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* Sri Lanka expresses concern over India's nuclear plant
Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 08:00 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Oct 22, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government today expressed concern over a possible nuclear threat from the controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu in Southern India as it went into operation for the first time.

The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said it could not rule out the possibility of a threat to the island from the nuclear power plant which was connected to the grid on Tuesday after India's Supreme Court ruled that it was safe and secure to operate.

Research and Technology Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has said that due to the close proximity of the nuclear plant to Sri Lanka's Northern and North Western coastal areas, Sri Lanka cannot rule out a threat in the event of a disaster similar to the Fukushima incident in Japan.

The Kudankulam plant in the state of Tamil Nadu, just 250 km from Sri Lanka's northwest coastal town of Mannar, will produce 4.5 GW of power making it one of the world's largest nuclear plants.

According to the Minister, Sri Lanka had sought an agreement with India to share information on the power plant but so far India has not responded to that request.

Sri Lanka and India had held several rounds of discussions last year over Sri Lanka's concerns and India has assured that the power plant is a state-of-the-art plant that is compliant with the highest safety standards available in the nuclear industry and the safety measures instituted at the plant are of the highest order.

Earlier this year, Indian High Commission in Colombo dismissed reports of radiation leaks and critical equipment failure at the power plant as totally baseless.

However, Minister Ranawaka has told Xinhua that local authorities will continue to carry out tests to look for any radiation that may come from the Indian power plant.

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