Paks2 nuclear power plant - What we have achieved since 2014
Energiaklub has been following and working on the issue of the Paks-2 nuclear project since 2008:
- We collect, request, process and publish information and facts so that the general public can access as much information as possible on the Paks-2 project.
- We conduct research and prepare studies in order to analyse and reveal the financial processes and the decision making processes of the project, as well as the institutional and legal background (both at national and international level).
- We approach various legal entities (authorities, committees, EU Commission) and file communications and complaints, when we find that decisions around the Paks-2 project breach existing regulations.
Our main achievements in the last two years are as follows:
The agreement and contracts with Russia about the Paks-2 NPP violate various national and international legislation. In order to tackle this, Energiaklub carried out the following activities:
- We have placed more than 30 data requests to national and international authorities, and through this, a number of data became publicly available.
- In 2014, Energiaklub submitted a communication to the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, which was found to be admissible. In 2015, a full-day hearing was held in Geneva with the participation of the representatives of the Hungarian State as well as Energiaklub. A position paper of the ACCC is expectedto be published this year.
- We filed a complaint to the European Commission, DG Competition, on the possible state aid in 2014, met the experts of the investigation two times in Brussels, and submitted our remarks on the results of the preliminary investigation.
- We requested the National Data Protection and Freedom of Information Authority to examine whether it was legal to classify the contracts with Rosatom as completely confidential the Prime Minister’s Office. The investigation has started in 2015.
- On 19 March, 2015 Energiaklub together with The Greens/European Free Alliance organized a public hearing in the European Parliament in Brussels on the questions around the planned Hungarian nuclear plant.
- We placed a complaint to the Constitutional Court on the Paks II „confidentiality law” in which the government basically made all information and data about Paks II confidential. In 2016 the European Commission started an infringement procedure about the law and the government had to change it, before the Hungarian Constitutional Court reached a decision.
- We participated in the Environmental Impact Assessment process of Paks-2 as a legal client. The environmental licensing of Paks II started in December 2014. The Government Office of Baranya County issued the environmental licence at the end of 2016, which has been appealed by Energiaklub. The authority rejected it, therefore Energiaklub, together with Greenpeace Hungary, went to the Court. The Court, referring to administrative failures, rejected the case.
- We will appeal against the Court decision at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Since the Hungarian government has failed to provide background analyses and impact assessments to prove the necessity of the planned nuclear investment, Energiaklub conducted numerous researches on the issue. Through these studies we found that Paks-2 is an extremely risky, expensive and money wasting investment which entails safety problems as well. At the same time we aimed at researching on and providing sustainable alternative energy scenarios to prove that there are other ways to have a reliable, economic and socially and environmentally more acceptable energy system in Hungary.
Our studies in the subject can be found at this link.
Energiaklub has been organizing series of conferences and public roundtable events for citizens and the media under the title „Seriously about Paks”. The purpose of these events was to discuss issues that are in the interest of the public, and which can influence the opinion of the decision makers and the general public, such as the environmental, political, geopolitical and economic questions related to Paks-2. The issues have been discussed by international and Hungarian experts.
The following events have been organized so far, with an intention to continue the series.
- Seriously about Paks, 1.: The budgetary policy aspects of Paks-2. 16 September 2014.
- Seriously about Paks, 2.: Environmental impacts of Paks-2. 8. October 2014.
- Seriously about Paks, 3.: Geopolitical aspects of Paks-2. 16 October 2014.
- Seriously about Paks, 4.: The nature of nuclear investments. 28 October 2014.
- Seriously about Paks, 5.: Ethical dimensions of the Paks-2 investment. 9 December 2014.
- Seriously about Paks, 6.: Alternatives to nuclear energy in Hungary. The world without Paks II. 20 January 2015.
- Seriously about Paks, 7.: Can Paks-2 operate without state aid? 23 June 2015.
- Seriously about Paks, 8.: Paks-2, an uncertain investment. 19 April 2016.
Besides, we held 17 university forums in 2015-16, involving more than 400 student, in order to start a discussion about our country’s future energy policy and scenarios. Our major focus was on the Paks-2 project and its possible alternatives.
Media and social media
We launched a website called pakskontroll.hu that, as a civil initiative, is free and independent from any political and economic interest or interest groups. (English version: pakskontroll.hu/en)
At the same time, a Facebook page Pakskontroll was created as well: https://www.facebook.com/pakskontroll/ Now it has ca. 5000 followers.
Energiaklub does extensive media work, so that the wider public can get informed about issues related to the Paks-2 project. Since 2014 Energiaklub had over 30 press releases and 350 media appearances in the subject. This includes online and print media, as well as radio and television appearances.
- Fact sheets for MEPs, NTW, journalists: Energiaklub has been compiling updated fact sheets about Paks II to different target groups.
- 12 Infographics: A collection of infographics have been constructed, which are regularly posted at Energiaklub’s blog as well as Pakskontroll and Energiaklub facebook page.
- Short animated video, titled “Paks-2, an unnecessary, money wasting, risky investment”: The video was made in November 2015, in order to publish and promote the questions, problems and risks related to the Paks-2 project. The language of the video is Hungarian, English subtitles are provided.