Paks Gears up for Lifespan Extension

Power

The process of extending the lifespan of the Paks nuclear power plant started with the notification of the European Union in October and will take about a decade, Péter János Horváth, the CEO of operator MVM Paksi Atomerőmű, said during a walkthrough on Tuesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Hungary aims to extend the lifespans of all four blocks of the plant, the country's sole commercial source of nuclear energy, by another 20 years beyond the expiry of their current operating permits between 2032 and 2037. The blocks were built between 1982 and 1987. Their lifespans were earlier extended by 20 years.

Horváth said extending the blocks' lifespans was "reasonable and necessary" in the interest of achieving climate targets.

He noted that delivery routes for the plant's Russian-made fuel rods had been modified because of the war in Ukraine and said Paks had enough fuel now to last for three years. The Russian fuel supplier has been a dependable partner for 40 years, he said but added that talks on "clearing up the conditions for fuel diversification" were underway.

Deputy-CEO Pál Tóth said extending the plant's lifespan would require around 250 reconstruction projects. About half of those will cost more than HUF 1 billion, and rebuilding the electric and control system alone will cost EUR 1.5 bln, he added.

Mihály Czibula, who heads the lifespan extension project, said the implementation plan would be submitted to authorities in 2028, according to plan.

Paks accounts for about half of the electricity generated in Hungary.

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