Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said Hungary needs the capacity expansion of its only nuclear plant in Paks in order to meet its climate goals.
Responding to a question posed by Erzsébet Schmuck of the green LMP party during a Q&A session in Parliament, as to whether Hungary will support the EU’s more ambitious climate goals at the next meeting of the European Council, PM Orbán said that in line with the provisions of the Constitution, the Hungarian government is committed to fighting climate change and improving natural conditions in the country.
The Prime Minister added that the government’s long-term plan is to ensure Hungary’s energy demands from two main sources: nuclear power and renewable sources, with the latter mainly meaning solar power. He said that plan would ensure that Hungarian energy production would be free of CO2 emissions, provided Parliament supports the governments in the expansion of the nuclear plant.
“It is either climate goals and Paks, or no Paks and no climate goals,” PM Orbán said.
Hungary has a contract with Russian state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom to expand the capacity of the plant originally built by the Soviet Union in the 1970s. The contract signed between Hungary and Rosatom gives the deal a value of EUR 12 billion, 80 percent of which will be covered by a Russian credit line of EUR 10 billion.
When completed, the upgrade will increase the nominal capacity of the Paks plant to 1,200 MW from the current 500 MW. Depending on actual consumption, Paks supplies about 35 to 40 percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Photo credit: atomeromu.hu