US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have announced that engineering and design work will begin on a site in India for Westinghouse Electric Company (part of Japan's Toshiba) to build six Generation III+ AP1000 pressurised water reactors. The deal is expected to be signed within a year, and would be the first contract under the US-India civil nuclear accord reached in 2008. The project is still arranging financing, with the support of the US Export-Import Bank. "Culminating a decade of partnership on civil nuclear issues, the leaders welcomed the start of preparatory work on-site in India for six AP 1000 reactors to be built by Westinghouse and noted the intention of India and the US Export-Import Bank to work together toward a competitive financing package for the project," the White House said in a statement.
The White House said both sides welcomed an announcement by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and Westinghouse that engineering and site design work will begin immediately and the two sides will work toward finalising the contractual arrangements by June 2017. The statement did not mention a specific site for the project and Westinghouse has not yet made any official comment. Media reports earlier this month said Westinghouse might agree to change the location for the project with the reactors to be built in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh because the planned site in Gujarat, northern India, faced local opposition. Westinghouse confirmed this to NucNet on 13 June.
Japan's The Nikkei reported that the deal had given Toshiba "a ray of hope" following an accounting scandal and major restructuring including sell, off, staff reductions and management changes. The rehabilitation road map Toshiba unveiled in March envisions increased orders of cutting-edge reactors driving the growth of the nuclear business. The company is building eight reactors in the US and China. Toshiba aims for this segment to generate JPY1,020bn ($9.53bn) in sales in the fiscal year ending in March 2018, a roughly 40% bounce from fiscal 2015. The company seeks nearly 40 new orders by fiscal 2030. The company booked about JPY250bn in impairment losses for the nuclear power business in fiscal 2015.