Nuclear Power.
Posted on March 8th, 2023

Sugath Kulatunga

In a recent media article with the title’ Govt’s amazing death wish for nuclear plant on Lankan soil’ was typical of selective reporting. It would have been fair by the reading public if the scales of the Chernobyl plant and the proposed Sri Lanka plant were indicated. Chernobyl was of 720 MW capacity. I understand that the proposed units in Sri Lanka would be only of 100 MW. It is noted that the present nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers have 194 MW power units. To complete the picture the information on the current status of our neighbor India could be of relevance.

India currently has 22 operational nuclear reactors in 7 nuclear power plants with an installed capacity of 6780 MW and plans to build more nuclear power plants to increase the production of clean energy. The government has approved five new sites for nuclear power plants to build 10 700-MW pressurized heavy water reactors.

The major nuclear disasters were Fukushima in (2011) and Chernobyl disaster (1986), Since then technology and safety measures have vastly improved. It has been estimated that over a 25 year period in an average town of 150,000 people number of deaths by energy source due to pollution would be as follows:

  • Coal: 25 people would die prematurely every year;
  • Oil: 18 people would die prematurely every year;
  • Gas: 3 people would die prematurely every year;
  • Nuclear: In an average year nobody would die – only every 33 years would someone die.

Let there be a proper cost benefit and risk analysis before rejecting any proposal. There is no need to create a bias.

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