Sri Lanka considers Russian SMR

21 June 2023

Rosatom and Sri Lanka have agreed to build a nuclear power plant with a capacity of up to 300 MWe, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the Russian Federation Janita Liyanage told RIA Novosti on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

"There is a proposal, there is also approval from the authorities of Sri Lanka, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is also working on this issue,” she said. “They have organised several working groups on this topic. Rosatom has also launched four working groups in different areas. We are moving towards the construction of a nuclear power plant, but there is still a discussion about whether it will be a floating power plant or a land-based power plant.”

She added that now Sri Lanka, with the help of Rosatom, will begin to train specialists in the nuclear field. "The IAEA also supports us in this matter, and the authorities of Sri Lanka. This is the only way to resolve the fuel crisis in the country, we understand this and are moving very quickly on this issue, construction will be launched in the near future," she stressed.

"We are considering different options, it is possible that its capacity will be 300 MWe,” she noted. “This is enough to generate electricity in addition to the energy that is on the island now, but there are other options. This is the most likely option that we are discussing now for Sri Lanka, and the most suitable."

Sri Lanka plans to build its first nuclear power plant with Russian technical support by 2032, news portal Ada Derana reported, citing the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board (SLARB). “If all goes according to plan, the first NPP could be built on the island with technical support from Russia by 2032,” the Board said at a meeting of the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee for Energy & Transport.

Earlier, SLARB Chairman SRD Rosa told Sri Lankan newspaper Daily Mirror that the country plans to have either off-shore or on–shore small modular reactors (SMRs) with a power capacity of up to 100 MWe per unit. The newspaper quoted Rosa as saying: "The government has sought to implement the project in collaboration with the Russian government. The required technology will be provided by them, and they had also agreed to take back the nuclear waste. The Russian government has the technology to reprocess the nuclear waste."

Image: Janita Liyanage, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Russia (courtesy of RIA Novosti)

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