Hungary extends service life of Paks NPP reactors

21 December 2022

The Hungarian government has announced the extension of the operating life of four power units at the Paks NPP, which comprises four Soviet-supplied VVER-440 units. The Cabinet of Ministers noted the growing role of nuclear energy in the context of the energy crisis in Europe caused by the conflict in Ukraine and EU sanctions against Russia. “We have once again extended the life of the existing power units of the Paks nuclear power plant,” the Hungarian government said on its Facebook page. "Energy prices during the war and problems with the energy supply of Europe have also affected Hungary," it noted.

On 7 December, the Hungarian parliament approved the extension of the life of four power units of the Paks nuclear power plant for another 20 years. Under Hungarian law, the decision to extend the life of the units did not require parliamentary approval, but the Cabinet of Ministers decided to consult the deputies on this issue anyway, given its great importance. The current life of the station's nuclear reactors would have ended in 2032-2037, and now it is assumed that they will work until at least 2052-2057.

At the same time, preparations for expansion of the plant are continuing. The Hungarian Parliament in 2009 approved construction of two new units. The Paks II project was launched in 2014 by an inter-governmental agreement between Hungary and Russia for two VVER-1200 reactors (units 5&6) to be supplied by Rosatom. The contract was supported by a Russian state loan to finance the majority of the project. The Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) issued the licence for the units in August.

Image: The Paks nuclear power plant (courtesy of Paks)

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