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Austrian-Hungarian bilateral meeting: intensive discussion about questions related to the new nuclear units


On 12-13th October, 2015 the headquarters of the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority gave place to the Austrian-Hungarian bilateral meeting. During the meeting – assisted by almost 40 experts – the parties mutually informed each other about the main changes of the last one year, the challanges ahead, results and developments achieved. Special interest was laid by the Austrian delegation on the operating cycle extension at Paks NPP, the state of play of the new nuclear units, emergency preparedness, radioactive waste management and on the results of the IRRS Mission conducted in May, 2015.

The Hungarian Delegation was led by Mr. Gyula Fichtinger, director general of the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority. The members of the delegation were representatives of the Ministry of National Development, MVM Paks Ltd., MVM Paks II Ltd., PURAM, National Public Health Center, National Food Chain Safety Office and the Hungarian Meteorological Service.

Led by Mr. Anton Kozusnik, director of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs the Austrian delegation composed of representatives of the local governments as well as high ranking officers of the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Federal Ministry of Health and Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Opening the meeting, Mr. Gyula Fichtinger stated: the bilateral talks give a good opportunity for both delegations to gain detailed information on using of atomic energy ensuring transparency. The director general expressed his hope that experts would give adequate answers to questions posed by either party related to the topics.

During the meeting the parties mutually informed each other about the events of the last one-year period in the area of peaceful use of atomic energy.

Árpád Vincze and Gábor Petőfi, heads of departments of the HAEA gave a presentation about the legislative changes relating to the work of the HAEA, the structural changes and the human resource development of the HAEA: the authority is set to meet the challenges arising in connection with the construction of the new tasks by setting up an effective organisational structure. The lifetime extension, the new nuclear units, the National Action Plan (on nuclear safety) of the Paks NPP and the new tasks delegated to the Authority need special attention and efforts from the regulatory body.

The Austrian delegation was interested in the operating cycle extension at Paks NPP. Mr. Mihály Czibula, the project manager of Paks NPP gave a presentation on this topic, in which he emphasized: although it is a new method, the introduction of the operating cycle extension does not affect adversely the safety of the NPP.

Special attention was raised by the new nuclear units: Mr. Miklós Horváth, director of corporate affairs at the MVM Paks2, gave a presentation on the state of play of the new nuclear units. The questions of the Austrian delegation were about environmental impacts, about the relation between the environmental licensing procedure and site licensing, and about the possible parallel operation of the old and new units.

The Austrian delegation informed the Hungarian side about the relevant legislative changes, the structural changes of emergency preparedness organisations and the implemented safety improvements in the TRIGA Mark II Research Reactor.

The head of the Austrian Delegation highly appreciated the well-structured, precise and exhaustive agenda of the bilateral meeting and that it covered all the themes the Austrian side was interested in. Finally he expressed their gratitude for the openness of the Hungarian delegation.