Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary is in talks on increasing the role of France’s Framatome in the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant with a view to preventing the German government from being able to block the delivery of control technology required for the project.
After inspecting Framatome’s nuclear plant being built in Flamanville, on Monday, the foreign minister said the expansion of the Paks plant cannot succeed without cooperation with France, given that the control system for the new reactor blocks is being supplied by a French-German consortium. Minister Szijjártó said it was “unfair” that the German government had yet to approve delivery of the system to Hungary by Siemens Energy, arguing that decisions concerning the energy mix fell under national competencies and that energy security was a matter of sovereignty. The government is therefore in talks on further increasing the role of France’s Framatome in the project so that Berlin cannot continue to block the delivery of control technology, Minister Szijjártó said. Hungary is expanding nuclear cooperation with France with a view to ensuring that the Paks plant uses western European control technology, he said. Meanwhile, the minister said the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed in response to the conflict had resulted in a global energy supply crisis, while the world is under increasing pressure to act on climate change. The world will need safe, cheap and long-term energy supplies that also take into consideration environmental protection aspects, he said, adding that these goals could only be met by nuclear energy. Hungary is a European leader in the area of nuclear energy and a member of the nuclear coalition that is “clearly led by France, which pursues a rational energy policy”, Minister Szijjártó said. He welcomed the cooperation between France and Hungary which he said would have “practical impacts”.