India has decided to build the country’s first nuclear power reactor, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has said, after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other key officials.
Modi is seeking to revive the nation’s nuclear power industry after years of decline, but the decision to build a new reactor is unlikely to be easy.
India has a backlog of about 8,400 reactors, which are in a state of delayed decommissioning, and is now waiting for approval from the World Nuclear Association, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the European Union, China, Japan and South Korea.
Modis administration has been trying to build new reactors since it took office in 2014, but many of the reactors are aging and are not operational.
The commission has said it will work with local stakeholders to make sure that the new reactor will be built safely and in a way that it will provide a stable source of power.
The reactor is expected to start operating in 2020 and will cost around Rs 2,000 crore ($1.3 billion).
India will have the capability to build up to five reactors, with the capacity to provide up to 50 gigawatts of power each.
The nuclear power market is expected by the AEC to grow from $1.5 billion ($2.3 trillion) to $3.5 trillion by 2040.