Speech by Viktor Orbán at the Nuclear Energy Summit

Brussels, 21st March 2024

Presidents, Prime Ministers, Excellencies, Dear Colleagues,

The challenges we have been faced with recently have further raised the significance of safe and secure supply of energy. The question became absolutely obvious: How can we generate a big quantity of electricity in a cheap, safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly way? The answer is clear: it is only the nuclear way of generating electricity which can simultaneously satisfy all these requirements. Hungary has been using nuclear energy for almost five decades, and this provides a stable basis for the safety of our energy supply. Half of all produced electricity is ensured by our nuclear power plant, which covers a third of our electricity demand. Based on this experience, we decided not only to maintain our already existing capacities, but to invest more into nuclear, and to increase its share to 70 percent, when it comes to national electric supply. According to the current state of play, a new capacity of 2,400 megawatts will be connected to the grid, during the beginning of the next decade. This will enable us to avoid imports of 3.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year, and our annual CO2 emission will be decreased by 17 million tons – which equals 1.5 times more than the emission of the entire Hungarian transportation sector, and 3 times more compared to what all our forests in Hungary can digest.

We are happy to note that regardless of the geopolitical difficulties, a wide range of international professional and scientific cooperation still exists on the field of nuclear energy. While Russia became the number one uranium supplier of the United States last year, a number of American, German, French, Swedish, Swiss, and even Austrian subcontractors are working together with the Russian constructors on our nuclear expansion project. It is the interest of all of us to prevent nuclear energy to become a hostage of geopolitical conflicts, hypocrisy, and ideological debates. Therefore let me finally thank all of you for intervening in the European Court case regarding our nuclear investment and to ensure the safe delivery of nuclear fuel to our existing plant.

Thank you for your kind attention.