Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority to Become “Independent”Reading Time: < 1 minutes
According to a new draft law, Hungary’s Atomic Energy Authority – also responsible for the Paks 2 nuclear power plant investment – will no longer be under direct government control starting in 2022. Government politicians argued that the European Commission had long demanded the “independence” of the Authority, but critics are suspicious as it was also announced that the government would soon appoint a director-general of the body with a 9-year term, meaning any future government would not have the possibility to remove him or her.
The move regarding the nuclear power plant is seen as being in line with the government’s latest trend of privatizing universities and naming government loyalists with life-long mandates to run them. The Authority’s director-general, Gyula Fichtinger, resigned unexpectedly at end of April. Meanwhile, Paks 2 construction is seeing major delays, and the government recently had to renegotiate its loan with Russia, with repayment terms pushed further out, to 2031, when the reactor units are expected to be operational.