The approval for the 10 plants, each of 700MW, was given by the Union Cabinet, chaired by prime minister Shri Narendra Modi.
India has current installed nuclear power capacity of 6,780MW from 22 operational plants. Another 6700 MWs of nuclear power is expected to come onstream by 2021-22 through projects presently under construction.
The project for the 10 plants is seen as giving a considerable boost to the economy, with likely orders of close to 70,000 crores (£8.4bn) placed with the domestic industry. The plants will be built in “fleet mode” to bring substantial economies of scale and maximise cost and time. The work is expected to generate more than 33,400 jobs in direct and indirect employment.
The prime minister’s office said that the approval marks a statement of strong belief in the capability of India’s scientific community to build its technological capacities. The statement said: “The design and development of this project is a testament to the rapid advances achieved by India’s nuclear scientific community and industry. It underscores the mastery our nuclear scientists have attained over all aspects of indigenous PHWR technology. India’s record of building and operating PHWR reactors over the last nearly forty years is globally acclaimed.”