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Paks nuclear plant upgrade is on schedule, says Hungarian minister

Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, said the upgrade of the Paks nuclear plant is on schedule, adding that the project would ensure Hungary’s energy security, preserve the utility bill caps and further boost environmental protection.

Speaking on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting in Sopronbánfalva, in north-west Hungary, Minister Szijjártó said he had recently talked to Alexey Likhachev, the CEO of Russian Rosatom tasked with the upgrade. The Minister said the talks had been one of a series of regular consultations to review the progress of the project. The works are proceeding according to plan, with soil stabilising works currently underway, he said.

“The first concrete pour, a watershed moment in the construction of a nuclear plant, is expected to happen by the end of the year,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority had green-lighted the current phase of the construction and the procurement of further permits is underway, he added, specifying that recent amendments to the Nuclear Energy Act had cut the red tape around the investment, significantly easing the paperwork while adhering to all safety requirements. The upgrade will double Hungary’s nuclear capacity, he said, adding that the two new reactor blocks and planned solar capacity increases would bring Hungary close to self-sufficiency.

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