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Nuclear Deterrence
[quote name='Arun_S' date='20 May 2012 - 11:20 PM' timestamp='1337535747' post='114919']



Not sure how you calculated Arihant's fuel requirement estimate. Please elaborate. The 160 Kg for 10 years of use seems too miniscule. Arihant's power plant should be assumed to be 190 MW thermal.

[/quote]





By my rakoning Arihant requires 30 to 45 times that much fuel for 10 yrs operation.
  Reply
[quote name='Arun_S' date='20 May 2012 - 11:51 PM' timestamp='1337537592' post='114920']

By my rakoning Arihant requires 30 to 45 times that much fuel for 10 yrs operation.

[/quote]



I have merely used MV Ramana's estimates of Arihant fuel core of 90kg. I picked his maximal analysis of 160kg to facilitate a 50% uncertainty and doubled it again to arrive at 320Kg. The estimates provided in the previous post produce 333kg of 40% HEU per fuel load as opposed to 160kg listed above, which is MV Ramana's estimate. I have done this to discount the fact that the estimates of MV Ramana seemed to have arrived at these figures without accounting for 97% HEU used by US.



I have resisted a temptation to double that further to 640kg to account for the american maneuvering over and above this 50% uncertainty buffer. This was to keep the uncertainty from cascading at each stage. I had already discounted 30,000SWU/yr on the lower band figures which are close to western intel 2007 figures and an additional facility which is more than the size of the current RMP facility. I have merely taken on the doubling and capacity augmentation. I have ignored close to 25% of the expansion area. 30,000 SWU/yr is an additional 333kg of 40% HEU.



These figures provided by MV Ramana are also in line with the 0.6 to 0.7 g HEU per shaft horse power per year estimates for the american submarines. These are considered higher end figures. Of course MV Ramana bases all of this on 1959 polaris submarine data on operational uranium usage of american submarines. The submarines use much lower power most of the time unless they are performing some aggressive maneuvering. Even these are considered only typical of American submarines. All naval reactors of America up until 1970 are said to have used 10 ton of HEU in all with a 50% uncertainty. Polaris submarines with 45,000 shp consumed 8kg of HEU every six months. They also ran through a 40kg 97% HEU core in 5 years during the initial years.



I don't think the figures are that far off. Even with 640kg of 40%HEU and discounting everything else we are looking at a HEU enrichment program for weapons. I have not stated that we don't need a test. This is merely a planned expansion of the Thermonuclear capacity and it's a large stockpile.



I don't believe in just stockpiles unless there is a designed TN warhead. If the upper end of the spectrum is true we are looking at well over 100 TN warheads by 2020 with 25kg of HEU per warhead. So the accumulation of HEU indicates an intent to use in TN weapons. Can this be without tests of with tests before a war or whatever else isn't something I know. It's however clear we are moving decisively in that direction.Our weapons have so far been plutonium based. So a shift post 2009 indicates weaponization to me.



So there is no logical connection between building a lot of HEU and weapons. There surely isn't any logical connection to this HEU capacity and submarine program either. Even accounting for 10 naval vessels in 10 years including aircraft carriers there is a lot more HEU up for grab. It could merely be accumulation of HEU, but I don't see why that will be the end goal. Maybe the bombs failed, however to state that since the bombs failed we don't have TN or will not weaponize is something I don't know for sure. The timing of the 2010 and 2011 expansion in both physical scale up and replacement of old units post 2009 to me signals weaponization.



As far as NK and Pakistan go they didn't test a design yet so I don't see why I should credit them with a weapon or discredit them with an untested weapon. That does not explain our capability or lack thereof. For all I know they may have one and we may not have one without a further test.
  Reply
I wouldn't touch the useful idiot of NPA ayatollahs with a pole, much less use his work in any analysis or discussion.



If 90 kg Arihant fuel has that much energy I guess his calculations generate energy out of nothing. I guess US navy can employ him to design US subs, for he perform so many times better then current crop of reactor and propulsion experts that US navy can muster. <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Rolleyes' />



I pity anyone who uses MV Ramana as a source. Its like shooting one's own foot.



There is a saying in UP: Dealing with coal even blackens the handle of he who handles it. (Koylay Ki daladli main Haath Kala)
  Reply
[quote name='osman' date='21 May 2012 - 11:47 AM' timestamp='1337580558' post='114926']

These figures provided by MV Ramana are also in line with the 0.6 to 0.7 g HEU per shaft horse power per year estimates for the american submarines. [/quote]



Just calculate the number of joules in 0.7g HEU and you will see the fallacy. And of course I dont believe anyone has a thermal engine that has >100% thermal to mechnical efficiency to get that much shaft horse power in that small HEU.



Easy to test MV Ramana's "Brahma Gyaan".
  Reply
[quote name='Arun_S' date='22 May 2012 - 10:17 AM' timestamp='1337661560' post='114938']

Just calculate the number of joules in 0.7g HEU and you will see the fallacy. And of course I dont believe anyone has a thermal engine that has >100% thermal to mechnical efficiency to get that much shaft horse power in that small HEU.



Easy to test MV Ramana's "Brahma Gyaan".

[/quote]



http://fissilematerials.org/library/hip86.pdf



Actually this isn't his gyaan but those of Albert.The figures also account for mechanical conversion. The calculcations in the report are based on shp as opposed to thermal output and therefore look only at propulsion figures. So a maximal estimate of 640 kg of 40% HEU also does not detract from this. Even 1 ton of HEU or Arihant will not distract from the figures presented on the enrichment exceeding the requirements of 10 submarines. So I have just made use of the figures and doubled it twice. He thinks it's 90kg based on he report. I think it's 330kg of 40%HEU with an upper end uncertainty of 100% accounted for of up to 660kg of 40% HEU. I will recheck these figures of the 1989 paper when I get more time.(I am not taking Raman at his face value as I have account for his conversion error from 97%HEU to 40%HEU and double that.) I doubt the figures quoted in his paper are too far off. The context isn't India specific. I anything is US vs USSR. So the figures are to be viewed in that context. There is also the comparison to French prototype reactors which ran on shore a 0.6 to 0.7 g of HEU per shaft horse power per year. The reactor ran at near full burnup or six months to achieve the burnup. Operational rectors in nuclear submarines rarely produce peak power at all times. The naval vessels are also no on patrol all the time and even when on patrol they don't move at the highest rated speed. These peek power requirements are when the vessels are simulating a chase or in a chase or are trying to loose a tail. These figures account for the time off from patrols and also the reactors being run at lower burn ups when they are on patrol and stationary under the sea. So I don't see any reason to discredit that report as well.





That this is not an unreasonable estimate can be seen if we take into account the following information:



o One gram of U-235, fissioned completely, would yield a o t 0.96 Megawatt-days or about 3.5 horsepower-years of energy.

9-Y

o The actual fraction of the U-235 in the fuel that is fissioned is very roughly 35 percent.



o Of the fission heat released, perhaps 20 percent would be converted to mechanical shaft power on average (the peak conversion efficiency of a

commercial pressurized- water nuclear power plant is 0.33).






Given an average core life of 5 years prior to 1970, and 0.6 grams of U-235 per rated shaft-horsepower (shp) year, each new reactor core would

contain about 3 grams of U-235 per rated shp. (This would give 45 kg. for a 15,000 shp reactor in good agreement with the specifications of the French prototype.)

By 1965, all reactors started in 1955 or earlier (0.015 million shp,according to Table 2-3) would have been fueled three times, all reactors

started from 1956 through 1960 (0.485 million shp) would have been fueled twice, and all reactors gtarted from 1961 through 1965 (0.740 million shp)

would have been fueled only once. If we, in addition, assume the equivalent of 1.25 extra cores available for every reactor in operation in

1965 (1.24 million shp), the total amount of U-235 that would have been required to be provided for the naval reactors would be:

3*(0.015*3 + 0.485*2 + 0.740*1 + 1.24*1.25) - 10 tonnes. This would be the equivalent, in terms of separative work requirements, of about 11 tonnes of weapon-grade uranium (WGU). (The equivalence ratio is insensitive to the tails assay.) In Table 2-2, we show a 50 percent

uncertainty range on this estimate.
  Reply
[quote name='osman' date='22 May 2012 - 08:57 PM' timestamp='1337699982' post='114945']

o One gram of U-235, fissioned completely, would yield a o t 0.96 Megawatt-days or about 3.5 horsepower-years of energy. [/quote]

The above is thermal energy output.



Quote:o The actual fraction of the U-235 in the fuel that is fissioned is very roughly 35 percent.




Reasonable. Could be more.



Quote:o Of the fission heat released, perhaps 20 percent would be converted to mechanical shaft power on average (the peak conversion efficiency of a commercial pressurized- water nuclear power plant is 0.33)



20% is reasonable. could be more. And now this gives shaft horse power (as against thermal power).





So you can see from above if 160 kg for 10 year hypothesis is in rough ball park or off by orders of magnitude, even if one assumes a grossly underpowered Arihant operating 90MWt reactor or as I sugget 190 MWt power plant.
  Reply
Well I have used figures of 330KG in even the calculations posted much earlier. 160 kg was an early estimate which I did not correct in the earlier post. The calculations in the post read 30,000 SWU/year for nuclear submarine only and 30,000 SWU/year for other enrichment. As I pointed out the new facility is 1.9 times the old facility. So even if the calculations are off by upto 600kg it makes no difference to the buildup. This is at the lower end of the estimate. At the upper end with well over a million swu/year we must either be building the largest submarine fleet shortly or going towards weaponization. At the upper end we will generate 5 tons of HEU per year. The US program upto 1965 used 10 tons in all to run all it's naval reactors. So in three years at the upper end we will have enough HEU to run over submarines 10 of them with two nuclear aircraft carriers. Even then there is plenty to go around. What form it will take and if it will require tests isn't the crux of the post. Just an indication that there is a movement towards it and a decisive one post 2009. Also the shp is cited as 0.6-0.7 per year and not the reactor horse power. Anyways I will re check the calculations and post a corrected version.For now here ar the back of the envelope calculations for a 47,000 shaft horse power Arihant. I doubt our shaft horse power is that high, given the highest rated speed is 25 knots.



47 000 x 0.7 x 10 = 329 000 grams or 329 kg of 97% U-235. Converting these figures to 40% U-235 where the fissile material is 40% as opposed to 97%, we get the fuel requirement of 800.20 Kg of 40% HEU per year. Even with this estimate there is plenty of spare enrichment capacity for the nuclear weapons. They will be in thousands with depleted uranium blanket or in hundreds at the end of 2020 with a HEU blanket. I will account for the extra 200 kg of 40% HEU and repost the figures. It will probably reduce the bombs to 800 with depleted uranium blanket or 100 from 114 posted earlier. Hardly any change even with additional fuel requirements.



I will check the other figures in the 1989 paper. I still stand by the earlier post given the leeway and the error rates which allow up to 100% error on the 330kg figure. Even a 190 MW reactor will not make too much of a difference. I will recalculate and post the analysis using uncertainty analysis software sometime later this month.
  Reply
More from the land of enrichment.



http://www.sdilasers.com/pdfs/PaRLaserCO...Lasers.pdf



BARC seems to have purchased a laser used in SILEX. Yep, SILEX the answer to all enrichment requirements. India has had an active program looking at laser enrichment. This renewed interest in SILEX from BARC after GLE is nearling commercialization in US, could just be the shot in the arm our program needed. BARC now has a reason to divert more man and material towards this goal. SILEX will reduce the footprint of enrichment plants and is a stratergic goal for all countries involved. India, China and Pakistan. It's a race which I am sure will lead to more news in a few years from now. Let's all wish BARC godspeed in this race. We need commerical Laser Enrichment before the others get there to be safe.





PaR’s Laser Center of Excellence Delivers Two High Pressure TE CO2 Lasers

Pretoria, ZA (April 13, 2012) – PaR Systems Center of Excellence for sdilasers™ recently designed, built,

and shipped two transversely excited High Pressure (HP) CO2 lasers for two different customers, one in

India and one in the USA. The lasers will be applied in the following fields:

• Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) is a government laboratory of India based in Mumbai.

They will apply their continuously wavelength adjustable 10Hz HP CO2 laser with side arm catalyst

for research into development of optically pumped molecular lasers and related research.

• STI Optronics is a small business located in Bellevue, Washington, USA, that is developi
  Reply
Nakedness of Indian deterrence thanks to R Chidambram is becoming public shame for India.

Shyam Sharan tries to throw a langoti to cover Indian shame.

The third leg will stay without weapons; pending testing of weapons that will not kill the crew due to long term exposure of radiation from Pu based weapons.

Agni-II range is purported by S.Saran  to be 2500km range perhaps because R Chidambram's designed & fabricated bums are are not big enough yield in small package.

http://www.thehindu....e?homepage=true


Published: May 4, 2013 01:20 IST | Updated: May 4, 2013 01:21 IST
<b>Weapon that has more than symbolic value</b>
Quote:Shyam Saran [Image: TH_04_Edit_jpg_1447281e.jpg]
The Hindu
<b>While India needs to make its nuclear deterrent more robust, it is misleading to spread the notion that it is dysfunctional or non-existent</b>
Since India became a declared nuclear weapon state in May 1998, there has been a concerted campaign, particularly by non-proliferation lobbies in western countries, echoed by analysts in China and Pakistan, to spread the notion that India’s strategic programme has been driven by considerations of prestige and propaganda, rather than by any real security threats. Lately such assessments have also begun to emerge from some Indian commentators, who argue that “India’s dominant objective was political and technological prestige, while for every other nuclear weapon state it was deterrence.”

<b>Security environment</b>

These assessments conveniently ignore the steadily worsening regional and global security environment India has confronted right since its birth as an independent nation. With the advent of the atomic age, India became conscious of the fact that possession of nuclear weapons by a country or a group of countries created an asymmetrical international order which would limit India’s strategic space and independence. India’s preference was and remains a world from which nuclear weapons have been eliminated. It is the only state with nuclear weapons to profess that its security would be enhanced, not diminished, in a world free of nuclear weapons. However, India has also been categorical in rejecting the division of the world in perpetuity into nuclear-haves and have-nots.

After the end of the Cold War, a determined attempt was made to legitimise precisely such a division, firstly by making the discriminatory Non-Proliferation Treaty permanent through an amendment adopted in 1995. Then a similar discriminatory Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996 was foisted without any link to the goal of nuclear disarmament, a link that India had consistently insisted upon. These moves would have permanently foreclosed India’s option to acquire a fully tested nuclear weapon arsenal, while those already in possession of nuclear weapons would enjoy an asymmetrical advantage in perpetuity. This would have severely undermined India’s security, making it vulnerable to nuclear threat and blackmail.

If we add to this the regional dimension as it unfolded over the years, India’s compelling security dilemma becomes even more apparent. In 1964, China exploded its first nuclear bomb and this came only two years after the 1962 border war, in which India suffered a humiliating defeat. One can well imagine the sense of vulnerability this would have created in the country. A serious quest for a nuclear capability may be traced to this period, culminating in the 1974 Peaceful Nuclear Explosion. Thereafter, the clandestine acquisition of nuclear weapons and missile delivery capabilities by Pakistan, fully supported and assisted by China, created a heightened security threat to India. That China actually supplied a fully tested nuclear weapon design to Pakistan in 1983 and may have even tested a Pakistani weapon at its test site in Lop Nor in 1990, confronted India with a hostile Sino-Pakistan nuclear nexus, which continues to operate even today. (There are recent indications that China may be revising its no-first use policy.) It is this evolving regional and global security landscape which precipitated India’s decision to carry out a series of tests in May 1998 and declare its status as a nuclear weapon state. It was the quest for security in a hostile and threatening environment that drove the country’s strategic programme, neither prestige nor propaganda.

A more recent argument is that since the May 1998 tests, India has not taken credible steps to operationalise its nuclear deterrent. And this demonstrates, it is claimed, that India looks upon its nuclear weapons as a political instrument, a source of prestige, rather than as a deterrent.

In fact, since January 2003, when India adopted its nuclear doctrine formally at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, it has taken a series of graduated steps to put in place a triad of land-based, air-delivered and submarine-based nuclear forces to conform to its declared doctrine of no-first use and retaliation only. Currently, at least two legs of the triad are fully operational. These include a modest arsenal, nuclear-capable aircraft and missiles, both in fixed underground silos and those mounted on mobile rail and road-based platforms. Land-based missiles include both Agni-II (1500 km) as well as Agni-III (2500 km). The range and accuracy of further versions for example, Agni V (5000 km) which was tested successfully only recently, will improve with the further acquisition of technological capability and experience.

The third leg of the triad is admittedly a work in progress. We need a minimum of three Arihant class nuclear submarines so that at least one will always be at sea. The submarine-based Sagarika missiles have been developed and tested but are still relatively short in range. It is expected that a modest sea-based deterrent will be in place by 2015 or 2016.

The National Command Authority (NCA) is in charge of India’s nuclear deterrent. At its apex is the Political Council which is headed by the Prime Minister and includes all the ministerial members of the Cabinet Committee on Security such as the Ministers of Defence, Home and External Affairs. At the next level is the Executive Council which is headed by the National Security Advisor and includes the Chiefs of the three armed forces, the Commander-in-Chief of India’s Strategic Forces Command, a three star officer, among others. There is an alternate NCA which would take up the functions of the nuclear command in case of any contingency that renders the established hierarchy dysfunctional. The NCA has access to radiation hardened and fully secured communication systems, and redundancies have been put in place as back-up facilities.

In order to support the NCA, a Strategy Programme Staff has been created in the National Security Council Secretariat to carry out general staff work for the NCA. This unit is charged with looking at the reliability and quality of our weapons and delivery systems, collate intelligence on other nuclear weapon states, particularly those in the category of potential adversaries, and work on a perspective plan for India's nuclear deterrent in accordance with a 10-year cycle. The Strategy Programme Staff has representatives from the three services, from our Science and Technology establishment and other experts from related domains, including External Affairs. A Strategic Armament Safety Authority has been set up to review and update storage and transfer procedures for all categories of nuclear armaments. It will be responsible for all matters relating to the safety and security of our nuclear and delivery assets at all locations.

The NCA works on a two-person rule for access to armaments and delivery systems.

Regular drills are conducted to examine possible escalatory scenarios, surprise attack scenarios and the efficiency of our response systems under the no first use limitation. Thanks to such repeated and regular drills, the level of confidence in our nuclear deterrent has been strengthened. Specialised units have also been trained and deployed for operation in a nuclearised environment.

This is clearly not the record of a state which regards its nuclear arsenal as having only symbolic value. While further steps may be required to make our deterrent more robust, it is misleading to spread the notion that it is dysfunctional or worse, that it is non-existent.

Recently, there have been claims by Pakistan that it has developed theatre nuclear weapons which could be used to meet a conventional armed thrust across the border by Indian forces. By seeking to lower the threshold of nuclear weapons use, Pakistan’s motivation is to dissuade India from contemplating conventional punitive retaliation against sub-conventional but highly destructive and disruptive cross-border terrorist strikes such as the horrific 26/11 attack in Mumbai.

<b>Massive retaliation</b>

India’s nuclear doctrine declares that while India will not be the first to use nuclear weapons, if it is attacked with such weapons, it would engage in nuclear retaliation which will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage on its adversary. The label on a nuclear weapon used for attacking India, strategic or tactical, is irrelevant from the perspective of its doctrine. The security of both India and Pakistan would be enhanced if Pakistan abandoned cross-border terrorism as an instrument of state policy and instead joined India in the pursuit of nuclear and conventional confidence building measures which are already on our bilateral agenda. An agreement on non-first use of nuclear weapons would be a significant follow-up to the existing bilateral commitment to maintain a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing.

India and Pakistan should take the lead in promoting multilateral negotiations to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. That is a better future for which to aspire.

<i>(Shyam Saran is a former Foreign Secretary. He is currently Chairman, National Security Advisory Board, Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries, and Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research. This article reflects his personal views</i>)

Keywords: Nuclear Weapon States, Non-Proliferation Treaty, Nuclear weapons, CTBT, nuclear submarines, National Command Authority, India Nuclear Policy
  Reply
Nakedness of Indian deterrence thanks to R Chidambram is becoming public shame for India.



Shyam Sharan tries to throw a langoti to cover Indian shame.



The third leg will stay without weapons; pending testing of weapons that will not kill the crew due to long term exposure of radiation from Pu based weapons. Agni-II range is purported by S.Saran to be 2500km range perhaps because R Chidambram's designed & fabricated BUMS are are not big enough yield in small package.



[url="http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/weapon-that-has-more-than-symbolic-value/article4681085.ece?homepage=true"]http://www.thehindu....e?homepage=true[/url]



Quote:Published: May 4, 2013 01:20 IST | Updated: May 4, 2013 01:21 IST

Weapon that has more than symbolic value

Shyam Saran [Image: TH_04_Edit_jpg_1447281e.jpg]

The Hindu

While India needs to make its nuclear deterrent more robust, it is misleading to spread the notion that it is dysfunctional or non-existent

Since India became a declared nuclear weapon state in May 1998, there has been a concerted campaign, particularly by non-proliferation lobbies in western countries, echoed by analysts in China and Pakistan, to spread the notion that India’s strategic programme has been driven by considerations of prestige and propaganda, rather than by any real security threats. Lately such assessments have also begun to emerge from some Indian commentators, who argue that “India’s dominant objective was political and technological prestige, while for every other nuclear weapon state it was deterrence.”



Security environment



These assessments conveniently ignore the steadily worsening regional and global security environment India has confronted right since its birth as an independent nation. With the advent of the atomic age, India became conscious of the fact that possession of nuclear weapons by a country or a group of countries created an asymmetrical international order which would limit India’s strategic space and independence. India’s preference was and remains a world from which nuclear weapons have been eliminated. It is the only state with nuclear weapons to profess that its security would be enhanced, not diminished, in a world free of nuclear weapons. However, India has also been categorical in rejecting the division of the world in perpetuity into nuclear-haves and have-nots.



After the end of the Cold War, a determined attempt was made to legitimise precisely such a division, firstly by making the discriminatory Non-Proliferation Treaty permanent through an amendment adopted in 1995. Then a similar discriminatory Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996 was foisted without any link to the goal of nuclear disarmament, a link that India had consistently insisted upon. These moves would have permanently foreclosed India’s option to acquire a fully tested nuclear weapon arsenal, while those already in possession of nuclear weapons would enjoy an asymmetrical advantage in perpetuity. This would have severely undermined India’s security, making it vulnerable to nuclear threat and blackmail.



If we add to this the regional dimension as it unfolded over the years, India’s compelling security dilemma becomes even more apparent. In 1964, China exploded its first nuclear bomb and this came only two years after the 1962 border war, in which India suffered a humiliating defeat. One can well imagine the sense of vulnerability this would have created in the country. A serious quest for a nuclear capability may be traced to this period, culminating in the 1974 Peaceful Nuclear Explosion. Thereafter, the clandestine acquisition of nuclear weapons and missile delivery capabilities by Pakistan, fully supported and assisted by China, created a heightened security threat to India. That China actually supplied a fully tested nuclear weapon design to Pakistan in 1983 and may have even tested a Pakistani weapon at its test site in Lop Nor in 1990, confronted India with a hostile Sino-Pakistan nuclear nexus, which continues to operate even today. (There are recent indications that China may be revising its no-first use policy.) It is this evolving regional and global security landscape which precipitated India’s decision to carry out a series of tests in May 1998 and declare its status as a nuclear weapon state. It was the quest for security in a hostile and threatening environment that drove the country’s strategic programme, neither prestige nor propaganda.



A more recent argument is that since the May 1998 tests, India has not taken credible steps to operationalise its nuclear deterrent. And this demonstrates, it is claimed, that India looks upon its nuclear weapons as a political instrument, a source of prestige, rather than as a deterrent.



In fact, since January 2003, when India adopted its nuclear doctrine formally at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, it has taken a series of graduated steps to put in place a triad of land-based, air-delivered and submarine-based nuclear forces to conform to its declared doctrine of no-first use and retaliation only. Currently, at least two legs of the triad are fully operational. These include a modest arsenal, nuclear-capable aircraft and missiles, both in fixed underground silos and those mounted on mobile rail and road-based platforms. Land-based missiles include both Agni-II (1500 km) as well as Agni-III (2500 km). The range and accuracy of further versions for example, Agni V (5000 km) which was tested successfully only recently, will improve with the further acquisition of technological capability and experience.



The third leg of the triad is admittedly a work in progress. We need a minimum of three Arihant class nuclear submarines so that at least one will always be at sea. The submarine-based Sagarika missiles have been developed and tested but are still relatively short in range. It is expected that a modest sea-based deterrent will be in place by 2015 or 2016.



The National Command Authority (NCA) is in charge of India’s nuclear deterrent. At its apex is the Political Council which is headed by the Prime Minister and includes all the ministerial members of the Cabinet Committee on Security such as the Ministers of Defence, Home and External Affairs. At the next level is the Executive Council which is headed by the National Security Advisor and includes the Chiefs of the three armed forces, the Commander-in-Chief of India’s Strategic Forces Command, a three star officer, among others. There is an alternate NCA which would take up the functions of the nuclear command in case of any contingency that renders the established hierarchy dysfunctional. The NCA has access to radiation hardened and fully secured communication systems, and redundancies have been put in place as back-up facilities.



In order to support the NCA, a Strategy Programme Staff has been created in the National Security Council Secretariat to carry out general staff work for the NCA. This unit is charged with looking at the reliability and quality of our weapons and delivery systems, collate intelligence on other nuclear weapon states, particularly those in the category of potential adversaries, and work on a perspective plan for India's nuclear deterrent in accordance with a 10-year cycle. The Strategy Programme Staff has representatives from the three services, from our Science and Technology establishment and other experts from related domains, including External Affairs. A Strategic Armament Safety Authority has been set up to review and update storage and transfer procedures for all categories of nuclear armaments. It will be responsible for all matters relating to the safety and security of our nuclear and delivery assets at all locations.



The NCA works on a two-person rule for access to armaments and delivery systems.



Regular drills are conducted to examine possible escalatory scenarios, surprise attack scenarios and the efficiency of our response systems under the no first use limitation. Thanks to such repeated and regular drills, the level of confidence in our nuclear deterrent has been strengthened. Specialised units have also been trained and deployed for operation in a nuclearised environment.



This is clearly not the record of a state which regards its nuclear arsenal as having only symbolic value. While further steps may be required to make our deterrent more robust, it is misleading to spread the notion that it is dysfunctional or worse, that it is non-existent.



Recently, there have been claims by Pakistan that it has developed theatre nuclear weapons which could be used to meet a conventional armed thrust across the border by Indian forces. By seeking to lower the threshold of nuclear weapons use, Pakistan’s motivation is to dissuade India from contemplating conventional punitive retaliation against sub-conventional but highly destructive and disruptive cross-border terrorist strikes such as the horrific 26/11 attack in Mumbai.



Massive retaliation



India’s nuclear doctrine declares that while India will not be the first to use nuclear weapons, if it is attacked with such weapons, it would engage in nuclear retaliation which will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage on its adversary. The label on a nuclear weapon used for attacking India, strategic or tactical, is irrelevant from the perspective of its doctrine. The security of both India and Pakistan would be enhanced if Pakistan abandoned cross-border terrorism as an instrument of state policy and instead joined India in the pursuit of nuclear and conventional confidence building measures which are already on our bilateral agenda. An agreement on non-first use of nuclear weapons would be a significant follow-up to the existing bilateral commitment to maintain a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing.



India and Pakistan should take the lead in promoting multilateral negotiations to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. That is a better future for which to aspire.



(Shyam Saran is a former Foreign Secretary. He is currently Chairman, National Security Advisory Board, Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries, and Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research. This article reflects his personal views)



Keywords: [url="http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/weapon-that-has-more-than-symbolic-value/article4681085.ece?homepage=true&css=print#"]Nuclear Weapon States[/url], [url="http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/weapon-that-has-more-than-symbolic-value/article4681085.ece?homepage=true&css=print#"]Non-Proliferation Treaty[/url], [url="http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/weapon-that-has-more-than-symbolic-value/article4681085.ece?homepage=true&css=print#"]Nuclear weapons[/url], [url="http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/weapon-that-has-more-than-symbolic-value/article4681085.ece?homepage=true&css=print#"]CTBT[/url], [url="http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/weapon-that-has-more-than-symbolic-value/article4681085.ece?homepage=true&css=print#"]nuclear submarines[/url], [url="http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/weapon-that-has-more-than-symbolic-value/article4681085.ece?homepage=true&css=print#"]National Command Authority[/url], [url="http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/weapon-that-has-more-than-symbolic-value/article4681085.ece?homepage=true&css=print#"]India Nuclear Policy[/url]
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[size="5"][url="http://www.samachar.com/Indias-nuclear-amateurism-ng2gKJcdgfd.html?source=recommended_news"]India's nuclear amateurism[/url][/size]



Quote:By Bharat Karnad 28th June 2013 06:31 AM



Secretary of state John Kerry reminded New Delhi that the United States expects India to toe its line on non-proliferation and get a move on in signing the Missile Technology Control Regime, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. One hopes New Delhi will not give way on any of these issues even if membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group is the prize because, as it is, the Indian nuclear deterrent is grievously handicapped. First, by untested thermonuclear weapons with design flaws no amount of simulation can correct, whence resumption of testing becomes imperative, and secondly, matching this hardware deficiency are the “software” problems — doctrinal weaknesses and inadequate understanding in government circles of nuclear weapons and strategy.



The latter aspect was illustrated by Shyam Saran, convenor of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) and former foreign secretary, holding forth on May 3 on nuclear issues and, predictably, making a hash of it. Considering a Chinese military unit was holding Ladakhi real estate then, Saran went off on an anti-Pakistan tangent instead! It confirmed the suspicion that the government is unable to differentiate issues of strategic importance from lesser concerns and, as regards nuclear security, is all at sea. Informed Pakistanis promptly dismissed it as “bluster”, deeming India “a blundering nuclear power”.



[color="#800080"]At the heart of Saran’s talk was a wrong take on nuclear matters that has calcified into a strategic gospel in official quarters, courtesy the late K Subrahmanyam, starting with the belief that nuclear testing is incidental to the credibility of the deterrent, evident in his canvassing for India’s signature on CTBT in 1995-96 which Saran rightly said “would have permanently foreclosed (development of) a credible and fully tested nuclear deterrent”. Except, the problem of untested hydrogen weapons persists owing to the no-testing predicate of the India-US nuclear deal supported by Subrahmanyam and Co, and negotiated by Saran. It reflects the cavalier disregard for nuclear testing which is stark in the context of the field director of the 1998 tests, K Santhanam, recommending the re-testing of a rectified thermonuclear weapon design because the one that was tested failed.[/color]



Saran’s plea to “make public” the official nuclear doctrine, which he said was virtually the draft produced by NSAB in 1998, was of a piece with his asking for an annual numerical accounting of the country’s nuclear forces. He didn’t pause to wonder why no other nuclear weapon state to-date has disclosed its nuclear doctrine, and why China and Pakistan are unlikely ever to reveal their weapons inventory details. The public release of the draft-doctrine to win points for transparency with America and gain traction for the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP), was an appalling mistake by the BJP government that the Congress regime converted into the wrecking ball of the Indo-US nuclear deal, which destroyed the integrity of the country’s dual-use nuclear energy programme.



Ambiguity is at the core of nuclear deterrence and dissuasion. It isn’t advanced by making the doctrine an open document, even less by revealing weapons strength. Having disclosed the doctrine, however, the strategic initiative passed to the adversary states with the good sense to divulge nothing. China increased the “daunting uncertainties” for India by bringing conventional missiles under the control of its Second Artillery nuclear forces, and Pakistan developed the 60km Nasr (Hatf IX) guided rocket.



The dense fog of ignorance of nuclear deterrence matters blanketing Indian government circles has eventuated in a hollow strategy emphasising “massive retaliation” as response to tactical first use of nuclear weapon by Pakistan (on Indian armour, say, inside Pakistani territory). Promising massive nuclear destruction as retaliatory action, in the circumstances, only undermines the credibility of the Indian deterrent as it violates the principle of proportionality — the essence of “flexible response”. A version of this concept — “punitive response” — was central to the original NSAB draft-doctrine. [color="#800080"]Owing to the usual mix of abominable advice and mindless attitudinising lashed with deep illiteracy on these issues, “punitive response” was replaced by “massive retaliation”. All it did was spur accelerated production of weapons-grade plutonium, warheads, and missiles by Pakistan which an India, fixated on Pakistan and “minimum” deterrence, finds unable to match, what to talk of China! [/color][color="#4B0082"]Truth is massive retaliation cannot doctrinally coexist with the “minimum deterrence” notion the Indian government seems wedded to[/color]. That is common sense but try telling it to the glib talkers in official quarters.



Much was also made by him of commentaries concluding India acquired nuclear weapons for status and prestige, not for security. But why is this conclusion wrong, considering India reached the weapons threshold with its plutonium reprocessing capability in early 1964 but did not weaponise after China exploded an atomic device in October that year, and with the military humiliation of 1962 as backdrop? Contrast this with the single-minded, no-nonsense, threat-propelled Chinese and Pakistani programmes to obtain meaningful nuclear arsenals fast, even as the Indian weapons programme meandered, its progress hampered by dreams of disarmament last manifested in the 1988 Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan.



That the Indian government has time and again veered off into the murk of nuclear power politics without being equipped for the task is due to the generalist diplomats and civil servants playing at nuclear strategists. Saran admitted that the country had suffered from bad advice to “defer the acquisition of a nuclear weapon arsenal as long as there was still [color="#FF0000"]hope[/color] that the world would eventually move towards a complete elimination of these weapons”, and that it was “undeniable” that “mistakes (were) made, sometimes opportunities (were) missed or our judgements were misplaced”.



The cumulative debilitating effect of such rank bad, and amateurish, counsel is reflected in the manner India is strategically handicapped today. It indicates a fool’s world our diplomats (especially, denizens of MEA’s Disarmament Division that Saran served in), senior civil servants, political leaders and increasingly senior military officers hewing to the government line, live in. Elimination of nuclear weapons, really?



Bharat Karnad is Professor at Centre for Policy Research and blogs at www.bharatkarnad.com
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