BRUSSELS, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) regulators gave the green light to Hungary's expansion of its nuclear power plant which involves Russian technology and finance, it was announced Monday.
Hungary's financial support for the construction of two new nuclear reactors in Paks (Paks II) was in line with the EU's state aid rules, said the European Commission which overseas the bloc's competition policy.
The EU executive arm's decision came three years after Hungary and Russia signed to construct the new reactors at an existing facility in Paks, which later stirred concerns and controversy in Brussels about Moscow's deepened influence in Europe.
The commission's approval was conditional, as it said in a statement, following that "the Hungarian government has made substantial commitment," including to avoid overcompensation of the operator of Paks II and market concentration, as well as to ensure market liquidity.
The new nuclear power plant in Paks, about 110 km south of Budapest along the Danube, would be Hungarian-owned and worth up to 12.5 billion euros, of which 10 billion euros would be loaned from the Russian participant and the rest from Hungary.
Under their agreement, the new reactors would remain operable for 60 to 80 years and the construction could begin in 2018. The first reactor should be able to go on line in 2025 and the second in 2026. (1 euro = 1.06 U.S. dollars)