The project, to be developed by Westinghouse and featuring six AP-1000 reactors, is now to be built in Andhra Pradesh rather than in Gujarat, as originally planned.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), which would operate the plants, has reportedly paid for 800 ha of land for the project in the eastern coastal Srikakulam region.
Ajay Jain, Andhra Pradesh energy secretary, told the Reuters news service that the land acquisition process had been stalled for over 10 years, but “now it’s coming to a conclusion”. He said construction work on the project could start in 2017.
The project represents the first concrete outcome of a nuclear deal agreed in 2005 between India and the US, which has since failed to yield business for US nuclear firms due to several key roadblocks.
India’s rules on liability, under which the costs involved with a nuclear accident are paid by the plant operator rather than the companies that built the plant or supplied the equipment, were a stumbling block for the US, but this issue has now reportedly been resolved.