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Economic committee supports expansion of Paks

  Hungarian parliament’s economic and IT committee on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of expanding Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant in Paks (central Hungary).

There are economic, environmental, energy, as well as social arguments to support the expansion, Energy Minister Csaba Molnár said at the committee’s meeting.

Molnár said that the price of electricity could fall and Hungary’s energy dependence could be reduced if the plant is expanded, adding that emissions of gases causing global warming would also decline.

The government needs to get parliament’s preliminary approval to start preparing concrete plans for construction of the new block, Molnár said.

The expansion of the nuclear power plant will take 10-12 years and cost €2.5-3 billion, which can be recouped during a period 40% shorter than in the case of traditional power plants.

Fidesz MP János Fónagy said since there are no detailed plans, the opposition only supports the expansion because they consider it to be a replacement for the plant’s old blocks, which will go offline in 2032. (MTI-Econews)