“Without nuclear energy, Europe will not be able to realise climate neutrality by 2050, and accordingly the European Union must cease its negative discrimination against atomic energy”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday in Prague in his lecture at the 6th Central European Atomic Energy Conference.

“The EU must afford equal opportunities and should in fact support the proliferation of the generation of nuclear energy, in view of the fact that electricity can be produced in nuclear power stations in a manner that it green, cheap, and calculable in the long term”, Mr. Szijjártó pointed out.

He underlined that Hungary is one of the frontrunners in the fight against climate change, and its nuclear investments will enable 90 percent of the country’s electricity production to be carbon neutral by 2030. “This is a unique level of performance throughout Europe, as is the fact that there are very few, only 21 countries in the world that are capable of increasing their economic performance while at the same time reducing pollutant emission”, the Minister stated.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, in recent years Hungary has made it clear that it plans to give nuclear energy a major role in the proliferation of green energy. “As a result of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant Project, once the two new atomic reactors are put into operation, we will be able to prevent the emission of 17 million tons of carbon dioxide a year”, he declared.

“If we take into account that the annual emissions of the countrywide operations of the Hungarian transport sector is 12 million tons, it is evident that we will be able to avoid and prevent the emission of one and a half times this amount through putting into commission the new nuclear reactor at Paks”, he explained.

The Minister declared that the Paks project has grown to become a truly international project in view of the fact that, in addition to the chief contractor Rosatom, contracts have been awarded to Western European and American corporations such as General Electric, which is manufacturing the turbines, French company Framatome and Germany’s Siemens,  which will be responsible for providing the various control systems. “This is therefor a large, international project. We are proud of the fact that we are providing a major platform for East-West cooperation via the Paks project, within a very progressive and highly sensitive sector such as nuclear energy”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

“It has also become clear that nuclear energy is an extremely progressive, future-orientated and modern method of generating electricity. Accordingly, with the gaining strength of the Visegrád Group, the countries of Central Europe are now launching new nuclear projects, exploiting the fact that we have been using nuclear energy peacefully for fifty years now”, he added.

Mr. Szijjártó told reporters that the Hungarian government is launching a new scholarship programme, within the framework of which it will be providing nuclear engineering training to fifty young people from abroad. “As the second step in this programme, within the next few years we will be launching the Paks Nuclear Academy, through which we will be making it clear that nuclear energy is a modern and future-orientated form of electricity production”, he noted. “The Hungarian government has already been running a successful scholarship programme for several years, within the framework of which thousands of foreign students are attending courses at a host of Hungarian universities thanks to Hungarian state scholarships. This is the programme we are now expanding, and we await applications from students from all over the world”, the Minister said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI following the lecture. Mr. Szijjártó said that in his opinion there is huge demand for this, because in countries that are now embarking on the peaceful use of nuclear energy the education capacities that would enable the training of a suitable number of nuclear engineers and technicians have not yet been developed. He added that there are several large countries with rich economies around the world that are expanding their nuclear energy capacities and only now creating the conditions for training courses, and who are showing an interest in the opportunities being provided by Hungary.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)