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Paks Nuclear plant expansion, Hungary


The Hungarian Parliament in March 2009 voted for the enlargement of the Paks nuclear power plant to increase National energy capacity. The expansion plans would include the construction of two new power reactors as well as a generation IV. research reactor.

Opponents argue that the vote happened without the government complying with promises to have a referendum on the issue and without detailed background documents for the MPs to base their decisions on, nor a public debate.

The project includes two new units, but construction has not started yet. The conflict created an opposition between 2 main groups, one in support of the project and nuclear energy, and the other arguing for renewable energy resources and opposed to the enlargement. The further details of the project are under negotiation.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Paks Nuclear plant expansion, Hungary
State or province:Szekszard
Location of conflict:Paks
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Nuclear
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Nuclear power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The Paks Nuclear Plant produces more than 40 percent of the electrical power generated in the country. The plant’s power generation is now at 2,000 MWe.

Project area:280000
Level of Investment:9000000000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:230000
Start of the conflict:30/11/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Paksi Atomerm Zrt. from Hungary
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Greenpeace, Hungary, Energia Klub, The national political party (LMP)

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Non-governmental organisations (Greenpeace, Energia Klub), a national political party (LMP)
Forms of mobilization:Public campaigns


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Other Environmental impactsIncreasing the temperature of River Danube
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors


Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Development of alternatives:Renewable energy resources
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Altough the decision to go forward with the enlargement was made in Novemeber 2012, the finances have not yet been decided and it has not been started yet. Therefore the new units are not under construction yet so only precautionary actions have been made by civil groups.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

/2012. (VI. 18.) Government Decision on the coming tasks necessary for establishing new nuclear energy blocks on the site of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant

CXVI. (1996) Law about nuclear energy

/2009. (IV. 2.) Parliamentary decision on nuclear energy based on the 7th paragraph of the CXVI. (1996) Law about nuclear energy - a preliminary principle permission to the starting of the activity serving the preparation of the establishment of new nuclear energy blocks on the site of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant

/2012. (VI. 18) Government Decision on the establishment of Nuclear Energy Government Committee dealing with the examination of the strategic questions related to the application and development of nuclear energy in Hungary

/2012. (VI. 18) Government Decision on the Nuclear Energy project in Paks being an Investment of crucial importance from the perspective of the Hungarian national economy'. The LIII/2006. Law on the so-called Investments of crucial importance from the perspective of the Hungarian national economy' and its modifications allow the Hungarian Government to identify investments which are of national importance. After an investment gets this special status local communities (or any other parties) have no legal way to influence decision-making regarding the given project.)

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Lakossgi tjkoztat naptr, Kiadta: MVM Paksi atomerm Zrt. 2012, 28-29.o.

Sallai O.(2012): Krnyezetvdelmi Jelents 2011, MVM Paksi Atomerm Zrt. Paks, 5-8.o.

Beregnyei M.(2012): Az llandsult vltozs - 30 ve indult a paksi atomerm; Nukleon,; 2012 december; 5. vf.; 5. lapszm

Prof Dr. Aszdi A.-Boros I.(2012): Az atomeregia jovoje Fukushima utan; Nukleon; 2012. majus 5. vf.; 2. lapszm

Cserhti A.-Dr. Katona T.-Lenkei I.(.n.): A paksi atomerm bvtse j blokkokkal-Befektets a jvbe, 1-14.o.

Nemzeti Eenrgiastratgia 2030, Nemzeti Fejlesztsi Minisztrium, 2012, 20-22. o. 71-74.o.

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Meta information

Contributor:Malovics Gyorgy
Last update08/04/2014