Parliament approves greater independence for Hungarian nuclear regulator

11 November 2021

The Hungarian parliament has adopted changes to the country's Atomic Act which will give the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) more control over its structure and staffing. The changes appear to be a response to missed deadlines for decision-making on the Paks II new build project.

Paks II (left) would be a new nuclear power plant alongside the existing Paks plant (right) (Image: Paks II)

The amendments would make HAEA "more organisationally independent", it announced today, following the parliamentary approval on 9 November. HAEA will "determine its own organisational structure within the framework provided by law, and will determine its own headcount, taking into account the available budget."

Another change will see HAEA's new director general, Andrea Beatrix Kádár, report directly to parliament.

Kadar was appointed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in October after HAEA missed a second deadline for decision-making on Paks II. An application for the plant had been submitted in July 2020 and procedures allowed the HAEA 12 months to make its decision, with the possibility of extension by three months. The first extension was triggered in July this year, but having been unable to reach a decision within the extension, HAEA said that it needed still more time but that it would "order further rectification of deficiencies in the licensing procedure."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News