Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Czech, Hungarian presidents for nuclear power plants' expansion

5 December 2012

Budapest, Dec 4 (CTK) - The Czech Republic and Hungary share the interest in extending their nuclear power plants, the two states' presidents, Vaclav Klaus and Janos Ader, said Tuesday, adding that Prague and Budapest will decide on their nuclear energy policy independently within the EU and will defend it.

Klaus met Ader at the beginning of his two-day state visit to Hungary.

Klaus has paid a series of visits to the neighbouring countries to say farewell before his second and last possible presidential tenure expires next March.

"If we have sought topics and interests we have in common and issues on which we share the same opinion and which we are capable of promoting jointly, I think that the defence of nuclear energy could be one of such joint interests of Hungary and the Czech Republic in the present very irrationally behavior of Europe," Klaus told journalists after meeting Ader.

Ader recalled that the Czech Republic, like Hungary, has decided to extend its nuclear power plants.

He said Hungary, which will launch a tender for the extension of its only nuclear power plant, Paks, next week, would like to share the Czech experiences with the previously launched tender for the extension of the Temelin nuclear power plant.

In this area, Hungary is a sovereign country and it decides itself on what it wants to achieve in nuclear energy and what it prefers, Ader said.

He said every government wants to reduce its energy dependence on foreign sources, and that nuclear energy is the crucial domestic source of Hungary.

Last year's disaster in the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima provoked a debate in Europe about the future of nuclear energy. Germany decided to completely abandon nuclear energy. The nuclear-free Austria, the neighbour of both Czechs and Hungarians, sharply criticises the idea of nuclear energy expansion as well.

Klaus repeated in Budapest Tuesday that he is worried about the way some Austrian political parties protest against the extension of Temelin, a Czech nuclear power plant situated some 60 km from the Austrian border.

Czech Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Milan Hovorka said the planned expansion of the Hungarian Paks nuclear power plant could be an opportunity for Czech companies.

If they became strategic partners of suppliers of nuclear technology for Temelin, this would open up the way to the future bids in Hungary, too, Hovorka said.

Hovorka said Hungary wanted the Czech Republic to provide it with information on how to put up a tender for the expansion of a nuclear power plant with the most advantageous conditions, also taking into account the interests of domestic suppliers.

Hungary is an important partner for the Czech Republic in the EU as it emphasis nuclear plants' safety, but it also wants to defend itself against irrational demands of some countries which may increase the price of nuclear energy very much, he added.

Klaus also met Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Klaus said at the official dinner that their views on EU problems were very close.

"I know that Hungary, too, is intensively looking for replies to these questions and that it is able to push for its interests on the international scene in an open and resolute way. As far as European integration and the development of the European crisis are concerned, our attitudes are close," said Klaus, who has never made secret that he is sceptical of further European integration.

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