Aug 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka is taking measures to introduce a new Atomic Energy Bill incorporating several new provisions as the technology and use of atomic energy have changed considerably since the introduction of government's current legislation on atomic energy 45 years ago.
The current law, which provides for the establishment of the Atomic Energy Authority and its powers and functions, is the Atomic Energy Authority Act No.16 of 1969.
Currently, the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) is the apex body on promotion of peaceful applications of nuclear technology contributing to socio-economic and environmental development in Sri Lanka.
Since 1969 the rules dealing with the use of Atomic Energy has changed considerably and the government has observed that there is a need to incorporate several new provisions into the Law.
A proposed new Bill will provide for all matters that are necessary to be done for the beneficial and peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology in health, industry, environment and agriculture for national development including the protection of individuals, society and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation and radiation sources.
Also, it specifically states that, in Sri Lanka, all nuclear activities shall be carried out exclusively for peaceful purposes and prohibits the manufacture or acquisition of nuclear weapons or other explosive nuclear devices.
The Bill will also provide for the establishment of two new bodies, namely, the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board and the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Regulatory Council.
The new legislation is put forward by the Minister of Technology and Research Patali Champika Ranawaka.
The Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval for the Bill and it will initially be referred to the Cabinet Subcommittee on Legislation for its recommendations.