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Skip Navigation LinksPaks II. Zrt. » Paks II. Ltd. » Nuclear Energy » Rudiments of Nuclear Energy Engineering » Why is it necessary to construct new nuclear power plant units in Hungary?

Skip Navigation LinksWhy is it necessary to construct new nuclear power plant units in Hungary?

 
  1. Capacity maintenance of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, replacement of the operational units​.
    • In 2016 the Paks Nuclear Power Plant accounted for 51,3% of the electricity generated in Hungary, but the operational units will have to be shut down between 2032 and 2037. This generation capacity necessarily has to be replaced. 

  2. Replacement of obsolete, old, coal- and oil-fired units, creating a possibility for removing them from the system.
    • The Hungarian electricity generation capacity of about 10,000 MW contains a number of obsolete units, which need to be replaced. Their scheduled replacement, over a certain proportion, is possible only with power plants that are suitable for continuous energy production and are controllable to the desired extent.

  3. Continuous maintenance of the security of energy supply.
    • Hungary has small quantities of domestic energy sources (coal, petroleum and natural gas). As a result, a large part of our energy demand, about 70 per cent, is met from imports. The quantity and price of imports are uncertainty factors, even with long-term contracts currently in force. The fuel of nuclear power plant units can be procured at a relatively stable price, in advance, for a long time, and can be stored in a small place, thus continuous energy generation can be guaranteed. The fuel of nuclear power plants can also be procured from various suppliers, independently of the supplier of the unit, taking into account current economic considerations. 

  4. Replacement of imported electricity.​
    • In 2015 a significant part of Hungarian electricity consumption, 31,28%, was provided by purchasing imported electricity. A breakdown in the electricity system, in the case of, for example, an extremely cold winter, may also lead to a serious disturbance in the system of even just one of the neighbouring countries. In such a case, every exporting country will provide for its own consumers first, and the interests of Hungary, as a country receiving exports, would be relegated to the background.

  5. Elimination of fluctuations in the price of primary energy sources (coal, natural gas and petroleum).
    • In the operating costs of nuclear power plants, the price of the uranium fuel , represents a low proportion. As a result, any change in the world market price of uranium affects the price of electricity generated at the nuclear power plant only to a small extent, in contrast with conventional coal-, oil- or natural gas-fired power plants.

  6.  Ensuring the controllability of the electricity system.
    • The existence of electricity generation capacities is not sufficient: electricity has to be provided when it is needed by consumers. This requires major coordination on behalf of the system operator and, at the same time, the output of the power plant units has to be highly controllable. The output of the new generations of nuclear power plants can be planned in an excellent way and can be controlled in a wide range: it can be decreased or increased, as required.

  7. Installation of reserve capacities into the electricity system to meet an increase in consumption expected in the medium term
    • Electricity consumption in Hungary has been stagnating or slightly decreasing in recent years. The economic output of the European Union and Hungary will again embark on a growth path once the global economic recession ends. In such a period, energy consumption will also increase. One must prepare for this in advance, and additional capacities must be built. 

  8. Requirement of the economy-stimulating effect of large projects.
    • The Hungarian economy is significantly stimulated by large-scale projects. The establishment of such large production processes and large factories represents a significant pulling force in every area of the economy. One of the most important prerequisites of large projects is the availability of sufficient electricity at a favourable price.

  9. Achievement of environmental and climate protection goals.
    • Hungary has also undertaken to cut the emission of gases that cause the greenhouse effect, thus global warming and climate change, and to increase the proportion of carbon-free technologies. On this path, nuclear energy is an unavoidable factor, because the required quantity of electricity could be produced with renewable energy generation units only by reducing agricultural land and with a decrease in the viability of the country.