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Minister calls for Indo-Lanka nuclear safety pact

Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka on Monday stressed the importance of India and Sri Lanka entering into a nuclear safety pact in keeping with International Atomic Energy Agency regulations.

Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka

Ranawaka said this addressing a press briefing at Power and Energy Ministry. The briefing was held sequel to the first round of talks held between Sri Lanka and India on comprehensive nuclear co-operation in New Delhi. He also said his Ministry has placed action to position Sri Lanka's Atomic Energy Authority as one of the most competitive institutions in the international sphere by 2015.

Ranawaka said the first round of Sri Lanka -India nuke talks ended with both parties agreeing to work on a nuclear safety programme. The talks were held between representatives from Sri Lanka's Atomic Energy Authority and Power and Energy Ministry and representatives from India's Atomic Energy Department and External Affairs Ministry Joint Secretary Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

He also indicated the possibility of Sri Lanka and India entering into a bilateral agreement on civil nuclear co-operation in terms of mutual nuclear safety of the two countries over the commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, India.

Minister Ranawaka said he had apprised the Indian government of the need to enter into a proper bilateral agreement for peaceful use of nuclear power in keeping with the guidelines and regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Ranawaka said he made Delhi aware about this about a year ago. Speaking on Sri Lanka's nuclear safety concerns, Ranawaka said, "Sri Lanka has a plan to strengthen its security, nuclear security is a part of that plan."

The country has set up radiation detecting and monitoring devices in seven strategic locations in the sea and land that can measure the emissions of nuclear radiation. They can detect emissions of nuclear radiations from nuclear plants , such as, India's Kudakkulam or the Kalpakkam nuclear plants, he explained Steps will be taken in the future to improve nuclear safety of Sri Lanka.

A separate committee will be appointed to look into matters relating to nuclear safety of the country, he said.

 

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