English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Sri Lanka taps Russia, completes paperwork to set up its first nuclear power plant

Representational photo of a nuclear plant in India (Photo: Twitter)

The Sri Lankan cabinet has signed international conventions related to generating nuclear power, looking forward to strengthening its renewable energy sources in the future.

Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board (SLARB) Chairman Professor SRD Rosa told Sri Lankan newspaper Daily Mirror that the country plans to have either off-shore or on–shore Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) that have a power capacity of up to 100 MW per unit. With the use of nuclear power generators, the country plans to minimise the use of fossil fuels.

The newspaper quoted Rosa as saying: “The government has sought to implement the project in collaboration with the Russian government. The required technology will be provided by them, and they had also agreed to take back the nuclear waste. The Russian government has the technology to reprocess the nuclear waste”.

Cabinet spokesman and minister Bandula Gunawardana said that Sri Lanka is seeking to increase and also diversify power generation. He said that the government is looking at nuclear power as a low-carbon option as the country aims to achieve carbon neutrality in the power sector by 2050.

Sri Lanka has chosen Russia as the provider for the nuclear plant as Russia is a leader in nuclear power technology and also dominates the supply chains for nuclear energy. Separately, Colombo had submitted a self-evaluation report to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2022 which asked it to establish an independent regulatory body and further develop relevant human resources.

Russia is building Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant – Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (R-NPP) in November 2017. The R-NPP is located on the bank of the Ganga river about 160 km from capital Dhaka. With its first nuclear plant, Dhaka hopes to reduce its dependence on coal and other fossil fuels.

Significantly, India too is a stakeholder in the R-NPP making the project the first Indo-Russian nuclear project outside India.

The country is currently scouting for land for establishing the nuclear plant. A nuclear plant is on the priority list for the island nation as it hopes to tide over power shortages and outages.

Also read: Russia gears up to build mini nuclear power plants in Sri Lanka