SL approves nuclear power amidst growing global demand
Colombo (LNW): In light of international entities from nations like Russia, China, Denmark, and the United States expressing interest in investing in nuclear energy, the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority (SLAEA) has granted approval for nuclear power, as stated by an official source.
Russia, having previously invested in nuclear power ventures in Bangladesh and India, is now demonstrating a heightened interest in establishing a nuclear plant in Sri Lanka.
A recent visit by a prominent Russian delegation to Sri Lanka involved discussions with local authorities, focusing on potential cooperation in the nuclear energy sector, among other matters.
According to Daily Mirror, SLAEA Chairman Prof. S.R.D. Rosa briefed the Russian delegation on the current status of the proposed nuclear power plant development in Sri Lanka, whether offshore or onshore. The SLAEA has given its preliminary approval for the project to enhance Sri Lanka’s energy diversity, pending approval from the Foreign Ministry, the Daily Mirror report said.
The successful implementation of the project depends on the signing of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Sri Lanka and Russia, which is currently pending. Russia has offered support for capacity building and training for Sri Lankan professionals in the field.
The proposal suggests the installation of small modular reactors (SMRs), advanced nuclear reactors, pending a policy decision. However, discussions regarding the financing model for the project, estimated to exceed US $2 billion, are yet to take place.
Addressing safety concerns, Rosa emphasised the inherent safety of SMRs, stating that incorporating nuclear power into Sri Lanka’s energy mix is advisable. Regarding proposals from other countries, he mentioned that talks were held with a Chinese delegation, and proposals from companies in the United States and Denmark have also been received.