Russia has agreed to provide a loan for the construction of two new reactors at Hungary's existing Paks nuclear power plant.
The agreement was signed by Hungary's Minister for National Development Zsuzsa Németh and Rosatom president Sergey Kiriyenko on 14 January.
The new units will be financed by a 30-year loan, covering up to 80% of the project cost. The Hungarian government estimates a total project investment of between EUR10 billion and EUR12 billion ($13-16 billion).
Rosatom said that according to the document, two "large power" VVER reactors will be built at the site of the Paks NPP. It did not specify which reactor design is proposed. Russian companies will also provide services related to the new units.
The first reactor could be put into commission in 2023, according to János Lázár, Hungarian Minister of State heading the Prime Minister's Office.
Rosatom said that contracts for the nuclear power plant and the nuclear fuel supply are expected to be signed in 2014. However, the agreement first needs to be adopted by the Hungarian National Assembly or parliament.
Hungary's 2000 MW Paks nuclear power plant comprises four VVER-440 units. The units entered operation between 1982 and 1987 and currently provide around 40% of Hungary's electricity. Despite a project to extend their operating lives from 30 to 50 years, all four reactors at the Paks site are expected to close by 2037.
Photo: Paks NPP