A New Atomic Energy Bill To Be Introduced

The Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) is to be split into two new bodies according to a new Atomic Energy Bill to be introduced by the government. The new institutions will be named the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board and the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Regulatory Council. The Bill was presented by Minister of Technology and Research, Patali Champika Ranawaka.

Once the Bill is approved, the AEA's functions will be conducted by these two bodies. One of them will be responsible for research and the other tasked with implementing regulatory mechanisms. a spokesman for the Ministry of Technology and Research stated. The AEA's current staff will also be placed under these two bodies.

The Cabinet has approved the Bill to be referred to the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Legislation for its recommendations.

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. However, it has been observed that there is a need to incorporate several new provisions into the Law, according to the Government.

The new Bill provides provisions 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, the Government stated.

The Bill also specifically states that, in Sri Lanka, all nuclear activities shall be carried out exclusively for peaceful purposes. It prohibits the manufacture or acquisition of nuclear weapons or other explosive nuclear devices.

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