Sri Lanka concerned over Indian nuclear plants

10:14, June 24, 2011      

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Sri Lanka is concerned over nuclear power plants in neighboring India and has decided to establish a body which will monitor any security concerns which may arise from the South Asian giant.

The Sri Lankan cabinet has approved the establishment of Atomic Energy Regulatory Council which will address the security concerns of radioactive sources and deal with radiation emergencies, the government said in a statement Thursday.

"Since Sri Lanka is in close proximity to the Nuclear Power Stations in South India, it has been found necessary to establish an independent regulatory arm in keeping with the advice given by the International Atomic Energy Agency," the statement said.

Sri Lanka and India are divided by just a narrow strip of sea known as the 'Palk Straits'and the recent nuclear disaster in Japan put Sri Lanka on alert over the threat the island may face if such a disaster occurred in South India.

"The Sri Lankan government is to replace the existing Atomic Energy Act in order to introduce nuclear power generation technology in Sri Lanka and to address the security concerns of radioactive sources," said the statement.

The Sri Lankan authorities said that approval will now be sought from government and opposition legislators to establish the Atomic Energy Regulatory Council.

Nuclear power is the fourth-largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources of electricity. As of 2010, India has 20 nuclear reactors in operation in six nuclear power plants. Following the Fukushima nuclear accidents, many are questioning the mass roll-out of new plants in India.

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