Stress tests in Hungary

Summary of impressions concerning stress tests

May 2013

András Perger of Hungarian NGO EnergiaKlub summarizes their efforts and impressions on the transparency of the stress tests as follows (May. 2013):
"In terms of transparency, during the stress test process in Hungary, the regulatory authority (HAEA) and Paks NPP mostly focused on the content, and did not endeavour to achieve the highest level of public involvement during the process. NGOs and the interested public were not involved in the process, the communication of the process was mainly limited to press releases. To the question on the possibility of public workshops on stress tests, the HAEA answered that they had no capacity for organising such workshops. It should be mentioned, that the process was continued with limited public awareness in Hungary.
However, after the closure of the international stress test process, a public forum was organised in Budapest (May 2012), for introducing the entire stress test process and evaluating it.
The stress test reports (preliminary and final prepared by the NPP and the national reports prepared by the HAEA) were all made available through internet sites of the affected bodies, in Hungarian and English both. The authority, after being asked by the Energiaklub, made public the schedule of the upgrades that became necessary to be done by Paks due to the stress test, and also, its decree was also made available."

Dec. 2012

András Perger of Hungarian NGO EnergiaKlub summarizes their efforts and impressions on the transparency of the stress tests as follows (Dec. 2012):
“According to my impressions, the transparency of the stress test process in Hungary is not so bad, however, the regulatory authority (HAEA) and Paks do not endeavour to get the most out of it, in terms of achieving the highest publicity of it, not to mention the early involvement of NGOs and the public
To our last year's question on the possibility of public workshops on stress tests, the HAEA answered that they have no capacity for organising such workshops.
After the closure of the international stress test process, a public forum was organised in Budapest (May 2012), for introducing the entire stress test process and evaluating it.
Since then, I asked the HAEA to send me the planned schedule of Paks, that was ordered by the HAEA. The HAEA sent me the document. I also asked the opinion of the HAEA on it, they just answered that it was not ready, but as soon as will be ready they will send it."

Activities concerning stress tests

November 2013: Meeting at the headquarters of HAEA

On 21.11.2013, Andras Perger had a meeting at the headquarters of the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority HAEA with Gyula Fichtinger, the head of the authority.

Talking about stress tests Mr. Fichtinger said:

- public procurement could cause a problem in implementing the program, as there might be delays which can influence the stress test deadlines, but so far there are no delays
- the NPP should report every half a year on the achievements of the program
- so far the HAEA does not plan to accept any delay of the program, all the deadlines should be met (even the problmes that could be caused by the possible delays due to the public procurement)
- Andras Perger asked whether the publicity of the NPP's half yearly reports could be made public; he found the case interesting, and promised to think about it and on how commonly understandable reports could be prepared on the progress and achievements of the stress test

April 2013: Critical review on stress tests

The critical review on the stress tests (output of the last Joint Project, see download section "Stress Tests & Vulnerability Assessment - Recommendations and Experience of the Joint Project group") will be translated partly into Hungarian.

The study will be used to get media attention.

April 2013: Meeting with Paks management

On April 3rd, 2013, representatives from Energiaklub attended a meeting with the management of Paks NPP at Paks NPP.

Energieklub highlighted the importance of the transparency and mentioned several areas, where more information should be made public:

- the developments concerning the damaged fuel of the 2003 serious incident
- the implementation of the upgrades according to the stress test
- the lifetime extension of Paks NPP
- the planned new units (PAKS 5&6)

2012: Questions to regulator

Energiaklub asked the HAEA to send them the planned schedule of the Paks action plans, that was ordered by the HAEA. The HAEA sent the document. HAEA also mentioned that the action plans were not ready yet, but that they would send the document, as soon as it is ready.

2011: Questions to regulator

Within the Joint Project the progress on the stress tests is followed closely.

In this context Energiaklub asked the Hungarian nuclear regulator HAEA several questions concerning stress tests:

The HAEA attached a document on the requirements of the content of the tests.

1. Which new scenarios which were excluded until now but after Fukushima proved to be realistic, do you ask the operator to assess? Please give us data on the new demands concerning natural disasters (flooding, extreme cold, extreme heat, snow, ice, storms, tornados, heavy rain and other extreme natural conditions.

  • HAEA: There are answers in the attached document. Not the authority specifies the effects (their exacts scope) that are to be assessed, but the operator should determine these by detailed assessment. The authority underlined the importance of the assessment of the presumable combinations of the extreme environmental effects.

2. Aircraft crash: Will you demand a deterministic assessment of an aircraft crash? Which criteria will the plant have to prove to withstand?

  • HAEA: the assessment of an airplane-crash is not among the requirements, as it does not have a link to the Fukushima accident. The related requirements are in the Nuclear Safety Rules.

3. Will the seismic design basis be re-evaluated, which we consider crucial?

  • HAEA: The document does not require new assessment on the field, but the examination of some complex situation and the determination of the margins, both based on the existing assessment. For a new assessment on earthquakes that are beyond the design would require longer time that is available in the frame of the stress test. However, it is among the requirements that it is necessary to touch the issue: the defence against such event, deficiencies, and the possibly necessary further assessments.

4. How long is the plant able to control shut-down and cooling of the reactor and the spent fuel storage pool without external support if ultimate heat sink and power supply are not available due to external impact?

  • HAEA: the requirements are in the attached document, the text is more detailed than the question.

5. Which are the responsible authorities in our country to take care of the part “terrorist attacks”?

  • HAEA: on this field (security and nuclear) several more authorities are interested beyond HAEA’s “Department of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials” within its General Nuclear Directorate. Those are: National Police Headquarters, Counter-terrorism Centre, the Secret Service, the Military Security Office and the Military Intelligence Service (translations are approximate).


6. How will the public be informed about the conduct and the outcome of the tests?

  • HAEA: Public will be informed through the webpage of the HAEA. The preliminary and final reports will be available in Hungarian and in English both.

7. Will there be a seminar/workshop for NGO and independent experts while the stress tests are being conducted, e.g. in late August or September to discuss the results?

  • HAEA: organising such events is not planned, as those would not be efficient and would need too many resources, especially during the preparation of the test, the reports. But after the preparation of the final report, at the beginning of 2012, we can ask them to organise some event.

Reports of the nuclear regulator

The Hungarian national progress and final stress test report are available under: - reports

The comments of the Hungarian NGO Energiaklub (member of the Joint Project) from Oct. 2011 are available here (pdf, 19 KB).

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