.07.06.
Visual design for the Paks II project

Slurry wall building works on the Paks II nuclear power plant project have started and excavation of the soil under Block 6 will begin in August, as well as the finalization of the permits required for the complete excavation of the soil, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced. Following the approval of the project by the European Union, the opportunity to speed up the Paks project has opened up.

At a joint press conference with Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, Péter Szijjártó said that energy cooperation is a guarantee of security of supply in Hungary, and that this is not an ideological or political issue, but a hard physical one.

The new Paks nuclear power plant is the long-term guarantee of Hungary’s security of supply, and Hungary has never supported and will never support any sanctions against the nuclear industry or any sanctions that restrict its operation,”

he emphasized.

In the meantime, the finalization of the export plans for the soil stabilization is underway, as well as the finalization of the permits and plans for the full soil decontamination, which are also on schedule.

The Foreign Minister said that the Russian government will approve the amendment to the financial contract within days, which could be followed by the signing of the amended construction contract. “The bottom line is that we have done all the legal work to speed up the Paks project,” he underlined.

Any foreign maneuver, be it legal or political, to slow down or obstruct the Paks project will continue to be treated as an attack on our sovereignty,”

the Minister stated.

In response to a question from a journalist, Szijjártó said that the construction of the reactor vessel is also underway, besides the slurry wall building and the soil extraction. “These works are going on in parallel and I still believe that the 2030-2031 deadline should not be abandoned,” he emphasized.

“The sooner we get to the point where we can produce as much of Hungary’s electricity as possible, the sooner we will be secure,” he pointed out.

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In a statement sent to MTI on Wednesday, Russian energy company Rosatom said that on July 3, the main contractor of the Paks project, ASZE, a company belonging to Rosatom’s engineering division, started the first phase of the construction of the Paks II nuclear power plant, which included the construction of the slurry wall. It has been stressed that

the construction of the wall is being carried out in close compliance with the license issued by the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority.

After the completion of the slurry wall and the consolidation of the soil, the working pit will be dug and the foundations will be prepared.

According to the statement, the slurry wall is a one-meter-thick watertight wall with a depth of 32 meters and a circumference of 2.5 kilometers. Its function is to prevent groundwater from infiltrating into the excavation pit and also to keep the groundwater level under the Paks units unchanged. The construction of the site auxiliary buildings, the concrete plant, the warehouses, and the office buildings is also taking place in parallel with the slurry walling.

Rosatom recalls that the Paks-2 project is being implemented on the basis of the Russian-Hungarian intergovernmental agreement of January 14, 2014 and the relevant contracts.

The Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority issued the construction license for the two new 3+ generation VVER-1200 units in August 2022. The new units will have a guaranteed lifetime of 60 years, Rosatom said.

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Featured photo via Facebook/Paks II. Atomerőmű Zrt.

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