The management of the Paks nuclear power plant have submitted a 283,000 page expansion approval request to the National Nuclear Authority, János Süli, government commissioner of the plant’s expansion told conservative daily Magyar Hírlap.
“The documentation proves that the [two] blocks planned for Paks meet both Hungarian and European regulations and safety standards,” Süli said. “The VVER-1200 block developed by Rosatom is a third generation reactor, where increasing safety was a major requirement during the planning stage.”
Süli added that the new reactors will have double-walled containment chambers that can withstand an airplane crashing into them and also has an additional safety feature in the form of a meltdown reservoir.
Hungary signed the contract about the expansion of the Paks power plant in 2014, with the cost of the project totaling €12 billion, of which Hungary would initially contribute €2 billion, while the remaining €10 billion will be provided through a 30-year loan by the state-owned Russian company who is the main contractor, at interest rates of four to five percent.
Hungary’s only nuclear plant, located approximately 100 kilometers south of Budapest, currently has a capacity of 2,000 megawatts. The addition of the two VVER pressurized water reactors will add another 2,400 megawatts to that. The first reactor is planned to become operational in 2025 and the second in 2027.
The existing four units were built by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, with the last of the four coming online in 1987. They have an expected lifespan until the end of the 2030s. The two new reactors have a planned lifespan of sixty years and will produce no emissions, compared with 17 million tons of carbon dioxide per year for a similarly sized conventional power plant.
The National Nuclear Authority has twelve months to examine the expansion documentation which can be extended by another three months.
Title image: The Paks nuclear plant. (source: atomeromu.hu)