Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: India and France are likely to sign a contract, within two months, for setting up two 1650-MW nuclear plants in Maharashtra, diplomatic sources said.

The pact will give effect to an inter-governmental agreement and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and the French company, Areva.

The sources said quite a few steps were yet to be covered, but the discussions were on “smoothly.”

Unlike the U.S. which wanted a standalone facility, France had indicated that reprocessing could take place in India and if that was not adequate, it could be done on its soil. But the inter-governmental agreement is unlikely to be completed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Paris as chief guest of the French National Day celebration on July 14.