The Indian government is working with Westinghouse to develop a project proposal for the construction of a nuclear power plant at Kovvada, atomic energy minister Jitendra Singh has informed the country’s parliament.

The information was presented to India’s parliament, the Lok Sabha, yesterday in a written response.

Environmental impact assessment studies have been completed for Kovvada, but the terms of reference under which they were completed have now expired, Singh noted. Documents for the revalidation of the previously approved terms are therefore being submitted.

Singh confirmed that land acquisition, social impact assessment studies and site investigations, as well as the process of obtaining statutory clearances are underway.

Kovvada, in Andra Pradesh, had previously been earmarked for the development of six GE Hitachi ESBWR units. This was changed to Westinghouse AP1000s earlier this year after India’s Department of Atomic Energy said that it would not support the construction of any reactor which did not have a reference plant. No ESBWR has yet been built, but AP1000s are under construction in China and the USA, with the first unit expected to start up later this year.

Singh said that discussions have been held between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy on technical aspects of constructing nuclear power plants in India using GE Hitachi reactor technology.

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