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Austria most ill-disposed towards nuclear energy in European Union — Russia’s envoy

There is no consensus regarding the issue of nuclear energy in the European Union

VERONA, October 20. /TASS/. Austria is most ill-disposed towards nuclear energy of all European Union’s (EU) member-states, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told TASS on the sidelines of the 10th Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona on Friday.

"Of all EU countries Austria is most ill-disposed towards nuclear energy," he said when asked to comment on Vienna’s claims against the construction of new units of the Hungarian Paks nuclear power plant with Russia’s participation.

"There is no consensus regarding the issue in the European Union. There are countries having nuclear power plants, for example, France has 58 reactors. There are countries with one or two nuclear plants, while Austria has none," he said, adding that it is unlikely that the current situation around the project relates to political implications due to the fact that "Paks 2 is a joint project between Hungary and Russia."

Earlier it was announced that the Austrian authorities are about to initiate a claim to the European Court due to the decision of the European Commission (EC) to approve the construction of new units of the Hungarian NPP. The country’s government said that Vienna considers the EC’s decision and the implementation of the project on construction of new units of Paks NPP unacceptable.

As reported earlier the European Commission declared it had given a go-ahead to the construction of another two nuclear power units at the nuclear power plant in Hungary, which, according to the EC’s press office, pledged to comply with a number of conditions to limit the risk of likely competition distortions. Russia’s state-owned nuclear corporation Rosatom plans to complete the Hungarian nuclear plant’s design by May 2018.

Russia and Hungary agreed to build two reactors at Paks in January 2014. Russia will extend a 10 bln euro loan to Hungary for the implementation of the project. The overall investments in two new Paks reactors will not exceed 12.5 bln euros. The borrowed funds will be used through 2025.

The Paks nuclear plant was built in the late 1980s and now accounts for about 40% of Hungary’s electricity consumption.