Hungary operates four VVER 440/213 nuclear power reactors at Paks NPP site, which provide almost 40% of the current electricity demand.
The construction of the NPP started between 1974 and 1979, and operation between 1982 -1987. Due to its excellent operation record the Hungarian parliament’s economic committee decided to initiate a 20-year life extension project for the Paks NPP (otherwise these reactors would have had to close after 30 to 40 more years of operation). Assuming that the life extension work will be fully successful, the first of the units at the Paks NPP will reach the end of its extended 50-year operating life in 2032.
In April 2008 a resolution on a new energy policy concept for the period of 2008-2020 was adopted by the Parliament. According to the resolution the Government should start working on the preparation of the decision on new nuclear capacity for the replacement of the old plant.
By the end of December 2010, The Ministry of National Economy and the Ministry of National Development have been elaborating Hungary’s new, long-term national energy strategy until 2030. One of the main objectives of this strategy is to enhance the role of nuclear energy in the country.
There are plans for the future are to build two new units at Paks NPP site, the first of which be will be operational by 2020 and the second by 2025.
NUCLEAR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
The only university which offers a bachelor degree in the field of nuclear energy is the Budapest University of Technology and Economics/Budapesti Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem (BUTE). Its Institute of Nuclear Techniques offers a Nuclear Specialization in the 5 years Engineering Physics Program.
There is any university which offers a Master degree specialized in the nuclear field. However, the Eötvös Loránd University/Eötvos Loránd Tudományegyetem offers an Atomic and Molecular Physics Module and a Particle Physics Module within the Master Degree in Physics.
The University of Debrecen/Debreceni Egyetem offers these courses in its PhD School in Physics: Atomic and molecular physics, Nuclear Physics, Solid State Physics, Interdisciplinary applications, Particle Physics).
Finally, the Budapest University of Technology and Economics/Budapesti Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem (BUTE) offers several nuclear related subjects within the Bachelor and Master’s degrees, both in Physics and Energy Engineering.
Regarding nuclear training, the possibilities include: the Institute of Nuclear Techniques (BUTE), which offers a training course Continuing Education Program in Reactor Physics and Reactor Technology; the Institute of Isotopes/Üdvözöljük az MTA Izotópkutató Intézet Honlapján, which offers some lab practices for undergraduate chemist and physicist students; and several departments of the KFKI Atomic Energy Research Institute/KFKI Atomenergia Kutatóintézet and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics/Budapesti Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem, which organize nuclear training courses.