Paper work for acquiring land at two sites in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat for American nuclear reactors has begun.
The development—an implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal — has taken place even as villagers in Ratnagiri refused to accept compensation for their land for the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant [an Indo-French venture] there.
The ground-breaking at Kovada in Andhra Pradesh and Mithi Virdi in Gujarat will begin 12 to 18 months from now, said S.K. Jain, managing director, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). “Adequate compensation will be given to owners of the land,” Jain said on the sidelines of a meet organised by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) on the commercial implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.
General Electric-Hitachi and Westinghouse have each been allotted a site to build nuclear power plants with a capacity of up to 10,000-megawatt as part of India’s goal of increasing its nuclear capacity. Both firms have signed cooperation agreements with Indian companies.
However, the Indo-US agreement over reprocessing fuel and finalisation of non-proliferation assurances before US firms can export nuclear technology to India is pending. “The agreement should happen in a week or two,” Ted Jones, USIBC director for policy advocacy, said.
Unfazed by the opposition to the Ratnagiri plant, Jain said negotiations with the villagers would continue. He added that there were similar oppositions to setting up a domestic site in Haryana. “It's a noisy democracy. I don't see major difficulties in this," he said.