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Without the use of nuclear energy, Europe will not be able to achieve its objective of climate neutrality by 2050, Hungary’s foreign minister said in Prague on Tuesday.

The European Union must therefore end its practice of negative discrimination of nuclear energy, Péter Szijjártó told the 6th Central and Eastern Europe Nuclear Industry Congress.

He said the EU must not only ensure uniform criteria, but even promote nuclear energy, and argued that nuclear power plants can produce electricity safely, in a “green”, cheap and predictable way in the long term.

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Hungary is a leader in fighting climate change, Szijjártó said, adding that the country’s nuclear investments could ensure that 90 percent of its electricity production would be carbon-neutral by 2030.

“This is a unique achievement in all of Europe,” he said, adding that there were only 21 countries in the world that have been capable of achieving growth while also reducing their emissions of harmful gases.

Szijjártó said Hungary has made it clear over the past decades that it is serious about its use of nuclear and clean energy.

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Hungary’s upgraded nuclear power plant in Paks will help save 17 million tonnes in carbon emissions, he said, noting that Hungary’s transport sector produces an annual 12 million tonnes in CO2 emissions. In other words, he said, the two new blocks in Paks will help save 1.5 times that amount.

Given that “nuclear energy production is a very progressive, future-oriented and modern way of producing electricity”, Szijjártó said, the Visegrad Group countries will undertake further nuclear energy projects.

Featured photo by Mátyás Borsos/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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