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UPDATE 1-Rosatom's Paks nuclear project in Hungary delayed

* Hungary blames delay on EU regulatory hurdles

* Rosatom reactors to be delayed a year to 2026-27

* Rosatom's Finland project also delayed (Adds detail, Rosatom competitors)

BUDAPEST, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Russian company Rosatom's 12.5 billion euro ($14.7 billion) project to build two nuclear reactors in Hungary has been delayed by at least a year, Hungarian authorities said.

Hungarian minister Janos Suli told a conference on Thursday the Paks nuclear project would be delayed by 22 months because of European Union regulatory hurdles but that the government was working to shorten the delay.

A government official on Friday confirmed his comments, which were reported on state news agency MTI.

Suli said the two Russian VVER 1200 reactors could come online in 2026 and 2027 respectively, a year later than outlined in a 2015 government presentation.

He also said that Rosatom still plans to start work on the site's auxiliary buildings in early 2018 and that, once permits are secured, construction of the reactors could start in 2020.

Suli said the application for the construction permit -- originally scheduled for end-2017 -- will be submitted mid-2018 and that approval could take up to 15 months.

Greenpeace antinuclear activist Andras Perger said that EU regulatory controls should have been anticipated and were not responsible for Rosatom's delay in submitting the construction permit.

"If the Russians are not responsible for the delay then they will not pay any penalties," Perger said.

He added that Rosatom has so many projects at home and abroad that it struggles to serve them all concurrently.

A Rosatom representative was not immediately available for comment.

An industry executive said that as Rosatom speeds up its Turkish nuclear project, it may let the timing of others slide.

Rosatom said last month that it aims to start work on its Turkeish Akkuyu project by the end of March.

Industry sources say that Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan is eager for construction to start on the country's first nuclear plant, while Hungary's existing plants can operate for many more years.

The Paks site already has four Russian-built reactors that account for about a third of Hungary's power consumption and will be retired between 2023 and 2037.

Finnish-Russian group Fennovoima last month said that the license to build a Rosatom reactor in Hanhikivi was likely to take a year longer than expected as design work by supplier and co-owner Rosatom had been slower than expected.

The financial difficulties of rivals Westinghouse and Areva have created opportunities for Rosatom, but China's CGN and South Korea's Kepco have are also competing for business. ($1 = 0.8529 euros) (Reporting by Marton Dunai in Budapest and Geert De Clercq in Paris; Editing by David Goodman)