Lanka not opposed to Indian nuclear power

Sri Lanka on Monday insisted it does not oppose the construction of nuclear power plants in India and was only taking measures to protect Sri Lanka from any radiation.

Chairman of the Sri Lankan Atomic Energy Authority Dr. Ranjith Wijayawardana, in a statement, said that Sri Lanka has merely been discussing with India the safety measures to be taken in the event of a nuclear disaster.

The Indian media had reported last week that Sri Lanka had raised concerns over Indian nuclear energy sites particularly after India had voted against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council recently.

Wijayawardana rubbished those claims and said that such faulty information could raise tensions between the two neighbors.

India on Sunday said one of its nuclear power sites at Kundankulam was almost complete and ready to provide electricity to the national grid.

Wijayawardana said that Sri Lanka fully understands the need of utilizing nuclear energy for electricity generation and India has every right to use nuclear technology in meeting the requirements of electrical energy.

“Sri Lankan Government has neither opposed nor registered their protest for any Nuclear Power Plant on Indian soil,” he said.

However he said the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority has a mandate to protect people and the environment of Sri Lanka from unwanted effects of ionizing radiation.

“It is the responsibility of the Government of Sri Lanka through the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority to plan a Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program. Such a program was drafted with the help of the Disaster Management Centre,” he said.

Wijayawardana said that the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA)  has offered to establish an early warning detector system and the equipment would be delivered according to the IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation.

“As there are power plants in India close to our country, the only possible thing we can do is to make a bilateral agreement with India under the provisions of these conventions to exchange of information of status of their power plants and emergency plans and to obtain assistance in case of a nuclear accident in India,” Wijeywardana added.