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'Homegrown' power plan will boost Indian nuclear industry

Shift to local reactors reflects disappointment with implementation of US deal

| Japan
The Kudankulam nuclear power plant seen from a beach in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu   © Reuters

The Indian government recently approved the construction of 10 commercial nuclear power reactors of indigenous design, initiating the largest building program in the world since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. The global nuclear power industry is still reeling from the Fukushima impact. Just three of Japan's 42 reactors are currently operating, while France -- the poster child for nuclear power -- plans to cut its reliance on atomic energy significantly.

New nuclear power has become increasingly uneconomical in the West, in part because of rapidly spiraling plant-construction costs, prompting the United States and France to push reactor exports aggressively, including to "nuclear newcomers" such as the cash-laden oil and gas sheikhdoms of the Arabian peninsula. Still, the bulk of the new reactors under construction or planned worldwide are located in just four countries -- China, Russia, South Korea and India.

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