Mumbai, Nov 28 (IANS) The government has cleared the construction of a nuclear power plant at Jaitapur in Ratnagiri district of coastal Maharashtra, which will be one of the biggest in the country, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh announced here Sunday.
Ramesh said the project, being constructed by a French consortium led by nuclear reactor maker Areva, has been given the environmental clearance by his ministry.
Two reactors with a capacity of 1,650 MW each have been planned in the first phase at the site, barely 200 km from the Tarapur Atomic Power Station near here.
Ramesh said the project would prove of great benefit to western Maharashtra.
The second phase of the project is likely to have six European pressurised reactors (EPRs), and the total estimated cost is around Rs.60,000 crore ($130 billion).
The first phase is expected to be completed within the next 3-4 years, and the rest will be completed by 2018.
This will be India's first large-capacity plant using imported equipment after a three-decade global nuclear trade ban was lifted a couple of years ago.
The green clearance follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Areva and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) in 2009, to build at least two EPR reactors at Jaitapur.
The MoU was signed by NPCIL Chairman-cum-Managing Director S.K. Jain and Areva Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon in the presence of Prithviraj Chavan, then union minister of state in the prime minister's office and now Maharashtra chief minister, French Minister of State for Foreign Trade Anne-Marie Idrac, Secretary to Department of Atomic Energy Anil Kakodkar, who was also secretary, Department of Atomic Energy.