The Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) has issued the license for the construction of two power Russian-designed Generation III+ VVER-1200 reactors at the Paks II nuclear power plant site.
The campus is currently home to four Russian-built VVER-440 reactors. The new license marks the first time this type of reactor has been issued a construction license in the European Union.
The Paks II project “will be implemented with cutting-edge automated active and passive safety systems, including a reinforced concrete containment with a double wall structure and a core catcher to prevent the release of radioactive substances from the active zone in the extremely unlikely event of a beyond-design accident,” Rosatom said this week.
“The construction license confirms that the project complies with the international and Hungarian safety requirements. It is entirely feasible that Hungary will have two new power units by 2030, thus ensuring the stability of energy supply,” noted Péter Szijjártó Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Hungarian Parliament approved the Pak II project in 2009. The site license was granted in 2017 and preparatory groundwork commenced in 2021. Currently, preparations for the construction of the new nuclear power plant are underway on the construction site, with soil reinforcement, preparation for the construction of the anti-filtration curtains, and construction of the temporary works area facilities.
The application for construction, submitted by the Nuclear Power Plant Private Limited Company, was submitted in July 2020, which gave the HAEA a year to make a decision on the construction start. That decision was delayed due to internal issues at the HAEA according to media reports.
In the face of global warming and political upheaval in Europe, “We are confident that the Paks II NPP will guarantee Hungary’s energy sovereignty for almost a century and bring European countries closer to achieving climate goals,” said Alexey Likhachev, ROSATOM Director General.
The Paks II is a turnkey project, based on the Hungarian-Russian intergovernmental agreement for the construction of the new nuclear power plant signed on 14 January 2014 and the EPC contract signed on 9 December 2014. Power units 5 and 6 have a guaranteed lifetime of 60 years. The main contractor of the project is Rosatom's engineering company, ASE JSC.
Rosatom's portfolio of foreign orders includes 34 units at various stages of implementation in 11 countries.
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