Budapest, December 9 (MTI) – Hungary and Russia have signed agreements for two new 1200 megawatt nuclear reactors to be constructed at the Paks power plant.
In a statement, the cabinet office said on Tuesday that the three agreements “formalise the design, procurement and construction parameters for the new units, conditions related to their operation and maintenance support, and details regarding fuel supply and the handling and storage of spent nuclear fuel.”
The three pacts were signed on Tuesday between MVM Paks II Nuclear Power Plant Development Closed Joint-Stock Company and the Russian Joint-Stock Company Nizhny Novgorod Engineering Company Atomenergoproekt.
“The Hungarian state has entered into a favourable agreement keeping within the financing resources available for the project,” the statement said.
The government commissioner in charge of the nuclear plant said that they had signed on Tuesday “contracts of exceptional importance”. Attila Aszodi said the plant would remain in Hungarian ownership. He said 10 billion euros of 12.5 billion euro investment would be extended by Russia in a loan and the remaining 2.5 billion would be financed by Hungary.
In line with the agreement, Hungary could start implementing the Russian plans from January and construction could start in 2018. The first reactor is scheduled to come online in 2025.
The two blocks will contain third-generation pressurised water reactors, he said, adding that the blocks’ first fuel consignment is included in the overall investment cost. Supplier companies will be invited to the project in the 40 percent of worth of the total investment.
He said Hungary had been in constant communication with Brussels on the matter of the investment. Since the project contains “no elements of state support” it cannot fall foul of EU laws on state aid, he said.
The green opposition LMP party called on the government to make the agreements on Paks expansion public by 2pm. LMP co-leader Bernadett Szel said the government could not credibly cite private law as an excuse for not revealing the contents of the contracts. The project will be paid from public funds, and the constitution as well as several laws, such as the law on state assets, stipulate openness in such cases, she added. If necessary, LMP will submit an official request for public information and will make every possible effort to access the documents, she said.
Opposition Democratic Coalition also demanded full openness and demanded that Prime Minister Viktor Orban should “stop the politics of secret telephone calls and contracts”.
The Together (Egyutt) party also demanded the publication of the documents and called the project “expensive” which would put the country to “Russian dependency”.
Photo: MTi – Tamas Kovacs