Hungary: Possible aid to the Paks Nuclear Power Station

The World Nuclear Association responded to the consultation exercise initiated by the European Commission in connection with its competition investigation into the construction of the Paks II nuclear power plant.

The full response is available as a pdf

The association took the opportunity to remind the Commission of both the benefits of nuclear technology in general and in the case of Hungary, which as a Member State has the right to determine its energy choices and the general structure of its energy supply (under the TFEU). It is our considered view that the Euratom Treaty establishes a clear legal basis for the development of nuclear energy as a common objective of the European Union and for the facilitation of investment into nuclear reactors.

Nuclear energy provides reliability, cost stability, security of supply and numerous environmental and social benefits (some of which are set out in the attached additional comments). Its contribution to the energy system therefore helps attain other common policy objectives and address energy market failures in terms of security and availability, environment and health – especially in mitigating climate change. Soundly-based and appropriate regulation at both the national and EU level already address the potential externalities the technology gives rise to. Simply put, nuclear energy provides many of the same benefits as renewable energy forms with the added benefit of being a reliable and dispatchable electricity provider.

The World Nuclear Association urged the European Commission to weight the environmental and efficiency benefits offered by nuclear energy to the Union in reaching a decision on this case.