Sri Lanka starts nuclear power study, talks with Russia

Sept 28, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has begun a study to build a nuclear power plant to meet growing electricity demand and is in talks with Russia and other countries to get technology and training, an official said. “We’re considering nuclear power as an option in our long-term generation plan for 2025,” power and energy minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told a news conference.

“Our aim is to diversify our sources of energy for generation requirements. We will use nuclear power only if other sources are not viable.”

Electricity demand in the island has grown by eight percent in the past six months and will double at the current rate by 2018, he said.

The island’s economic growth has begun to accelerate following the end of its 30-year ethnic war in May 2009.

“There’s no danger of power cuts at the moment and in the immediate future but we need to prepare now itself to ensure there are no power cuts after 2020,” Ranawaka said. “Building a nuclear power plant will take about 15 years.”

A pre-feasibility study that has begun will take about six months after which a feasibility study will be done to decide from which country Sri Lanka get assistance and where to build the power plant.