New interim storage needed for Paks2?
Earlier this year the Hungarian government negotiated and signed a modified contract with the Russians that most likely does not include points about the guarantee of reprocessing spent fuel elements in Russia, following the decrease of exclusive supply to 10 years. This was needed after the Commission’s refusal to countersign (under EURATOM) the contract guaranteeing 20 years of fuel supply exclusivity from December 2014.
Together with my Finnish colleague Heidi Hautla, we had requested information from the Commission about the reasons for their decisions on the fuel supply contracts of both Paks2 and Fennovoima; the Commission promised to publish the reasoned opinion of their refusal; the document I received recently, although censored, contained the rebuttal of the Hungarian government’s objections about the decision of the Euratom Supply Agency denying the original Russian-Hungarian contract. You can read it here: http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/index.cfm?fuseaction=list&n=10&adv=0&coteId=3&year=2015&number=1398
I have written the responsible Minister asking if the renewed agreement includes a clause on the shipment after he had viewed the contracts in late July. The minister refused to answer the question referring to the confidentiality of the information despite the fact that this measure is set out in the international agreement on nuclear cooperation ratified as a law, and furthermore despite this being public domain in the previous version.
Yet two further elements point towards the deletion of the automaticity clause.
Firstly, The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is written in a way that makes the HU storage most probable when exploring the possibilities for interim storage of spent fuel. However, the current storage capacity is inadequate for this purpose. Paks2 or the government will have to build a new one with all its financial and environmental consequences. Furthermore, Greenpeace has highlighted the potential dangers of the planned location of the interim storage as outlined in the EAI.
Secondly, Attila Aszódi (the responsible government official on the expansion project) said recently that the question of transportation to Russia is still open.