I was pleased to read that detection devices for nuclear hazards are to be set up in Sri Lanka, even if it was from a foreign publication. I have been one of the few to point out that Sri Lanka lives in the shadow of nuclear reactors, while getting none of the benefits. This announcement indicates that someone in authority is paying attention.
Following the request of AEA, International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) decided to help Sri Lanka set up seven early warning detectors and provide equipment worth 72,000 Euros, said Warnakulasuriya.
“With nuclear leakage at Fukushima in Japan last year the region felt the need for nuclear disaster warning systems. Unfortunately at that time we did not have the facility for radiation detection,” said Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka.
The detectors are to be set up in naval bases in capital Colombo in Western Province, Kalpitiya in North Western Province, Thalaimannar and Delft islet in the Northern Province, Trincomalee in the Eastern Province and in the inland city of Kandy in Central Province.
A few questions remain. That Kalpakkam and Kundankulam (when it comes on stream) are the sources of harmful radiation in the event of a mishap at a plant are well known. So the location of detection devices on the West and North West coasts makes sense. Though of course it would better to have tight integration with Indian systems. Trinco is a port. I suppose nuclear material could be brought in ships, so it makes sense to have detectors there. But using that logic, one could also argue for Hambantota Port as a site, unless one is pessimistic about its prospects.
Why Kandy, in the middle of the country?
And most importantly, what does one do when once the radiation cloud has been detected?