European Greens hold hearing on Hungary Paks project
Brussels, March 19 (MTI) – Rebecca Harms, co-leader of the Green group in the European Parliament, and Hungarian MEP Benedek Javor held a hearing dedicated to the planned upgrade of Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plant on Thursday.
At the hearing, Harms noted that the Greens have fundamental objection to nuclear technology, but also added that cirumstances around Hungary’s decision to add two new blocks to the plant using a Russian loan were “terrible”. She insisted that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban contradicted his earlier policy of reducing Hungary’s dependence on Russian energy.
Javor criticised the project’s environmental and financial aspects, as well as the government’s excluding the public from the decision making process. He noted that Hungary would pay an annual 1-1.2 billion euros to Russia in debt service, while at present the annual revenue of Paks totals 0.7 billion euros.
Ada Amon, the president of Hungary’s Energy Club, said that no environmental analyses are available concerning the project, and that the decision making process around the scheme was not transparent. Contractors for the project have not been selected through public procurement, which raises concerns of corruption, she insisted.
Attila Aszodi, the Hungarian government’s commissioner in charge of the project, voiced disappointment over what he interpreted as participants’ lack of information, and complained about the Hungarian government not being invited to the hearing.
On the subject of financing, Aszodi said that the maximum cost of implementation was 12.5 billion euros, which cannot be exceeded. He added that the total amount will not be indexed in line either with inflation or exchange rate fluctuations. He also added that Hungary had not drawn any amounts from the Russian loan in 2014, and that Hungary would not start repaying Russia before 2026.