Hungary and Belarus sign roadmap for nuclear energy cooperation

29 May 2024

Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto have held talks and agreed on the next steps in cooperation over their nuclear energy plants.

The talks took place at the foreign ministry in Belarus (Image: Belta)

According to the energy ministry in Belarus, the roadmap covers deepened cooperation relating to the Russian-built nuclear power plants featuring VVER-1200 units in the two countries as well as wider energy issues.

The official Belta news agency in Belarus said the agreement "defines the main areas of joint work of Belarusian and Hungarian nuclear scientists for 2024-2025, including in the field of personnel training, scheduled maintenance and radioactive waste management". The roadmap is a follow-up to the memorandum of understanding concluded in April 2023 between the two countries.

Hungary's Paks II project was launched in early 2014 by an intergovernmental agreement between Hungary and Russia for two VVER-1200 reactors to be supplied by Rosatom, with the contract supported by a Russian state loan to finance the majority of the project. The construction licence application was submitted in July 2020 to build Paks II alongside the existing Paks plant, 100 kilometres southwest of Budapest on the banks of the Danube river. The construction licence was issued in August 2022 and a construction timetable agreed last year which set out plans to connect the new units to the grid at the beginning of the 2030s.

The Belarus nuclear power plant has two VVER-1200 reactors and is located in Ostrovet in the Grodno region. A general contract for the construction was signed in 2011, with first concrete in November 2013. Construction of unit 2 began in May 2014. The first power unit was connected to the grid in November 2020, with the second unit put into commercial operation in November 2023.

According to the foreign minister in Belarus, one of the areas discussed was attracting people who worked on the nuclear construction project in Belarus to work on the Hungarian one. The Reuters news agency reported that Szijjarto told a media briefing: "Of great importance is the agreement signed here today on nuclear energy cooperation, which allows us to use the experiences Belarus gained here while constructing reactors with a similar technology."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News