Kovacs in no hurry

11 October 2004

Incoming European Union (EU) energy commissioner László Kovács has indicated that he would not rush to close down eastern European nuclear power plants over safety concerns where this could disrupt electricity supplies.

"If Hungary were to close the Paks plant, we would lose 40% of our power capacity. Each country will have to find its own strategy, though ultimately safety will have to take priority. It is a question of choosing between worse and worst," he told a European Parliament hearing ahead of him assuming office in November. He added that across the EU, "the nuclear option should be left open, but safety is a vital issue."

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