While the world’s attention was on the US election, a handful of Hungarian MPs debated a bill that would allow new atomic energy facilities to be constructed and operated in a manner that is not in accordance with official permits.
Online daily propeller.hu reports that paragraph XIV of the proposed “salad law” – one that contains a number of modifications to existing laws – provides for the following:
“The Government is authorized to regulate nuclear facilities by decree in a manner at variance with permits issued by authorities regarding the possible methods and conditions of nuclear facilities whose creation is underway.”
The purpose of the bill appears to be to side-step legal challenges mounted by environmental groups to the issuance of permits. The groups claim that the environmental impact study of the Paks II expansion project failed to adequately address key issues, including the impact on wildlife and flora of the additional discharge of hot water into the Danube river.
Critics have also called into question the economic feasibility of the project, pointing out that its enormous cost can only be recouped via dearer electricity, and that cost projections fail to take into account the eventual decommissioning of the facility.