The Paks site is adequate for accommodating the new power plant units

7/10/17 6:00 AM
An issue discussed and closed months ago has been attempted to be shown as a sensational novelty – without any grounds - by in connection with the adequacy of the Paks site.

The investigation of the site with the already operating power plant has a long past, but in compliance with the strict nuclear safety licensing regulations concerning construction of new power plants, the Paks II. project company completed a very detailed evaluation and investigation process starting in 2014 which aimed to identify the characteristics of the site by applying the most modern technology and equipment. The further purpose of the examinations was to assess the site adequacy and to ensure that there are no reasons for its inadequacy.

In 2014 the investigations started with 3D seismic analyses and continued in 2015-2016 with the Geological Exploration Programme in the frames of which several deep-shaft and shallow well drillings, satellite examinations, trenches were carried out and many other methods used.

Based on the data, professional companies were entrusted to compile the application for a site permit which was handed in to the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (hereinafter referred to as: HAEA) by the Paks II project company at the end of October 2016. The project company published the application (except a few dozen pages declared confidential in connection with man-caused external hazards) on its website before the public hearing (November 2016) and it has been available to anyone since then.

In order to present the results of investigation, the professionals involved organised a public professional conference in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in May of 2016 and 2017. The Paks II project company organised public forums in Kalocsa, Szekszárd and Paks in November 2016, the HAEA held public hearings with the participation of Paks II representatives and experts involved in the assessment and investigation of the site on 13th December 2016 in Paks.

All necessary information and data, which are about 1200 pages in length, have been and are accessible to the public even today. Based on the results of investigation and the professional and administrative authorities’ assessment and evaluation the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority gave the site permit at the end of March 2017 assessing the site adequate for constructing new power plant units.

Thus contrary to the misleading claims of, all information has been made publicly available and is still available on the website of the project company. The fact that there is a fault zone running under the plant site is not a new one and it is clearly stated in the publicly available license permit documents and was communicated several times in the public forums as well as scientific meetings held in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in order to inform the profession. The existence of the active fault zone does not question the suitability of the site. This would be so if proven that it is capable of causing significant and permanent dislocation of the surface. However, based on the wide spectrum of investigations (geological and geomorphological mapping, space geodesic measurements, water seismic data) it can be excluded that the fault zone would cause significant permanent surface dislocation, thus it can be excluded that the fault zone is capable.
The new units will be planned and constructed professionally in accordance with the identified site characteristics. This is why the Paks site investigations and evaluation had to be conducted. Within the frames of the Geological Exploration Program the characteristics of the earthquake returning every 100.000 years have been identified: the horizontal soil acceleration calculated for the ground is 0,34g, this will serve as a basis for the planning of the new units. The adequately robust structure will ensure a safe establishment in case of an event of geological origin.

We emphasise that the company has acted transparently throughout the site permit procedure as well, and all the relevant data have been given publicity. The article of the painted a false picture of the licensing procedure and the findings of the site investigation and evaluation.

The Paks II project is being implemented in accordance with the highest international safety standards and recommendations.

Budapest July 10, 2017