Green opposition LMP to appeal to international organisations against ‘unsafe’ Paks upgrade
The green opposition LMP party will appeal to the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over the upgrade of Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant at Paks, a board member said on Tuesday.
The project carries safety risks and is wasteful, Péter Ungár told a press conference.
He made reference to earlier reports indicating a pending permission due to geological hazard posed by a tectonic rift under the planned construction site.
Ungár expressed further concern over the quality of soil for containing loess, saying that as a result the plant’s fourth block had already been subsiding.
Hungary signed the agreement on the construction of the two further blocks at Paks by Rosatom in January 2014. Russia is lending Hungary 10 billion euros to cover 80 percent of the project’s costs.
The minister in charge of the project said in November last year that the preparatory work for the expansion would begin in 2018 and the construction itself in 2020.
The company in charge of the upgrade project responded by saying that the insignificant subsiding had been prevalent at the fourth block as a built structure over the past decades as would normally occur with any built structure.
The geological condition of the site has been continuously monitored by a line of 130 control stations over decades, MVM Paks said, noting that the subsidence of the fourth block had slowed to measure less than one milimetre in 2017.
The subsidence will not pose any risk either to the block’s structure or its operation and will not endanger the nuclear plant’s technology, Antal Kovács, the communications director of Paks, told MTI.
Kovács noted that the National Atomic Energy Office (OAH) had extended the operating life of the fourth block for another 20 years in December last year, after which “rumours had started to spread regrettably in the press about the subsiding of the block”, causing fear.