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India to start building eight nuclear reactors by 2012

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NEW DELHI, August 16 (RIA Novosti) - India will start building eight heavy-water nuclear reactors with a power of 700 MW each by 2012, the prime minister's office said Thursday.

India is suffering from acute power shortages and is currently unable to meet the needs of its rapidly expanding economy. As it does not have any substantial hydrocarbon reserves, the country has opted for nuclear power as an alternative source.

The total power of the new reactors will be 5,600 MW, or more than double the amount produced by the already installed reactors.

The reactors will be placed in pairs in Kakrapar (Gujarat) in the west of the country, and in Rawatbhata (Rajasthan) in the north, next to already operating nuclear power plants.

India is also working on five nuclear energy generating projects, which will raise its total nuclear capacity by another 3,580 MW.

India, which is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, signed a deal with the United States in July on cooperation in the nuclear sector, which will enable it to buy modern light-water reactors and nuclear fuel abroad.

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