Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade Péter Szijjártó said on his Facebook page that construction of an anti-filtration curtain had been completed at the Paks II expansion project. This followed a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organisation for Security & Cooperation in Europe in Skopje. “This means that we built a 2.7 km wall in record time. Our goal of constructing two new nuclear power units in Paks by the beginning of the 2030s remains quite realistic," he noted.
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 issued the licence for the units in August 2022. The following December, the Hungarian parliament approved the extension of the life of the four existing VVER-440 power units at the Paks NPP for another 20 years. 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. Paks currently provides half of all generated and one third of the consumed electricity in Hungary.
Szijjártó noted that Hungary’s foreign policy is conducted on the basis of national interest “and we do not accept any external pressure”. He added: “That is why in the coming period, we will cooperate with Russia in the same way as we have done before.”
Image: Illustration of the Paks II nuclear power plant