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The Paks expansion project in November

The expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant is being carried out under the strictest safety and environmental protection standards, and the two new units will be surrounded by a double reinforced concrete wall that can withstand the harshest external impacts, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced in Budapest.

The minister reported on the status of the Paks project at a hearing of the Hungarian National Assembly’s Committee on Sustainable Development, welcoming the fact that the visible phase of the project is now underway.

The two new units will be “Fukushima-proof,” meaning that the nuclear installation will be surrounded by a double reinforced concrete wall, a double-walled hermetic protection structure, able to withstand any external impact, even the most violent explosions or even an aircraft crash,”

he highlighted. “I would like to assure you that the highest standards of safety and environmental protection are being met in everything that is happening in Paks,” Péter Szijjártó emphasized.

He added that in addition to 94 Hungarian companies, American, French, German, Swedish, and Austrian companies had subcontracted the construction work for the time being.

The politician remarked that based on the National Energy and Climate Plan, greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by at least 50% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels: currently, this is already 32%, while huge economic records have been broken year after year.

There are 20 countries in the world that have been able to increase their GDP while reducing their emissions,”

he said. The minister stressed the need to ensure security of energy supply in the implementation of the green transition. “This requires that we do not treat the green issue as a political and ideological monopoly, but as a real issue with both feet on the ground,” Szijjártó stressed.

He pointed out that electricity would play an even more important role, increasing the average electricity consumption of EU Member States by 50% by 2030. The minister called it a complex question of how to produce electricity cheaply, safely, sustainably, and in large quantities in a way that would make us as independent as possible from the huge price fluctuations on the international energy market.

Only nuclear energy can meet these four criteria. Nuclear energy is capable of producing large quantities of electricity cheaply, safely, and without harming the environment,”

he noted.

He stressed that 65% of electricity production in Hungary is now carbon neutral, thanks to nuclear energy. The Paks units are operating at 90-91% capacity, fuel supply is continuous, and weather-dependent generation can only meet a minimal part of demand during peak consumption, Szijjártó said.

Continued Operation of Paks Nuclear Power Plant Guaranteed
Continued Operation of Paks Nuclear Power Plant Guaranteed

The third shipment of nuclear fuel elements has arrived via the southern route.Continue reading

He added that the Paks expansion will replace 17 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 3.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas imports per year. To give an idea of the magnitude of these figures, he noted that the entire Hungarian transport sector emits 12 million tons per year and that all domestic forest areas can absorb six million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

The minister also touched on the issue of solar power capacity, pointing out that last year it reached 4,000 megawatts, representing 13% of total electricity generation, one of the three best results in the EU.

By October this year, a total of 5,400 megawatts of solar capacity have been installed, of which more than 2,100 megawatts are small-scale plants,

he emphasized. “If our nuclear investment goes through, and solar investment goes through at the same pace, I believe that by the beginning of the next decade we will be able to say that we are almost 100% carbon neutral and self-sufficient in providing electricity to the population and the economy of the country,” he concluded.

No More Obstacles to the Expansion of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant
No More Obstacles to the Expansion of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant

On Friday, the CEO of Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev and State Secretary Levente Magyar visited the construction site.Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured image via Facebook/Paks II. Atomerőmű Zrt.

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