The planned legislature-amendment is in compliance with the European practice

11/28/19 7:00 AM
The governmental legislature, regulating the area preparation of the two new Paks NPP units, could be modified in accordance with the European practice and nuclear safety requirements – stated Minister János Süli.

The well-known Hanhikivi project in Finland, known for its strict nuclear regulation in the European Union, is already under construction, but their full application for an implementation license has not yet been submitted to the Finnish nuclear authority, János Süli recalled in his statement to Világgazdaság. The Minister without portfolio responsible for the planning, construction and operation of the two new nuclear power plant units of Paks highlighted: the planned amendment of the Hungarian legislation does not mean any mitigation, does not change the regulations, requirements, the supervisory powers of the competent authority remain unchanged, its sole purpose is to allow the preparatory works to start earlier at the Paks site.
János Süli made it clear: according to the Nuclear Safety Regulation, any further implementation work can only be made once the implementation license has been acquired.
The minister told, according to the Finnish nuclear regulation, in Finland after the environmental impact assessment there is no independent site licensing process, only implementation licensing process. Part of this is the assessment of the site’s suitability. According to the regulations, the Finnish project company has started the excavation of the future work area, the construction of the pit and the construction of a waterproof wall – in their case due to rocky soil, instead of cutoff walls, they use a drill-impregnation process to eliminate water.
This area will be the site of the nuclear power plant. The Finns do these works without any site license (Paks II. already acquired a legally binding site license) and they didn’t even submit the complete implementation license application.
According to the amendment, Paks II. would only be able to start the licensing process for all of these works three months after the application for the full implementation license was submitted to the authority, During this time, the authority will be able to assess the construction features of the complete application for an implementation license for the nuclear power plant units. In other words the licensee Paks II. could only submit the license application for site preparation work, thereby allowing the nuclear authority to judge the link between the construction of facilities necessary for the operation of the nuclear power plant and the site preparation work to ensure the conditions for their construction, and their nuclear safety aspects. In case of a positive evaluation, the license can be acquired in 60+30 days (normal evaluation time and a one-time 30-days extension).
János Süli also mentioned: the planned amendment is to ensure the working conditions at the Paks site bearing in mind the nuclear safety regulations.
The minister recalled, the European Commission allowed before to start the construction of the facilities of the construction and erection base (e.g. storage facilities, assembly halls) earlier than in the original schedule set in the contract.
It is important to highlight, the cutoff and ground stabilizitation works and the construction of the work pits ensures preparation of the area and is clearly separated from the activities for the construction of the nuclear power plant. The implementation of the NPP start with the so-called first concreting, and can only start once the implementation license and further relevant building licenses have been acquired.
The minister added: the planned legislature-amendment does not affect the responsibilities set in the EPC contract.