L-R: Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
Viktor Orbán held talks with the Director General of the Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev, at the Prime Minister’s office at the Carmelite Monastery on Monday. The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and First Deputy Director General for Development and International Business Kirill Komarov.
Earlier, the energy company’s delegation was received by Péter Szijjártó as well. The foreign minister welcomed the fact that the European Union had approved the amendments to the contract for the construction of the two new Paks power plant units within a month.
With these contract amendments, we can speed up the project, remove a lot of bureaucracy, and clarify nuclear safety rules that are much stricter than European standards and guarantee that a safe plant will be built in Paks,”
Szijjártó said that work on the slurry wall, which is extremely important for the safe operation of the reactors, will start in early July. The excavation and consolidation of the soil will also begin, and once this has been successfully completed, the so-called first concrete, which is a strategic element of the project, will be laid in the ground.
Both Rosatom and we, the government, are committed to ensuring that the new Paks units will be operational by the very beginning of the next decade so that we can ensure that the results of the reduction of the utility costs in Hungary can be sustained in the long term,”
The foreign minister also said that many people are trying to impose sanctions on the nuclear industry, but so far they have not succeeded. In this context, he pointed out that many international actors are trying to block and slow down the Paks expansion, while this is an attack on sovereignty, as it is an obstacle to investments aimed at guaranteeing the energy security of states.
Finally, the minister stressed that by increasing the current nuclear capacity from 2,000 to 4,400 megawatts, Hungary will be able to produce 75 percent of its electricity needs itself, thus making it significantly independent from the price fluctuations on international energy markets. In addition, the development will also be a huge step forward for Hungary in environmental terms, as the two Paks units will save 17 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Featured photo via MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán