The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will provide technical support for the implementation of the upgrade of Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant in Paks, János Süli, the minister in charge of the project, said after talks with IAEA chief Yukiya Amano in Vienna on Wednesday.
The Hungarian delegation briefed IAEA leaders on the current stage of the upgrade as well as the preparatory work that has been carried out over the past two years, Suli told reporters.
The minister said he and Amano had agreed that Hungary and the IAEA would continue and strengthen their decades-old professional cooperation.
As regards the scheduling of the project, Süli said construction of the modular buildings at the site of the upgrade would begin this year while construction of the two new blocks is set to start in 2020.
The minister added that the blocks could start commercial operation in 2026 and 2027, respectively.
Süli said the IAEA does not involve itself in the energy policy decisions of its member states or in the disputes surrounding them. At the same time, the agency does provide technical support in the implementation of those policies with a view to ensuring energy safety.
Gyula Fichtinger, head of the National Atomic Energy Office (OAH), said Hungary is in constant contact with the IAEA over the Paks upgrade. The Hungarian delegation and IAEA leaders agreed at the meeting that the agency will send a delegation to Hungary to inspect the project prior to the start of the upgrade, he said. That mission will focus on assessing whether the blueprints of the expansion are in line with international standards, Fichtinger added.
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