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Hungary Enacts Law to Expand Nuclear Power With Russian Aid

RIA Novosti, PUBLISHED 12.02.2014

Hungarys president has signed a bill into law to expand a nuclear power plant in the country with Russian assistance following protests against the deal, the countrys MTI news agency reported Monday.

Hungary signed a deal with Moscow last month for a 10 billion euro loan for Russias state-owned Rosatom to build two new reactor units with a combined production capacity of 2.2 megawatts at the country's only nuclear power plant.

The Paks plant, 100 kilometers south of Budapest, is a Soviet-designed pressurized water reactor that supplies over one-third of the country's electricity.

President Janos Ader signed the bill after reviewing its constitutionality and concordance with existing laws, MTI said, citing a presidential statement.

The countrys economic minister Mihaly Varga said that the loan would be paid back over two decades following the reactors coming online in 2023.

The ratification of the agreement last month spurred demonstrations by protesters who objected to the abandonment of an open tender process and the expansion of nuclear power in the country on environmental grounds.

President Ader turned down a request by opposition members to hold a national referendum over the expansion plans.

Last year, Ader signed off on a constitutional amendment that was condemned by international leaders as a step away from democracy for undermining the countrys constitutional court.

Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi has insisted that the nuclear deal is aimed at strengthening the countrys energy security and does not represent a pivot in relations with Russia.

Following the disaster at Japans Fukushima Daiichi plant three years ago, a number of countries have decided to curb nuclear power generation.

Germany announced two months after the disaster it would shutter all of its nuclear reactors which generated about one-quarter of the countrys electricity by 2022.

Topics: East Europe, Hungary

Other news:

Hungary Lawmakers OK Russia Nuclear Plant Deal

Russia will provide Hungary a loan of up to 10 billion euros ($13.5 billion) - around 80 percent of construction costs.

Russia to Lend Hungary $13.7Bln for Nuclear Plant

The deal was announced during a state visit to Moscow by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and was hailed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia to Triple Uranium Production in Next 2 Years Rosatom

In 2015 we will reach 8,400 tons.

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