Sri Lanka greenlights nuclear power amidst global interest


Colombo, Dec.12 (Daily Mirror) - In the wake of the organisations from countries such as Russia, China, Denmark and the United States proposing to invest in nuclear energy, Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority (SLAEA) has given the green light for nuke power, an official said.

Russia which has already invested in nuclear power generation in Bangladesh and India in the region has shown a keener interest in putting up a plant in Sri Lanka. A high-level delegation from Russia which was in Sri Lanka recently discussed the proposed cooperation in the nuclear energy sector among others with the Sri Lankan authorities.

SLAEA Chairman Prof. S.R.D. Rosa told Daily Mirror that he briefed the delegation about the current status regarding the Russian proposal for the development of an offshore or an onshore nuclear power plant in Sri Lanka. He said his office had basically given its nod for nuclear power to increase Sri Lanka’s energy mix, and it had been sent to the Foreign Ministry for approval.

“We can implement this project only if the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) is signed between Sri Lanka and Russia. That is now pending,” he said.

Russia has offered assistance in terms of capacity building and training Sri Lankans in the field. According to the proposal, small modular reactors (SMRs) which are advanced nuclear reactors are to be installed in the event a policy decision is taken. However, the financing model of the project, which is likely to cost more than US $ 2 billion has not yet been discussed.

Asked about safety, Prof. Rosa said SMRs are inherently safe. He asserted that it is advisable for Sri Lanka to have nuclear power in its energy mix.

Commenting on proposals from other countries, he said a Chinese delegation also held talks with the SLAEA.

“We have received proposals from the companies in the United States and Denmark too,” he said.



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