On September 22, 2023, Levente Magyar, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary, Gergely Jakli, General Director of Paks-2 NPP CJSC, and Alexey Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom, visited the construction site of Paks-2 NPP. Since the start of the main construction stage, this is the first visit to the only nuclear power plant based on Russian Gen 3+ VVER-1200 technology under construction in the European Union.
By now, the construction of a concrete plant has been completed at the construction site while the construction of a reinforcement products workshop is underway. Besides, soil excavation down to the minus 5 meters mark for the foundation pit of Unit 6 is in progress and similar work for Unit 5 has already been completed. The next stage includes stabilization of soil at the site of the future units in order to continue preparing the pit for the first concrete. In total, it is necessary to remove about 1 million cubic meters of soil. As soon as next year, the number of the site workers will be more than 1 thousand people with more than 10 thousand people during the peak construction period.
“The main stage of Paks-2 NPP construction began last month, and today we are already actively working at the construction site, constantly increasing the pace. We expect the first concrete to be poured at the end of next year – at the beginning of 2025,” said Alexey Likhachev.
In parallel, in accordance with the licenses obtained from the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) Rosatom enterprises will start manufacturing long lead equipment. Hungarian suppliers are actively involved in the work: to date, more than 140 Hungarian companies are engaged in various areas of the project.
“Paks II NPP is the first Russian project in the EU. The fact of obtaining a construction license confirms the project’s compliance with Hungarian and European safety standards. Europe today faces serious energy supply challenges. More and more countries are coming to understand that the development of nuclear energy and maintenance of partnerships are the key factors in reliable energy supplies,” the head of Rosatom emphasized.
According to the International Energy Agency, 43% of Africans, about 600 million people, lack access to electricity. While some regions have witnessed significant progress in recent years, a large portion of the continent continues to struggle with limited access to electricity. It has a profound impact on various aspects of daily life, hindering economic development, education, and healthcare services.
Africa is a continent brimming with untapped potential. As technology continues to advance, it becomes imperative to explore sustainable and reliable energy sources that can provide the economic advancement of Africa forward. One viable solution lies in embracing nuclear power, which presents unique advantages in addressing Africa’s electrification gaps and in other spheres.
Nuclear power, with its consistent and continuous electricity generation, can serve as a steady and reliable base load power source. Also NPPs can provide decentralized access to electricity. Small modular reactors can serve as autonomous power stations, bringing reliable electricity to even the most remote corners of the continent. Moreover, nuclear power opens avenues for economic growth and job creation. Building a NPP and its maintenance require a highly skilled workforce, leading to local employment opportunities and technological skill development.
The Paks 2 NPP project is being implemented on the basis of the Russian-Hungarian intergovernmental agreement dated January 14, 2014, and three basic contracts for the construction of a new plant. The main license for the construction of Paks II NPP was issued by the Hungarian regulating authority in August 2022. Paks-2 NPP with two Gen 3+ VVER-1200 units is being constructed on a turnkey basis. The guaranteed service life of Paks NPP Units 5 and 6 is 60 years.
The operating Paks NPP has four power units with reactors of VVER-440 type generating electricity.