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PAKS UPGRADE 'GUARANTEES COMPETITIVENESS’

The upgrade of Hungary's nuclear power plant in Paks will stand as a "long-term guarantee" of Hungary's competitiveness, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said after meeting Alexei Likhachev, the head of Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom, in Sochi.
 

At the meeting held with the chief executive of the general contractor of the Paks plant expansion, Szijjártó reviewed the status of the construction project, the foreign ministry said in a statement. The upgrade would secure Hungary’s electricity supply for decades to come, Szijjártó said, adding that the Paks plant would supply 70% of the country’s demand and provide “a great degree of independence from the occasionally insane changes in the international energy market as well as from skyrocketing prices”.
Szijjártó said works on the project were nearing another “milestone” as one of the melt traps, a key safety element in nuclear plants, has been completed and is expected to be shipped to Hungary in the second quarter of the year after the necessary tests. Meanwhile, the minister welcomed that soil consolidation by German, American and other subcontractors was under way at the site. “Those milestones … forecast that we can pour the first concrete by the end of the year and that the two new reactor blocks can start operations early in the next decade,” he added.