Nuclear co-operation for Hungary and UAE

7 March 2016

Hungary has signed a number of agreements with the United Arab Emirates including nuclear energy co-operation during Hungarian minister of foreign affairs and trade Péter Szijjártó's two-day visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Szijjártó noted that the UAE is in the process of building a four-reactor NPP at Barakah and said that Hungary had agreed to train nuclear engineers and experts for the plant. The Hungarian Export-Import Bank Plc has opened a $406 million credit line, he added, to facilitate cooperation between companies from the two countries. "The most important task in this area is for small- and medium-sized Hungarian enterprises to play as large a role as possible in bilateral economic cooperation, because bilateral trade has so far significantly depended on multinational companies," Szijjártó said. A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed to establish a joint UAE-Hungarian committee.

In February, Hungary announced that it had also agreed to further cooperation with Iran on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Szijjártó led talks in Budapest with Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, saying that the two countries would "continue and expand" the training of Iranian nuclear experts as well as establish research and scientific cooperation in the use of nuclear energy.

Hungary operates four Russian-supplied VVER-440 pressurized water reactors at its Paks NPP, which started up between 1982 and 1987. These 440MWe units have since been upgraded and will be modified further to give 500-510MWe. In early 2014, Hungary and Russia signed a cooperation agreement which included the construction of two new VVER reactors of up to 1,200MWe each at Paks. The first new unit is to be commissioned in 2023, with the second following about two years later. However, the project is facing opposition from the European Commission.

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