Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the upgrade of the Paks nuclear power plant, a key investment to guaranteeing Hungary’s energy security, environmental protection and competitiveness, is progressing according to schedule.
Speaking ahead of a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Minister Szijjártó said the production of nuclear energy was “mired in political and ideological debate”. A professional approach is long overdue, he added. “Nuclear energy is the solution to safely producing large quantities of electricity at competitive prices while protecting the environment,” he said. The Paks upgrade will prevent the emission of 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, he said. In Vienna, Minister Szijjártó met Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachev and reviewed the progress of the upgrade with him. Digging is underway in the place of the new blocks, he said, adding: “We will be able to connect the two new reactors to the network by 2030.” Hungary is in constant contact with Rosatom on the investment. “I told them that we had reports on certain European Union member states keeping sanctions against the nuclear industry on the agenda,” he said. “That would be going against Hungarian national interests, and we will naturally veto such a proposal, should it ever be tabled … The Paks project remains an international project, with US, German and French companies involved besides Rosatom,” Szijjártó said.