India / Sri Lanka: Talks on an Agreement to Strengthen Nuclear Cooperation
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(Oct 16, 2012) On October 12, 2012, in New Delhi, India and Sri Lanka began talks on enhancing their cooperation in the field of civil nuclear technology. The two nations agreed to work for the peaceful use of nuclear power, to improve the lives of their citizens. The discussions covered the concerns expressed by Sri Lanka about the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, in Tamil Nadu, India, across the Gulf of Mannar from Sri Lanka. India has said that the plant complies with the highest safety standards. Other aspects of cooperation covered include training of officials, nuclear safety, and handling of nuclear accidents. (Sri Lanka, India Agree to Strengthen Nuclear Cooperation, COLOMBOPAGE (Oct. 12, 2012).)
The meetings were held between Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Joint Secretary in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, together with representatives of that country's Department of Atomic Energy, and Sri Lanka's I. Ansar, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, accompanied by members of the Sri Lankan Atomic Energy Authority and the Ministry of Power and Energy. There will be a second meeting in the first six months of 2013, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The goal of the series of talks is a comprehensive Agreement on Bilateral Civil Nuclear Cooperation. (Id.)
Sri Lanka also plans to go forward with its own nuclear disaster relief plan. Champika Ranawaka, the country's Minister of Power and Energy, has said that preparations will continue regardless of any agreement worked out with India. He stressed the need to have measures in place to handle any nuclear accident or radiological emergency. (Sri Lanka to Institute a Nuclear Disaster Management Action Plan, COLOMBOPAGE (Oct. 15, 2012).)
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Last updated: 10/16/2012