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Sri Lanka gets ready to face any eventuality of nuclear radiation in the region

By: Staff Writer

February 25, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka is ready to face energy ionizing and thermal radiation as result of nuclear weapon attack in the region, officials of the atomic energy board claimed adding that they were equipped with well trained human resources and modern equipment to handle such an eventuality.

Nuclear weapon attack and shockwave consist of 50% of total energy thermal radiation: 35% of total energy. Ionizing radiation: 5% of total energy (more in a neutron bomb) residual radiation: 5–10% of total energy with the mass of the explosion, they explained.

The atomic energy board officials disclosed these details when they attended the sectoral oversight committee on Energy and Transport met at parliamentary committee recently.  

Meanwhile the committee appointed to look into forming the laws and regulations necessary for Sri Lanka to commence nuclear power generation projects is expected to complete that process by June this year (2024).

This was stated by the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board (SLAEB) Chairman Prof. S.R.D. Rosa, who serves as a member of the said committee.

He noted that the committee in question has taken into account the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks in place in the international context.

“If Sri Lanka is going for nuclear power generation, we first have to amend the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Act, No. 40 of 2014, he said.

It currently provides for the non-power application of atomic energy,” he explained, referring to the Act which allows for the utilisation of radioactive materials and ionising radiation “for medical, environmental, agricultural, industrial, and other peaceful purposes, and for scientific and technological advancement, as may be required for national development.”

Prof. Rosa noted that the committee looks into the legal and regulatory frameworks of countries including Pakistan, and that the committee’s aim is to form laws and regulations that suit Sri Lanka.

The committee includes experts and officials representing a number of institutions including the SLAEB, the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Regulatory Council (SLAERC), the Legal Draftsman’s Department, and the Attorney General’s Department, which, according to Prof. Rosa, commenced work several months ago under the leadership of Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Sobhitha Rajakaruna.

A letter shared by the SLAERC Chairman Saminda Jayasekara on LinkedIn showed that the committee, which is tasked with recommending amendments or a replacement for the said Act, includes members from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Ceylon Electricity Board, and the Power and Energy Ministry, in addition to independent experts.

Sri Lanka is looking into creating a suitable legal and regulatory environment for nuclear power generation in the backdrop of proposals and discussions regarding the construction of an onshore or offshore nuclear power plant with Russia’s support as a solution to the increasing energy demand.

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