Paks moneymaker

Orbán blocked the idea that could have pushed out Russia from Hungary’s nuclear plant expansion

Last year, there were talks in government circles about starting building a third nuclear power plant with the French, which could have led to the insignificance of the Russian-built Paks II. Direkt36 learned new details about the Orbán government’s big power maneuvers in nuclear issues.

Inside the surprise change at the top of Hungary’s nuclear plant

At the beginning of the year, the head of the nuclear power plant was unexpectedly dismissed because his position was needed for a politically well-established person, according to Direkt36. While Paks is about to take on a major task, the new head has no nuclear energy experience.

Former powerful CEO of Hungarian state companies, convicted for economic crimes, invited to government meetings

The former head of the Hungarian nuclear power plant in the city of Paks and the state energy company was sentenced in 2019 to five years of imprisonment for economic crimes. Despite his conviction, he appeared at closed-door meetings organized by the minister in charge of energy, according to Direkt36.

While former Fidesz politician rents properties to Rosatom, his son is paid for cleaning toilets

The company of Sándor Kovács signed contracts with the Russians building the Paks II nuclear power plant in the amount of almost 3 million euros. Direkt36’s report shows that recently his son has also been contracted by them.

Sinking ground on the Paks II nuclear power plant site could further delay the project

The Hungarian authority assessing the plans of Russian Rosatom will have to make a decision whether safe construction above a fault line which is vulnerable to earthquakes is possible.

Inside the internal government conflict over the permit for the controversial Paks 2 nuclear power plant

Direkt36 learned that the construction permit for the Paks 2 nuclear power plant caused a conflict between two government members, László Palkovics and János Süli. Süli wanted the long-awaited green light for the project, but due to serious problems in the Russian plans identified by Palkovics’s team the government decided not to issue the permit.

Former Fidesz politician signs lucrative property rental contract with Russians building Paks 2

The license permit for the Paks 2 power plant expansion is still delayed but project implementer Rosatom continues to publish new related tenders. According to Direkt36 research former local Fidesz president in the town where the project is located is one of the beneficiaries.

Inside the conflicts surrounding the construction of Hungary’s new nuclear plant

The state authority overseeing the Paks expansion has serious concerns about the Russian construction company’s plans, which are to be approved within a few days. Direkt36’s investigation has found that political pressure on the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority grows as the government is unhappy with the authority’s process.

State Secretary who disagreed with a Hungarian cabinet member over Paks nuclear power plant targeted by Pegasus spyware

Attila Aszódi became a target shortly before his dismissal in 2019 at a time when he had several conflicts with the Hungarian cabinet member supervising Paks 2. The State Secretary disagreed with the measures that would have benefitted the Russian party building the new nuclear power plant and would have changed the original timetable of the project.

Nuclear power plant Paks 2 rescheduled to favor the Russians

After two years of negotiations, the Hungarian government adopted during the epidemic an important legal modification related to the Paks nuclear expansion. From now on, the position of the Russians will be stronger and the Hungarian state will bear higher risks.