CEB includes nuclear power in generation plan

Sept 14, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board has included a 600 megawatt nuclear power plant as an option for power generation from 2030 onwards, in its long-term generation plan, now open for public discussion.

“From a technical point of view, the capacity of the present system is considerably small to accommodate a nuclear power plant of typical size,” the report said.

“However, cabinet approval has been given to consider nuclear as an option to meet the future energy demand and also to consider nuclear power in the generation planning exercise and to carry out a pre-feasibility study on the Nuclear Option,” it said.

A project proposal has been forwarded to IAEA requesting technical assistance for energy planning and human resource development in nuclear power engineering, the CEB noted.

Sri Lanka and India also signed a MOU in 2010 to conduct a feasibility study for the interconnection of the electricity grids of the two countries.

This feasibility, by CEB and Power Grid Corporation Indian Limited, is yet to be completed for an envisaged 1,000 megawatt HVDC interconnection.

“In 2002, NEXANT with the assistance of USAID carried out the Pre-feasibility for Electricity Grid Interconnection. In 2006, POWERGRID, India reviewed and updated the study with USAID assistance,” the report said.

A 130 kilometer 400kV HVDC overhead line from Madurai to the Indian sea coast, followed by a 120 kilometer 400kV under-sea cable from the Indian sea coast to Sri Lanka and a 110 kilometer overhead line of 400kV from the Sri Lankan coast to Anuradhapura has been considered as the best option for the line.

India has 21 nuclear power reactors with four in Karnataka and three in Tamil Nadu, and two more nuclear power plants are under construction in Tamil Nadu to add to India’s national grid. These power plants will likely allow India to share excess power capacity with Sri Lanka via the interconnection line.