Paks II construction permit delayed: New Nuclear
01 October 2021
The authorization of the Paks II nuclear power plant has been delayed, the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) said. The organization said it needed more time “to fully verify all requirements,” but did not give an updated schedule for approving the construction of the new reactors.
The development of Paks II would see two new reactors built alongside the existing Paks plant (Image: Paks II Ltd)
An application was submitted in July 2020 to build Paks II next to the existing Paks factory, 100 kilometers southwest of Budapest on the banks of the Danube. The procedures gave the HAEA 12 months to make its decision, with the possibility of a three-month extension. That extension was triggered in July this year, but unable to come to a decision on the extension, the HAEA said yesterday it needed more time.
“The main objective of the authorization procedure is to verify that the nuclear units to be built meet the most stringent national nuclear safety requirements,” said the HAEA. He added that the 280,000-page request “is extremely thorough in several respects”, but in order to fully verify all the requirements, “further assessment and analysis is needed in some areas.”
The HAEA has indicated that it must heed the recommendations of a team of experts assembled by the International Atomic Energy Agency that reviewed a preliminary opinion from the HAEA at the end of 2020. “It said. HAEA. did not specify how much additional time he would need.
The Paks II project was launched in early 2014 by an intergovernmental agreement between Hungary and Russia for two VVER-1200 reactors to be supplied by Rosatom, the contract being supported by a loan from the Russian state to finance the majority of the project.
HAEA issued a site license for Paks II in March 2017 and in the same month the European Commission approved that the effects of the new plant on competition would be acceptable, subject to certain commitments by the Hungarian government. Preparatory work started this year, following receipt of a specific license for it.
The need for Paks II was underlined by Péter János Horváth, head of the Hungarian Regulatory Authority for Energy and Utilities, during the Energy Investment Forum 2021 in Budapest yesterday. “To achieve carbon neutrality, it is essential to maintain nuclear power generation: extending the operating life of Paks and building Paks II,” he said.
New manager for HAEA
Yesterday, the HAEA also announced the appointment by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Andrea Beatrix Kádár as the new CEO. His previous post as Deputy Secretary of State for Energy Policy came after other appointments of deputy ministers in the Ministries of National Development, Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office.
Research and writing by World Nuclear News