...The country operates 20 mostly small reactors at six sites with a capacity of 4,780 MW, or 2 per cent of its total power capacity, according to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). New Delhi hopes to lift its nuclear capacity to 63,000 MW by 2032 by adding nearly 30 reactors.
That could prove tricky. In a further sign of trouble, protests erupted last year at the site of a proposed plant in Jaitapur, in the western state of Maharashtra, which were also stoked by fears of a Fukushima-style disaster.
Moreover, US firms have been unable to capitalise on a landmark nuclear energy deal signed between Singh's government and Washington in 2008 that pulled India out of years of diplomatic isolation over its atomic programme following nuclear weapons tests in 1974 and 1998.
Firms such as GE have felt hamstrung by liability laws that oblige firms rather than the Indian state to pay for the damage from an industrial accident, forcing them to wait in the wings.
"We are open to participating ... but we want the legislative liabilities regime in place that is consistent with international standards," John Flannery, head of GE in India, told Reuters. "That's not what we have right now in India, and if that doesn't change our view would be stay on the side."
Ramping up power generation and speeding up infrastructure projects are central to Prime Minister Singh's push to revive economic growth, which has slowed to 5.5 per cent - far below India's ambitions of a double-digit clip.
Though rich in coal reserves, India has struggled to increase power generation as projects have been mired in land acquisition battles and bureaucratic hassles. Scandals over sweetheart deals for coalfields have made a bad situation worse.
Tamil Nadu, although relatively prosperous and home to global firms such as Dell Inc and Hyundai Motor Co, suffers widespread blackouts that have damaged the competitiveness of its industry.
But that won't make the fishermen give up their struggle.
"Is there any need to kill people for electricity?" said Durai, a fishermen joining hundreds who protested last week by standing in the sea in front of teams of media crews. "We will fight the plant until our last breath."