Colombo: Sri Lanka on Monday expressed concern over possible impact of radiation from India's nuclear power plants located in the southern region, as it prepares to raise the issue with global atomic watchdog IAEA.
The official raising of concern with the International Atomic Energy is to be made in September, Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said.
"We respect the right of India to have nuclear power stations. But our concerns are on the possible radiation effects they could have on Sri Lanka. We have already written a letter," Ranawaka said.
Ranawaka said Sri Lanka's concerns stem from disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima. Sri Lanka would work towards achieving guarantees of safety.
Sri Lankan energy officials say at least three nuclear plants are located on the southern coast of Tamil Nadu which is separated from the island by a narrow strip of sea.
The minister said the IAEA had proposed that a mutual agreement on the matter should be reached between the two countries. "We have sent a proposal to India through the External Affairs Ministry and the Indians have sent back a note on the matter," he was quoted as saying by Colombo Page.
According to Ranawaka, the Indian government has sent a proposal to commence a broad based discussion while Sri Lanka wants only to discuss and reach an agreement on a disaster mitigating programme in the event of a nuclear disaster in the South Indian plants, the paper said. Sri Lanka has no nuclear power plants but is just 20 kilometres away from Indian mainland at the closest point.
Koodankulam nuclear plant in India's Southern coast is just 250 km from Sri Lanka's northwest coastal town of Mannar.
Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority does not possess adequate facilities to face a threat of nuclear accident.
First Published: Monday, April 09, 2012, 21:15