An international conference was held on October 19, 2006 at the Corvinus University of Budapest on the “Future of Nuclear Power in Central and Eastern Europe”. The Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research (REKK) organised the conference with the aim to explore the topic of the future role of nuclear power in the Central and Eastern Europe region. The extensive market changes including market liberalization, renewable energy and ETS are all reshaping the energy landscape in the region. Some countries are considering to increase the role of nuclear power in their countries while others are taking steps to start a nuclear program. Consideration was given to infrastructure, investment, market conditions and the safety and risk of nuclear power. Dr. Ivan Lux, Deputy Director General of the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority gave a presentation on nuclear safety in Hungary. Presentations on the Bulgarian, Romanian and Polish situations gave an overview on the role of nuclear energy in the CEE region. (www.rekk.eu) "Nuclear safety in Hungary"
The HAEA approved the elimination of damaged fuel assemblies at Unit No.2 of the Paks NPP The Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority Nuclear Safety Directorate (HAEA NSD) as of today has issued its approval for the commencement of the activities aimed at the elimination of the fuel assemblies damaged during the incident at the Paks NPP in April 2003. The decision approves the main steps, methods and conditions of the elimination activities and makes it possible to start the actual work. The approval includes nearly 30 conditions to be met during the elimination that were set by the nuclear safety, as well as the environmental and health protection authorities. Part of these conditions relates to activities to be performed prior to the start of the elimination, another part lists those documents that – in case of necessity – may only be modified after further approval of the authority. A third part of the requirements pertains to the activities that follow the actual elimination. The decision lists those steps which shall be performed under direct inspection of HAEA NSD. By issuing the approval, the HAEA NSD states that – under the conditions listed therein – the activity that follows the underlying documents shall comply with the safety requirements and legal provisions relevant to the application of nuclear energy. The HAEA NSD set up a special working group right at the beginning of the preparatory activities of the elimination in order to perform the related regulatory activities. The working group – that includes about 40% of the HAEA NSD technical staff – set the requirements that any application related to the elimination should comply with, as well as it elaborated the methodology of the assessment of such applications. The HAEA NSD performed a continuous supervision of the preliminaries of the NPP, took part in the inspection of the Russian manufacturers, supervised the related training, assessed the applications related to the elimination and set the conditions of the approvals. The HAEA NSD follows the elimination with great attention and performs a special inspection program to supervise the activity of the licensee.
On 6 June 2006 a public hearing was held in Burgerland in connection with the environmental license of the life extension plan of the Paks NPP. The event was organized for the request of four Austrian counties based on the Espoo Agreement. The aim was to inform the Austrian authorities and the public about the planned activities, and to give them a chance to make comments on the process. The Hungarian authorities taking part in the licensing procedure were also involved in the public hearing. Ivan Lux, Deputy Director General of the HAEA gave a presentation on the role of HAEA in the process.
The Hungarian Parliament approved on 21 November 2005, with 339 yes, 4 no and 8 abstention votes a resolution on the preliminary approval in principle to initiate activities of preparing for the establishment of a radioactive waste repository for low and medium level radioactive waste, on the one hand and on the extension of the operational life time of Paks Nuclear Power Plant, on the other. The resolution reads as follows: