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Greenpeace calls for widening of EU investigation into Hungarian nuclear plant

Press release - November 19, 2015
Brussels – The European Commission has launched a formal investigation into the construction of two nuclear reactors at the Paks nuclear power station in Hungary over a suspected breach of EU rules [1]. Greenpeace has welcomed the move, but called for an expansion of the investigation.

GP Protest in Hungary against nuclear power plant PaksThe Commission suspects that the Hungarian government violated EU rules on public procurement when it awarded the project to Russian state owned energy company Rosatom. Greenpeace highlighted this and other concerns in April 2014 in a formal complaint [2] calling on the Commission to also investigate possible violations of EU state aid and internal energy market rules.

Commenting on the news, Greenpeace EU legal strategist Andrea Carta said: “This is a positive move by the Commission which should lead Hungary to reassess its nuclear energy plans. Paks would not be able to go ahead without massive subsidies from Russia and without the exclusion of competition from renewables or improved grid interconnection. This shows there is no place for nuclear power in a transparent and competitive energy market, let alone a clean energy system. We now call on the Commission to expand its investigation and look into possible violation of state aid and energy market rules.”

The two new reactors are expected to cost around €12.5 billion. Construction on the Paks site is yet to begin.

Bieńkowska said the Commission will send Hungary a formal notification tomorrow (19 November). Hungary will then have two months to ensure its compliance with EU law. If it fails to do so, the Commission can take Hungary to the European Court of Justice.

In January 2014, Hungary signed an agreement with Russia for cooperation on nuclear energy and a loan for the construction of the Paks plant.

 

Notes:

[1] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-6006_en.htm

[2] http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/en/Publications/2014/Paks-nuclear-project-complaint

 

Contact: Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,

For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.

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