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NUCLEAR WASTE HANDLING PLAN BEING DEVELOPED IN SZEGED

 

A plan for how to handle nuclear waste is being developed in Szeged, the minister of innovation and technology noted at the signing of a related agreement in the southern Hungarian city. László Palkovics referred to the government’s aim of producing 90% of Hungary’s electricity free from carbon dioxide emissions and said that nuclear energy was indispensable to attaining that goal. Handling nuclear waste such as spent fuel will be central to the policy, and physics Nobel laureate Gérard Mourou has proposed a solution, he said, adding that several international organisations were working together in this field. He noted that three related conferences have been held and a fourth will be held in Szeged.

A 3.6 billion forint (EUR 11m) three-year national research programme to develop a laser neutron source that transforms nuclear waste into stable or rapidly degradable nuclei is under way. The University of Szeged, the École Politechnique in Paris and TAE in California are involved in the research, he said. The minister said the establishment of a laser centre in Szeged, part of the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) international research network, is close to completion and many scientists are already working in the institution.