Hungary to Be Able to Stop Importing Electricity Once Paks-2 Nuclear Plant Launched
15:52 GMT 15.11.2023 (Updated: 15:58 GMT 15.11.2023)
© Sputnik / Vladimir AstapkovichThe photo shows an installation inside the Atom pavilion, dedicated to the development of nuclear energy, on the territory of VDNKh Exhibition Center, in Moscow, Russia
© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich/
BUDAPEST (Sputnik) - Hungary will be able to stop importing electricity and possibly even to start exporting it to neighboring countries once the new power units of the Paks nuclear power plant (NPP), also known as Paks-2, are launched, the office of the NPP's general director told Sputnik on Wednesday.
"After two more units with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts each are put into operation, energy imports can be stopped," office chief Pal Kovacs stated, adding that Hungary already had synchronized power grids with seven neighboring countries.
Moreover, Paks NPP employees have begun preparatory work to extend the life of four operating units until the mid-2050s, while their service life was initially due to be 30 years, Kovacs said. The final decision on the issue will be made by the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority, but the project is already believed to be implemented, he added.
At the same time, Budapest is planning to stop the operation of the coal-fired power plant located in the valley of the Matra mountain range as early as in 2025, as it "is outdated and is significantly polluting the environment," Kovacs told Sputnik.
In this regard, he also stressed that the Paks NPP could be expanded further in the future, given that Hungary had committed to the EU's decarbonization strategy and the only possible renewable energy option is nuclear power. Unlike solar and wind power, nuclear power, while being low-carbon, can be produced in sufficient amounts all year round, he pointed out.
Hungary's only nuclear power plant, Paks, generates about a third of all electricity in the country, with the share expected to increase after the planned commissioning of the two new NPP reactor units. The Hungarian leadership has repeatedly emphasized that nuclear energy is a way to ensure the country's energy security.
The four units of the 500-megawatt Paks NPP were built between 1982 and 1987, and their 30-year operating lifespan was extended by 20 years between 2012 and 2017, to allow for their closure between 2032 and 2037.
In late 2014, Russia and Hungary signed an agreement on the construction of two additional advanced reactors. The parties agreed that Russia would allocate a $10.6 billion loan to finance the construction of the units. Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said in February that construction was set to begin in 2024.