Europe

EU approves Hungary aid for nuclear plant

FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2007 file photo, International media representatives look at the recovered cleaning tank of shaft one of reactor block two of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, where disturbance in the cooling of fuel rods occurred in 2003, in Paks, some 90 kms south of Budapest, Hungary,   The European Union has cleared Hungary to build two nuclear reactors with Russian help after Budapest made commitments to safeguard competition in the energy sector. (Peter Kiss G./MTI via AP,file)

FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2007 file photo, International media representatives look at the recovered cleaning tank of shaft one of reactor block two of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, where disturbance in the cooling of fuel rods occurred in 2003, in Paks, some 90 kms south of Budapest, Hungary, The European Union has cleared Hungary to build two nuclear reactors with Russian help after Budapest made commitments to safeguard competition in the energy sector. (Peter Kiss G./MTI via AP,file)  (The Associated Press)

The European Union has cleared Hungary to provide state aid to build two nuclear reactors with Russian help after Budapest made commitments to safeguard competition in the energy sector.

The Hungarian deal for Russia to build the two additional reactors at the Paks nuclear plant, which was struck three years ago, had been held up because of the EU's regulatory demands.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said he hopes to start construction soon once approval is agreed upon.

EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that "the Hungarian government has made substantial commitments, which has allowed the Commission to approve the investment under EU state aid rules."