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Economy & Policy

Government to extend lifetime of Paks nuclear power plant

The move is necessary to ensure the country’s energy independence.

The extension of Paks 1 is required because the amount of energy that the Paks 2 nuclear power plant will produce will not be sufficient to ensure the country’s energy independence and meet increased energy demand.

After a meeting with the CEO of MVM Paks Nuclear Power Plant, Minister of Technology and Industry László Palkovics said that they are convinced that all conditions for the extension of the plant’s operating life are met. In principle, an extension of between 10 and 20 years is possible. 

The four units at the Paks nuclear power plant, which currently have a capacity of 500 MW, were built between 1982 and 1987, and their 30-year lifetime was already extended by 20 years between 2012 and 2017, with a decommission date of between 2032 and 2037.

In addition to the new lifetime extensions, investments are also being planned to increase the plant’s efficiency and develop new energy storage solutions, such as a battery farm.

Palkovics said that according to the European Green Deal, the country should be carbon-neutral by 2050, one of the features of which is building out electric energy sources. 

Hungary is the most active investment location in Europe, with an investment rate of 29 percent of GDP. He pointed out that high-tech companies, electric cars and the machinery industry have high energy needs. 

He also noted that Hungary’s photovoltaic capacity is growing significantly, from 6 gigawatts today to 12-14 gigawatts in 2030, and that the storage of this energy will also need to be addressed.

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