On Wednesday French nuclear giant Areva signed a preliminary deal to provide up to six new-generation reactors to India.
This is a greatly praised move for India as it will begin the ending its nuclear isolation and transforming the country into a responsible nuclear state.
The Paris-based company says the deal signed with Indian electric utility Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. paves the way for technical cooperation on at least two and as many as six of Areva's so-called EPRs, or Evolutionary Power Reactors, at the Jaitapur site in the western state of Maharashtra, the Associated Press reported.
The value of the deal has not been estimated.
At the Wednesday signing, Chairman of India's Atomic Energy; Anil Kakodkar said, This is just the beginning.
This is just the beginning, said Anil Kakodkar, Chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission.
Prithviraj Chavan, minister in the prime minister's office responsible for nuclear issues, said the deal marked the end of India's nuclear isolation and signaled its emergence as a responsible nuclear state.
The deal follows the conclusion of a landmark nuclear deal between the United States and India earlier this year, which opened the way for nuclear trade between India and other nations. Previously, India had faced a nuclear trade ban since its first atomic test in 1974 amid its refusal to sign international treaties designed to limit the illicit spread of such materials.
The deal with Areya has been the first commercial agreement since India received the green light from International Atomic Energy Agency last year.
India has also already signed deals with Russia to build new nuclear plants.