Official: Alternative sources of fuel for Paks blocks could raise costs

World

Following the European Commission’s decision to block Hungary from importing fuel for its sole nuclear plant in Paks from Russia, the country now needs to find an alternative source at an additional expense, Gyula Fichtinger, director general of the National Nuclear Energy Office (OAH) told commercial channel Hír TV on Friday in an interview.

The requirement to diversify nuclear fuel supply became part of the EUʼs security strategy last May, and in the case of new plants, contracts signed with third party countries require preliminary approval from the Euratom Supply Agency, Fichtinger said, adding that if the agency denies approval, the European Commission will decide on the matter within 30 days.

According to Hungarian online daily mno.hu, the European Commission warned the Hungarian government last May, that no nuclear plant that imports fuel rods exclusively from Russia can be built in the EU.

Commenting earlier on the report by the Financial Times that claimed the EC had blocked the expansion of Paks, EC spokesperson for energy affairs Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said that Brussels will not stop the planned expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant by Russian state-owned firm Rosatom. The European Commission is instead dealing with specifics within the contract regarding fuel supply.

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