8 Jun (NucNet): US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that engineering and design work will begin on a site in India for Westinghouse Electric Company to build six Generation III+ AP1000 pressurised water reactors in a deal that’s expected to be signed by next June. The contract is the first under a US-India civil nuclear accord reached in 2008, John Morton, White House senior director for energy and climate change, said. The project is still arranging financing, with the support of the US Export-Import Bank, Mr Obama and Mr Modi said. “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. “Once completed, the project would be among the largest of its kind.” 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 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. However, Bloomberg reported today that the site for the new station would be Gujarat. President Obama also welcomed India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and said India is ready for membership. The US called on NSG participating governments to support India’s application when it comes up at the NSG plenary in Vienna later this month.