Nuclear regulatory authority
The Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA)
is a public administration body acting in the field of peaceful applications of atomic energy with a specified scope of tasks and authority, being independent of both organizational and financial points of view.
The HAEA’s scope of competences comprises the regulatory oversight of nuclear installations, radioactive waste repositories and the safety and security of radioactive material in order to guarantee the peaceful and safe use of atomic energy serving the interests of the public as stipulated in laws, safety regulations and resolutions of the HAEA. Radiation protection (such as the oversight of X-ray machines), general building authority and general building oversight in the safety zone of nuclear installations and radioactive waste repositories and the most important oversight tasks related to safeguards also fall within the scope of the competences of the HAEA. In the framework of its licensing activities, HAEA shall confirm through licensing whether safety requirements are met by the licensees and HAEA authorizes the licensee to carry out activities in relation to the use of atomic energy.
Nuclear Power Plant
There are four VVER-440/213 (PWR) reactor units operated by the MVM Paks NPP Ltd. (500 MWe generated power by each unit). HAEA granted 20 years service life extension for all four units.
The Budapest Research Reactor is a VVR-type (water-cooled, water-moderated) reactor, operated by the Centre for Energy Research (functioning in the framework of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network).
The Training Reactor of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics is a light water moderated and cooled reactor of 100 kW nominal thermal power.
Under Hungary's the Act CXVI of 1996 on Atomic Energy (Act on Atomic Energy) , the government needs to obtain a decision-in-principle from the Parliament in order to start any preparatory activity that could lead to the construction of a new nuclear power plant. On 30 March 2009, the Parliament gave a decision-in-principle with more than 90% of the votes in support of it.
After this, the preparation for the construction of the new units was started. The activities included preparations for obtaining the environmental license and the site licence. A survey was also initiated to determine the possible suppliers for the construction of the new units and the demand for the necessary manpower.
In 2012, the Board of the MVM Ltd. took a decision to establish a company to continue the tasks. The preparations for construction of the new units are coordinated by Paks II. Ltd (project company) and the minister without portfolio responsible for the design, construction and installation of the two new nuclear power plant units of Paks.
As a first step the site investigation and evaluation program had to be developed and submitted to the HAEA for approval. The Paks II. Ltd. submitted the site investigation and evaluation license in April 2014 and the HAEA granted the license on 14th November 2014, with conditions.
Thereafter on 2 April 2015, the Geological Research Program began, in compliance with the approved site investigation and evaluation program and was completed on 31th December, 2016.
Based on the site investigation and evaluation results, Paks II. Ltd. compiled a site license application, which was submitted to the HAEA on 27th October, 2016. The site license was issued by the HAEA on 27th March 2017 with conditions.
On 30th June, 2020, the Paks II. Ltd. submitted the construction license application for the new nuclear units to the HAEA. The regulatory procedure started on the 1st of July 2020. To make a decision, the HAEA has 12 months that can be extended with additional 3 months if needed.
Map of Hungary indicating the location of Paks NPP:
Radioactive waste and spent fuel management
The Public Limited Company for Radioactive Waste Management (PURAM) is responsible for the operation of the existing radioactive waste and spent fuel management facilities and the preparation for the final disposal of high level waste and the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. A Central Nuclear Financial Fund was established by the Act on Atomic Energy to finance the tasks of radioactive waste and spent fuel management. The Fund is constituted by the payments of those institutes where the radioactive waste is generated.
The Spent Fuel Interim Storage Facility is situated at Paks, next to the site of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant connected to its south part.
The National Radioactive Waste Repository in Bátaapáti is the disposal of the low and intermediate level waste originating from the Paks Nuclear Power Plant.
The Radioactive Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility (for institutional radioactive waste) is located at Püspökszilágy.
The fundamental objective of the Act on Atomic Energy is to protect the health and safety of the public and the environment. The Act on Atomic Energy has established a modern, multi-stage legal and regulatory framework, while the detailed regulations are included in government and ministerial decrees based on the authorization by the Act on Atomic Energy.
More information on legal framework is available on HAEA’s website.
Last updated in August 2020