Szijjártó: nothing can hinder the construction of Paks II.

11/21/22 7:38 PM
The construction of the two new NPP units is critical for Hungary's supply security – Szijjártó said at the Atomexpo in Sochi.

Péter Szijjártó presented the four basic principles of the Hungarian energy strategy at the plenary session of the 12th International Atomic Energy Conference in Sochi. According to Hungarian News Agency MTI, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said that the compilation of the energy mix is an exclusive national competence, and thus cannot be restricted by any kind of sanctions. He said that investments necessary to guarantee energy security should be allowed. Paks II is such a project, therefore nothing should hinder it. He called energy diversification and carbon neutrality an important goal, which Hungary sees not as an ideological but as a practical issue.

Nuclear power is the most reliable, cheapest and environmentally friendly way to generate energy.

The currently operating Paks NPP units prevent the emission of about 14 million tonnes of CO2 annually, while the two new units will prevent the emission of 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide – the minister said, adding that the construction of two new units will reduce the need to import about 4 billion cubic metres of natural gas.

Szijjártó said that due to the unpredictability of the international energy market, there is a need for the highest possible degree of self-sufficiency, which in the case of Hungary can only be guaranteed by nuclear energy. He added that investments in solar energy are also underway, which, together with the upgrade of nuclear capacity, will enable Hungary to produce 90% of the electricity demand by 2030.

– The plan and the goal remains to have the two new units ready by 2030, which can only be hindered by external factors. So far we have managed to avoid sanctions, nuclear energy cannot be part of any sanctions package. Therefore, we ask everyone, EU institutions, European banks, European governments and authorities, to respect the fact that nuclear energy is not subject to sanctions and that they do not hinder Hungarian nuclear investment, which is critical for our long-term energy security and affordable energy supply – highlighted Péter Szijjártó.

MTI also reported that Mr. Szijjártó talked with Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom, with whom he reviewed the project. The minister pointed out that Paks II Ltd. has recently submitted the updated Preliminary Safety Report to the authority, and a decision is expected by the end of March. Five metres of soil excavation has been completed at Unit 5, and the next step will be the submission of an application for a full excavation plan and, once approved, further excavation at Unit 5 and excavation at Unit 6. The production of two long lead items are already underway in Russia – he said. The Paks project is the largest greenfield investment in Hungary's history, worth more than EUR 12 billion, and will create around 10000 jobs.

– We base our decisions on common sense, science and facts, not ideology, so we see nuclear as the best way for us: sustainable, cheap and safe. We believe that we have made the right decision with the two new units – summarized Péter Szijjártó.