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India says expects Westinghouse reactor deal in 2016

[NEW DELHI] India confirmed on Wednesday that it was on track to seal a deal in 2016 with Westinghouse Electric Co LLC to build six nuclear reactors, in a sign the country's US$150 billion nuclear power programme is getting off the ground.

India also said that it had a deal to build at least 12 other reactor units with Russian collaboration, and that the federal cabinet had approved a civil nuclear deal with Australia for fuel supply.

A senior government source had told Reuters earlier this month that the contract with Westinghouse, a unit of Toshiba Corp, to build the reactors in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat could be finalised in the first half of next year.

India plans to build roughly 60 reactors, which would make it the world's second-biggest nuclear energy market after China.

It wants to increase its nuclear capacity to 63,000 megawatts (MW) by 2032, from 5,780 MW, as part of a broader push to move away from fossil fuels, cut greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the dangerous effects of climate change.