Sri Lanka Eyes Nuclear Energy to Diversify Energy Mix by 2030
Sri Lanka, a country heavily reliant on energy imports, has set its sights on sourcing 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, aiming to alleviate its economic strain.
A recent media report highlighted Russia’s prominent position as a top contender in the bid to construct nuclear power plants in Sri Lanka. Notably, a high-level delegation from Russia engaged in discussions with Sri Lankan authorities, exploring potential collaboration within the nuclear energy sector.
Chairman of the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority (SLAEA), Prof. S.R.D. Rosa, shared insights with the Russian delegation, outlining the status of Moscow’s proposal to establish nuclear power facilities. While the SLAEA has provisionally approved nuclear power to bolster Sri Lanka’s energy landscape, the initiative awaits final authorization through the signing of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the two nations.
Several countries, including the US, Denmark, and China, have shown interest in investing in Sri Lanka’s nuclear power ventures following the SLAEA’s endorsement.
Russia’s strong candidacy is underlined by its track record in constructing nuclear power plants across South Asian nations, demonstrating expertise and efficiency in Bangladesh, China, and India. Moreover, a recent memorandum with Burkina Faso in West Africa solidifies Russia’s global standing in nuclear power plant construction.
Sergey Pikin, Director of the Energy Development Fund, emphasized Russia’s capability in offering technological support, construction assistance, financial aid, and overall guidance, underscoring it as an ideal partner for Sri Lanka’s nuclear ambitions.
The move toward nuclear energy aligns with Sri Lanka’s strategy to diversify its energy portfolio, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, which accounted for a substantial portion of its electricity generation in 2020. The country’s long-term energy plans foresee integrating nuclear power starting from 2030, as part of an effort to secure its energy future.
A significant step in assessing Sri Lanka’s readiness for a nuclear power program was marked in 2022 when a team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducted a comprehensive review. This evaluation, conducted under the IAEA’s Milestones Approach, aimed to gauge Sri Lanka’s preparedness in adopting nuclear energy, signaling the country’s evolving energy landscape