Nuclear energy in Hungary
The first Hungarian nuclear reactor was built at Csillebérc (located in Budapest's 12th district) in 1959. Construction on the first commercial nuclear reactors began in 1975 after the oil crisis and the first was completed in 1982. Currently, in the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, Hungary has four nuclear reactors with a net output capacity of 1,826 MWe. Originally, these plants had expected lives of 30 years; however, the Hungarian government decided to complete 20-year life extension projects on the reactors. The cost of these projects will amount to approximately $900 million but will also increase total capacity to 2,000 MWe. Hungary also had plans to build two more reactors with capacities of 950 MWe each but cancelled the plans due to decreased power demand in the early 1990s.
Hungary receives all of its fuel, uranium, from TVEL in Russia. Spent fuel normally is disposed without reprocessing, though there are instances of spent fuel sent to Russia for reprocessing. For the spent fuel that is not reprocessed, it is kept at the nuclear reactor site for five years in pools and then sent to dry storage. Additionally, in 2005 the residents of Bataapati, in the south of the country, approved construction plans for low and intermediate-level waste storage facility. Parliament approved this construction in November 2005. The costs of this construction will be covered by the Central Nuclear Financial Fund, the fund the nuclear power companies pay into. In December 2012, the storage facility started operation by receiving its first batch of nuclear waste. The construction costs are estimated at 68 billion forint (approx. 310 million US Dollars).
- “Hungary.” Nuclear Energy Agency. 20 June 2007. < http://www.nea.fr/html/general/profiles/hungary.html#hist>
- “Nuclear Power in Hungary” World Nuclear Association. July 2007. < http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf92.html>
- “Hungarian repository receives first waste” World Nuclear News. December 2012. < http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-Hungarian_repository_receives_first_waste-1812124.html>