Hungary plans to extend the lifetime of the Paks nuclear power plant and will make assessments about costs and feasibility next month, Technology and Industry Minister Laszlo Palkovics told Inforadio late on Wednesday.
Palkovics said the nuclear plant “could have up to 20 additional years” of service and he said his ministry would draft a proposal to the government by July 15.
Paks currently has four small Russian-built VVER 440 reactors with a combined capacity of about 2,000 megawatts that started operating between 1982 and 1987.
“This (draft proposal) will say: this is how much it will cost, this is the payoff calculation and then we should start this as fast as possible,” Palkovics said, adding that there would also be talks with the European Union and also the International Atomic Agency.
“But this is a closed issue, as everyone who has a nuclear plant does this.”
With soaring crude and gas prices in the wake of Russian invasion of Ukraine and concerns about energy supplies, several countries have been considering extending the lifespans of their nuclear plants or building new reactors.
In 2014, Hungary signed a deal with Russia, awarding Rosatom the project to build two additional Russian VVER 1200 reactors at Paks.
Hungary planned to start building the reactors in 2018 and complete the first one in 2025, and the second in 2026. But the project has been seriously delayed and is still in permissioning phase.