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Hungary hopes to complete the Paks-2 project by the early 2030s

May 10th, 2023

A pro-government weekly reports that the Hungarian side is preparing itself for possible international sanctions against Rosatom, the Russian nuclear power giant which at present is still in charge of the construction of Hungary’s second nuclear power station.

In Mandiner, Zoltán Helmeczi writes that Rosatom will continue to be an essential part of the project, but how the two sides imagine keeping the company on board while heeding possible sanctions has not been made public for the moment. (For speculations on the Hungarian side taking over the role of general contractor, see BudaPost, April 15.) He remarks that western partners are also involved in the Paks II project, with Siemens Energy (Germany) contracted to provide the electronic control system and Alstom (France, a General Electric subsidiary) to deliver the turbines. The German government is delaying its approval of Siemens’ role and therefore Hungary is negotiating with France’s Framatome to find an alternative. Helmeczy also mentions that Czech, Slovak and French nuclear plants also use Russian fuel rods, and therefore he deems it improbable for those countries to accept a complete ban on nuclear cooperation with Russia. Nevertheless, he writes, in case of extreme necessity, Hungary could also use American Westinghouse fuel rods, although they are less efficient in Russian-made reactors. He rules out the possibility of scrapping the contract with Rosatom and starting from scratch with alternative partners, as a completely new project could surely not be completed by the early 2030s.

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