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Official: Hungary to reach agreement with Euratom soon

World

Negotiations between Hungary and Euratom regarding fuel supply to the new blocks of Hungary’s sole nuclear plant in Paks are underway, the government commissioner for the upgrade, Attila Aszódi, told Hungarian news agency MTI late yesterday.

Aszódi said his office has been in consultation with Euratom since plans were in the drafting stage, and consultations have been going on ever since,

The commissioner noted that the contract on the nuclear fuel supply signed in December needs the approval of Euratom in addition to the two partners. MTI added that the contract in question states that Hungary will buy the fuel from Russia for a period of 20 years.

The fuel contract is one of three implementation contracts on the Paks nuclear plant expansion signed on December 9, 2014 by the Hungarian state-owned project company and Nizhny Novgorod Engineering Company Atomenergoproekt, a unit of Russiaʼs state-owned nuclear company Rosatom, MTI said, adding that, under the same contract, Russia has also agreed to store spent fuel rods in Russia for 20 years before returning them to Hungary.

According to Aszódi it is standard practice to use fuel supplied by a developer of a new nuclear power plant in the beginning. It is normal for the developer to develop fuel rods for a new plant, he said, adding that currently only Rosatom unit TVEL makes the type of fuel rods that will be needed in the new Paks reactors.

Despite the governmentʼs threat of a lawsuit yesterday, the Financial Times is not going to correct its report from Thursday that the European Commission would block the plan for supplying fuel to the upgraded Paks nuclear power plant if Hungary does not allow for suppliers besides Russia. 

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