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India to build 10 domestic nuclear power reactors

[NEW DELHI] India on Wednesday said it will develop 10 domestically-built heavy water reactors to increase its nuclear power capacity, as it looks to ramp up clean energy generation.

The federal cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the plan to built the pressurised heavy water reactors with a combined capacity of 7,000 megawatts, more than double the country's current atomic power generation of 6,780 megawatts.

"A total of 7,000 MW capacity will be added. It will help produce clean energy," power minister Piyush Goyal said at a media briefing.

The planned nuclear units will generate business worth 700 billion rupees (S$15.25 billion) and create more than 33,000 jobs, the government said.

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However it did not specify where these units will be built or how long they will take to become operational.

The homegrown reactors will be built under the ambitious 'Make in India' initiative, with the government saying it will boost India's nuclear manufacturing capability.

India currently operates seven nuclear plants, mostly of Russian and US origin.

Overall it is the world's third largest electricity producer and fourth largest consumer, with an installed capacity of 329 gigawatts, 67 per cent of which comes from non-renewable sources like coal.

The country is setting up new goals to increase its renewable power generation including a plan to add 100,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022.