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Energy: geologist, fault near future nuclear NPP in Hungary

Study, "site should be deemed unsuitable"

11 June, 17:01
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, JUN 11 - Existing data suggest the possible existence of an active and capable fault in the vicinity of the area in Hungary where the nuclear power plant Paks II will be built and the occurrence of a permanent surface displacement in case of an earthquake cannot be excluded, according to Kurt Decker, a leading geologist from the University of Vienna.

"An active fault that underlies large parts" of the Paks II site and faults led to "permanent ground displacement in the past.

They did so 20,000 and 19,000 years ago and they will do it in the future, because faults are not switched off because somebody builds a construction on the top of it," Decker said during an online conference organized by the Joint Project - Nuclear Risk & Public Control.

Hungary is planning to expand the existing old Paks nuclear powerplant through two new Russian-made reactors, in a 12.5 billion euro project, backed by a 10 billion loan from Moscow. Decker, together with Esther Hintersberger, is the author of a recent report commissioned by the Environment Agency Austria.

The study claims that "paleoseismological data" confirm "the existence of capable faults in the site vicinity of Paks II" and that "the potential occurrence of a permanent surface displacement on the site cannot be reliably excluded by scientific evidences." "The Paks II site should therefore be deemed unsuitable," for the construction of a nuclear powerplant, the study claimed. "In spite of the evidence" of fault capability and "of the potential conflict with the requirement to reliably exclude the potential of occurrence of a permanent surface displacement by scientific evidence, the Hungarian Atomic Energy Agency (HAEA) granted the site license for the NPP Paks II on 30 June 2017," the report noted. (ANSA).

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