Seriously about Paks - summary of the series of events

 

In the last two months Energiaklub organized 4 public roundtable events for citizens and the media under the name of „Seriously about Paks”. The main theme was the new Paks2 nuclear power plant investment. The purpose of these events was to discuss such issues, that are in the interest of the public, and which can influence opinion of the decision makers and the general public. These issues are environmental, political, geopolitical and economic questions related to the planned investment.The issues were discussed by international and Hungarian experts, such as:

László Jankovics, DG ECFIN

Balázs Romhányi, Fiscal Responsibility Institute

Mária Zita Petschnig, Financial Research Plc

Helmuth Hirsch, nuclear safety expert, cervus nuclear consulting, Austria

Béla Csányi, HAS, Centre for Ecological Research

Zsuzsanna Koritár, Energiaklub

Severin Fischer, Associate, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

András György Deák, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of World Economics

Mycle Schneider, independent energy and nuclear policy consultant, France

István János Tóth, Corvinus University

On the first event (16th September), Paks II project budget and economic policy implications were discussed. The study, prepared in the frame of our project, and analyzes the question, was introduced by its author Balázs Romhányi. Romhányi said, that according to the European Union's statistical accounting rules it’s sufficiently clear, that the project has to be accountable in the government sector. In preparing the analysis concluded that the Paks investment financial burden should not be passed on to future generations, it should be support primarily by those who pay the taxes at the time of investment or benefit from public funds.

The European Commission Representation in Hungary supported the event, on which László Jankovics from the European Commission was also among the speakers, as well as Mária Zita Petschnig from the Financial Research Plc.

On the second event (8th October), selected environmental matters about Paks II were discussed by lecturers and participants. Helmut Hirsch (Austria), a safety expert summarized, what are the expectations in the case of modern nuclear reactors, and introduced, what can be known in this field on the planed Russian units. Zsuzsanna Koritár (Energiaklub) highlighted the key and problematic points concerning the management of radioactive and nuclear wastes in Hungary, and raised the questions that are arisen from the agreement with Russia in this regard. Finally, Béla Csányi (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) introduced some possible problematic effects that may be occurred on the wildlife of the Danube, and correlate to the operation of the planned new units.

On the third event (16th October), the geopolitical context of the planned investment was discussed, with the participation of Severin Fischer (German Institute for International and Security Affairs), András György Deák (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) and András Szörényi (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade).

On the fourth event (28th October): the issue of the nature of the nuclear investments and corruption was addressed. Mycle Schneider (independent nuclear and energy consultant, France) talked about the status of the nuclear industry, and pointed out the problematic investments of the ROSATOM. István János Tóth, the author of the study on the possible corruption regarding the Paks II investment, being prepared in the frame of the project, introduced the key findings of the study. The third presenter was Tamás Zarándy, from the government-close think-tank Századvég Plc.