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Nuclear Thread - 4
The owner is out and the store clerk is pocketing by selling away the store as long as he is on station.

Indeed "Gai Bhains Paani Main"

[url="http://www.indianexpress.com/oldStory/87570/"]After Kakodkar meets PM, Cab Secy steps in: Indian Express Feb 09, 2006[/url]

Quote:Sources said that at his meeting with Chaturvedi, [color="#0000FF"]Kakodkar explained his side of the story[/color], indicating that he went public with his views partly because he was under constant pressure to explain the kind of separation plan (of civilian and military nuclear reactors) that would be credible for the US.

Kakodkar, sources said, emphasised the need for a credible minimum nuclear deterrent, keeping in view the Asian security scenario. He also quantified the sort of deterrent India needs to maintain for the future, explaining that in less than a decade the country’s stockpile will begin to feel the impact of uranium’s half-life decay cycle.

The nature of separation, he’s learnt to have said, will have to take this into consideration to ensure that it does not negatively impact the credible minimum nuclear deterrent.

[color="#0000FF"]On the fast breeder reactor programme, Kakodkar again made it clear that India could not afford to put it on the civil list as it would not be in its strategic interests.[/color]

Highlighting the dual purposes of the FBR programme, Kakodkar, sources said, did agree that India needed the latest technology in this field and for that the Indo-US nuclear agreement was vital. In fact, both officials agreed that the quest should be to get better technology into India to power the atomic energy programme as a whole.

And here is [url="http://www.wmdinsights.com/I4/SA2_BreederReactors.htm"]PM Manmohan Singh's statement on the floor of Parliament[/url]:

Quote:On March 7, 2006, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh presented the details of India’s “Separation Plan.” Singh stated that 14 of India’s 22 conventional nuclear power plants, now operating or under construction, would be placed on the civilian, IAEA-inspected list. [color="#0000FF"]He then gave particular emphasis to the fact that India would keep its fast breeder reactors, now operating or under construction, off the civilian list.[/color] (Breeder reactors are reactors that can create more fissile material than they consume.) On this subject, Singh declared:

[color="#0000FF"]We have conveyed that India will not accept safeguards on the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor [now under construction] and the Fast Breeder Test Reactor [operating since 1985], both located at Kalpakkam. The Fast Breeder Program is at the R&D stage. This technology will take time to mature and reach an advanced stage of development. We do not wish to place any encumbrances on our Fast Breeder program, and this has been fully ensured in the Separation Plan. [/color][1]

During my Suo Motu Statements on this subject made on July 29, 2005, and on February 27, 2006, I had given a solemn assurance to this august House and through the Honorable members to the country, that the Separation Plan will not adversely affect our country’s national security. I am in a position to assure the Members that this is indeed the case. I might mention:

i) that the separation plan will not adversely affect our strategic program. There will be no capping of our strategic program, and the separation plan ensures adequacy of fissile material and other inputs to meet the current and future requirements of our strategic program, based on our assessment of the threat scenarios. No constraint has been placed on our right to construct new facilities for strategic purposes. The integrity of our Nuclear Doctrine and our ability to sustain a Minimum Credible Nuclear Deterrent is adequately protected.

ii) The Separation Plan does not come in the way of the integrity of our three stage nuclear program, including the future use of our thorium reserves. The autonomy of our Research and Development activities in the nuclear field will remain unaffected. The Fast Breeder Test Reactor and the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor remain outside safeguards. We have agreed, however, that future civilian Thermal power reactors and civilian Fast Breeder Reactors would be placed under safeguards, but the determination of what is civilian is solely an Indian decision. [2]

Singh’s comments suggested that India’s national security in the nuclear arena has two dimensions: sustaining a minimum credible deterrent; and implementing India’s “three stage nuclear program,” aimed at exploiting the country’s vast thorium reserves for energy purposes.

In an interview given on February 7, 2006, to the Indian Express roughly a month prior to the signing of the U.S.-India nuclear agreement, Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), made clear that India’s breeder reactor program does, indeed, have close links to the country’s nuclear weapons program:

[color="#0000FF"] Express: So categorically the breeder will not go under safeguards?

Kakodkar: No way because it hurts our strategic interest. You follow, no? There’s no way.[/color]

Express: The strategic interest of security or strategic interest of energy security?

Kakodkar: Both. It is linked through the fuel cycle.

Express: So will placing the fast breeder reactor program on the civilian list and hence under safeguards hurt India’s efforts at maintaining in perpetuity the “minimum credible deterrent” while hurting its need for long-term energy security?

Kakodkar: Yes, there can be no doubts on that. Both, from the point of view of maintaining long-term energy security [color="#FF0000"][size="4"]and for maintaining the “minimum credible deterrent,” the Fast Breeder Program just cannot be put on the civilian list[/size].[/color] This would amount to getting shackled and India certainly cannot compromise one [type of security] for the other. [3]

India’s breeder reactors were reportedly a contentious issue during the negotiations with the United States over the agreement. Ultimately New Delhi prevailed on this matter. [4] The prominent role of India’s breeder reactors in the consideration of the separation of Indian civilian and military nuclear facilities raises the question of what specific contributions these reactors, long justified as important to the future of the Indian nuclear energy sector, might make to its military capabilities.

New Delhi prevailed on FBR but only to now gift victory back on a silver platter for asking.

NSA works for PMO, and he will not make policy announcement without echoing "His Master's Voice".

Sad day for India

deleted duplicate post
Hindu Busnessline Article by P.K. Iyengar

Pokhran II revisited

Quote:Pokhran-II revisited


Overall, the question mark over the yield and efficacy of the thermonuclear device, and hence our nuclear deterrent, still remains.


P. K. Iyengar

In a recent interview with Karan Thapar, the former chief of the Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Anil Kakodkar, reiterated the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government, Dr R. Chidambaram's stand on the success of Pokhran-II, but did not really address any of the concerns raised about the efficacy of the thermonuclear test. Most of the points he raised in a very general way have been dealt with before in a more detailed technical manner.

Take, for example, the issue about the lack of a crater for the thermonuclear explosion. It is true that if you bury such a device very deep, there will be a very small crater, or even none at all. But no one associated with Pokhran-II has come out with a number for that depth, though there is no secrecy needed here, as it reveals nothing about the design of the device. In fact, for Pokhran-I, we had immediately revealed that the device was buried 107m deep.

Only K. Santhanam, former DRDO scientist, has revealed that the thermonuclear device was buried at a depth of 130m, compared to the fission device's 100m deep location. If these numbers are correct, and no one has contradicted them, it is simply not credible to say that such a small difference in the depth (only 30m) made such a huge difference in the geology or in the crater size.

The repeated assertion that granite in the thermonuclear shaft was responsible for the small crater is also difficult to understand. Usually, shock waves couple better to hard rock and so the effect is expected to be larger. To muffle the explosion, one buries the device in soft material like sand or in an empty cavity. The reverse assertion seems to be a new advance in geology that the CTBT Organisation needs to take note of!

Puzzling statements

Similarly, the statements on the simulations are puzzling. He brought out a new simulation experiment, perhaps done after Dr Santhanam's revelation. Using the borrowed data-base of an underground nuclear explosion in Nevada, they claim to have simulated what would have happened had the fission and fusion devices been interchanged between the two shafts S1 and S2.

He revealed that the fission device would have shown no crater, and the fusion device a much larger crater. This difference in the behaviour between the two sites, 1 km apart, and at almost similar depths, 100 m and 130 m, as revealed by Dr Santhanam, is inexplicable.

Simulations can be tweaked to predict anything you want. Also, there is a huge gap between simulating something and actually making it work in real life. Ultimately, there is no escape from detailed experiments. The computer and the word ‘simulated' have been so extensively used by Dr Chidambaram and others that one wonders if there is any need at all for testing and experimental work in a wide variety of scientific investigations!

I am also disappointed about the implications regarding statements from people not directly associated with Pokhran-II. This suggests that no experts, anywhere in the world, are competent to comment on Pokhran-II! This is unscientific.

One doesn't need to know every detail of the test to make intelligent estimates about the expected yield, or the crater size. In science, anyone can make a scientific observation, and it has to be refuted scientifically, and not by mere assertion. Those who are raising these questions have sufficient knowledge and experience to make those questions pertinent and relevant.

Searching questions

Dr Kakodkar also revealed that we have more then one hydrogen bomb in our arsenal, and that we now have devices with yields ranging from sub-kt to 200 kt.

It must be reassuring to the military to know that the quantity issue has been addressed. But what is more important is to address the quality issue, about which the military should also ask searching questions. After all, deterrence is in the eyes of the enemy; it is not important what a few people assert, but what the whole world thinks.

Overall, I would say that the question mark over the yield and efficacy of the thermonuclear device, and hence our nuclear deterrent, still remains. Right from the beginning, the official response to very legitimate questions, raised by those who are knowledgeable and acting in the best interests of the nation, has been defensive and closed-minded. This does not augur well for the health of our strategic deterrent. Given the strong support from the new US administration for the NPT and the CTBT, and the international pressure that will certainly be put upon India in the near future, this is an issue the Government must address seriously.

Quite well argued. There seems to be an ego trip on the side of the offical group.
This is explosive joint statement by Indian heavyweights.

[url="http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=Implications+for+credible+minimum+deterrence&artid=Aa/DMUBFQv0=&SectionID=b7ziAYMenjw=&MainSectionID=b7ziAYMenjw=&SectionName=pWehHe7IsSU=&SEO="]Implications for credible minimum deterrence[/url]

Quote:Express News ServiceFirst Published : 19 Dec 2009 01:29:00 AM

SOON after the Pokhran-II tests on 11 May 1998, the scientists of the two organisations concerned _ the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Defense R&D Organisation (DRDO) _ had jointly evaluated the success of the two tests _ the fission device (A – bomb) and the fusion device (H - bomb).

While former device performed perfectly, including creating a crater of the expected size, the fusion device failed on many counts _ very low yield, no crater etc.

International monitoring centres also recorded low intensity of shock waves, resulting in low yield estimates _ estimates that were more in consonance with the DRDO numbers. This was discussed among the BARC and DRDO scientists involved _ and resulted in a dispute between them.

A detailed report submitted by DRDO to the Government fully corroborated its original assessment ,viz. ,that, while the fission device worked successfully as expected, the fusion device did not.

The recent revelations by K Santhanam, who was in charge of all of DRDO’s activities at the site, testifies to this. By all accounts _ geological, radiochemical as well as seismic - it is now quite clear that the fusion device yielded a very low value of explosive power.

The articles by K Santhanam and Ashok Parthasarathi in `The Hindu’ (September 17 , 2009) and P K Iyengar in `Outlook’ (October 26, 2009) go into considerable technical detail and present a credible case, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the H – bomb tested on May 11, 1998 failed.

These findings are extremely serious for the security of the nation, particularly in the context of our pronouncement of being a nuclear weapon power, along with our enunciated doctrine of ‘no first use’ and our ‘unilateral voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing’. They strike at the root of our weaponisation capability and compromise our strategy of Credible Minimum Nuclear Deterrence.

``Soon after the Pokhran-II tests, the then government almost succumbed to the western pressure to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) backing off only at the last moment due to an outcry in the country against doing so. The refusal of the US Senate to ratify the CTBT then released the pressure on the government. The renewed pressure from Obama on us in recent months to sign the CTBT is causing the issue of our signing the CTBT to be raised again. We strongly urge the present government to remain firm in its opposition to our doing so as the Prime Minister has publicly assured the nation more than once in recent months.’’ Obama has actually gone further than trying to secure universal adherence to the CTBT, and secured a UN Security Council Resolution urging such adherence to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) also. Not signing the highly discriminatory NPT has been an article of faith of all our governments – irrespective of hues – since the Treaty was drawn up in 1968. The present government, we strongly urge again, should continue that policy steadfastly, despite whatever threats and blandishments are applied to it. Even the slightest succumbing would convert our ‘voluntary moratorium’ into an involuntary, permanent, cessation of nuclear weapon testing and so forever deny us our legitimate place in the great powers’ league.

The international political and diplomatic aspects as set out in the previous para apart, the grave situation we are in regarding our Thermonuclear (H-bomb) Capability.

It demands resolute, speedy and comprehensive corrective action.

We are well aware of the nature, sources and scales of nuclear threats the nation faces. To meet that threat effectively, an indepth analysis of our real capabilities in terms of: Command & control systems, nuclear weapon delivery systems and the types, character and numbers of nuclear weapons needing to constitute our nuclear arsenal and the keeping of that arsenal up-to-date, is essential - indeed acutely pressing.

To address these issues and take well informed competent and speedy decisions instead of depending entirely on the existing bureaucracy, administrative, military and scientific, it is essential to have the involvement, on a continuing basis, of a wide variety of opinions and assessments from scientists, strategic analysts and defense & diplomatic personnel with a deep understanding of the many complex issues involved, including the technologies needed to be developed, and the minimum timescale in which this can be achieved.

While secrecy is crucial, an open mind and willingness to learn are equally important. We therefore, strongly urge the government to immediately set up a high-level, independent, broad- Based Panel of Experts to define and monitor the implementation, on a continuing b sis, of an effective course of action, in the realm of thermonuclear weapons, so central to our national security.

All of us have worked on different aspects of this problem with a sound understanding of the harsh ground realities and the immense magnitude of what is at stake. It is now for the government to take the call – and without losing a minute more – as its counterparts in our adversaries have and are continuing to do so.

[color="#0000FF"]Signatories to the statement

P K Iyengar, former Chairman Atomic Energy Commission, Director BARC and a key architect of the Pokhran I nuclear test of May 18, 1974 and internationally acknowledged as India’s top nuclear weapons expert;

A N Prasad, former Director, BARC and Member (R&D) of the Atomic Energy Commission, a Senior Adviser on nuclear weapons to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna for many years and a key member of our original weapons grade plutonium extraction technology development dating back to 1960;

A Gopalakrishnan, former key expert in our Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV) project, which developed the nuclear submarine Arihant and former Chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board,

C K Mathew, former head, Radio Chemistry Division, BARC and Director Chemistry Group, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam;

Jaipal Mittal, Raja Ramana Fellow and former Director, Chemistry Group, BARC,

A D Damodaran, former Director, Special Materials Plant, Nuclear Fuel Complex and former Director, Regional Research Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram,

S R Valluri, former Director, National Aerospace Laboratory and first Director General of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the organisation specially set up to design and develop the Light Combat Aircraft – Tejas;

Capt S Prabhala, Indian Navy former Chairman & Managing Director Bharat Electronics Ltd.;

Rear Admiral J J Baxi, former Director, Weapons and Electronics Systems Organisation, Ministry of Defense and Chairman & Managing Director Bharat Electronics Ltd., and

Brigadier M R Narayanan former Director, Army Radio Engineering Network, Ministry of Defense; K S Jayaraman, formerly Nuclear Physics Division, BARC, Science Correspondent of the PTI for many years, Science Correspondent for South Asia for leading international journal ‘Nature’ and President Indian Science Writers Association.[/color]
Interesting people and promotions to watch on latest [url="http://www.drdo.com/pub/nl/2009/nov-dec09.pdf"]DRDO newsletter[/url]:


Quote:Dr S K Vasudeva, CC R&D (SS) DRDO HQrs

Dr SK Vasudeva has been appointed as Chief Controller R&D (SS) wef 01 November 2009. Dr Vasudeva after completing Master of Science in Organic Chemistry and obtaining Doctorate from Punjabi University, Patiala, joined DRDO in 1970. In 1971, he joined Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), Chandigarh. In 1976,he was selected by Ministry of Education, Govt. of India, New Delhi, for National Scholarship to study abroad and did his Post-Doctoral Research in the area of explosive compounds, at Technical University, Warsaw, under the guidance of renowned explosive expert, Professor T Urbanski.

In 1980, he was deputed to attend Warhead Technology Training Course at MBB, West Germany. He worked at the Swedish Detonics Research Laboratory, Stockholm for a very short period under the renowned detonics expert Prof Persson, in the field of high pressure physics.

In 2001, he was chosen to lead various Programmes of National importance for Defence preparedness and was appointed as Director, DRDO at New Delhi. During the last 35 years, he has been primarily associated with R&D in the field of design and development of special armament systems.

In recognition of his achievements, he received several DRDO Awards from time to time, which include: two advance increments for contributions in ’Pokharan-I’ experiments; Pathreaking Research Award (from MoD) - 1999 for contributions in ’Pokharan-II’/ ’ShaktiI-98’ experiments, Scientist of the Year’ Award - 2002, Award for Performance Excellence - 2006 and Special Award for Strategic Contribution - 2007.

He has a number of research publications in the field of Armament Technology including Technical Reports/Departmental Publications to his credit. In addition, he has 3 Patents to his credit in the field of explosive technology.

He has made unparallel contributions in special armament technology development and operationalisation of the state-of-the-art special armament and strategic systems.

His contributions are significant in DRDO approach towards self-reliance. As Additional Chief Controller R&D, DRDO he will provide leadership to strategic systems development and operationalisation.

OSD to SA to RM for International Affairs,DRDO HQrs

Shri Gopal Bhushan after completing the assignment of Adviser (Defence Technology)at the Embassy of India,Washington DC, has been appointed as OSD to SA to RM for International Affairs.

He headed the Defence Technology Wing at the Indian Mission in USA from July 2006 to October 2009. During his tenure, the Indian-US Defence R&D Cooperation has emerged as one of the fastest growing components in the bilateral relations between India and US.

His efforts have helped forging of cooperative R&D partnerships and increased the accessibility of DRDO scientists to the sensitive laboratories and facilities of US DoD and DoE. Several important agreements were signed with DRDO. Earlier, he worked as Director and the Staff Officer to the SA to RM, the

position he held from May 2000-July 2006.

While working at the Secretariat of Scientific Adviser, he gained vast experience of technical and corporate management and held the position of Co-Secretary of the Indo-Israel Management Council. IIMC is an Apex Body between DRDO and DDR&D,Israel.

He held this position for four years, during this period, several important strategic alliances were

formalised in the cutting edge military technology between the Organizations. He was also instrumental in obtaining the ISO Certification for the SA’s Secretariat for the best practices and quality management. In over twodecades with DRDO, he has worked at DRDO Computer Centre, Directorate of Advanced Computing and Systems Analyses at DRDO HQ and ISSA before joining the Secretariat of SA to RM and later deputed to the Indian Embassy at Washington DC USA.

Director, Strategic Systems, DRDO HQrs

Shri Sunil Sharma, Sci ‘F’ has been appointed as Director

(Strategic Systems) wef 01 November 2009. He obtained MSc (Electronics Science) from Dellhi University and MTech

(Computer Science) from Devi Ahilya Vishwa Vidyalaya,Indore. He joined DLRL as Sci B

in 1988.

At DLRL, he was involved in the design, development, integration, testing and field trials of

EW systems being developed for Services. In May 1991, he was attached to the Office of Chief Adviser

(Technologies). At DRDO HQrs, he was responsible for configuring, deployment of EW systems and

providing maintenance support in forward areas.

Besides these he coordinated with Central Paramilitary Forces and State Police Organisations to support them by providing DRDO-developed security related equipment/technologies. During his career at Institute of Systems Studies & Analyses (ISSA) he worked as Dy Project Director on the project ASTEROIDS and ASM. At Systems Planning & Implementation Centre (SPIC), he has been a team member for design and development of Strategic Communication Network (SCN).

As Technical Staff Officer to CC R&D (MSS) he coordinated with DRDO Missiles Laboratories for the development of strategic and missile systems and various external agencies and ministries. He is a Fellow of Institution of Engineers & Telecommunication Engineers and Member of Institution of Engineers and Computer Society of India.
We had Anil Kakodkar an year ago, during run up to debate and No-confidence motion in Parliament, selling snake oil of adding 20 GWe capacity from imported reactors by 2020; it is impossible to add 20,000 MWe in 11 years (by 2020).

[url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-5357231,prtpage-1.cms"]'India firm on right to nuclear fuel reprocessing'[/url]

Quote:TNN 20 December 2009, 06:02am IST

PUNE: Srikumar Banerjee, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), said here on Saturday that the country was firm on securing the right to reprocessing nuclear fuel under the Indo-US civil nuclear deal. The deal is in the final stages of getting operationalised.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the College of Engineering, Pune's (CoEP) second global reunion, Banerjee said, "We have to be sure that we have the right to reprocess spent fuel, which will be generated by the nuclear reactors."

Referring to the Indo-US negotiations for a reprocessing agreement, Banerjee said, "We are working on this aspect." Negotiations on the reprocessing deal began in July. Among other things, the reprocessing agreement is critical to enabling American companies enter the civil nuclear sector in India.

Under the 123 Agreement, the US had agreed that India will set up a national facility dedicated to reprocessing safeguarded nuclear material under the International Atomic Energy Agency.

However, both sides had to agree on the "arrangements and procedures" under which reprocessing would take place in this new facility. "We have given them (the US) the possibility of two sites (for the reprocessing facility)," Banerjee said.

The AEC chief added: "After the Indo-US civil nuclear deal and the opening up of other countries for nuclear cooperation, India is progressing steadily with her objective of sourcing uranium from foreign nations for powering the country's nuclear reactors. The fuel will have to be utilised for the safeguarded reactors."

Referring to the nuclear power generation plan, Banerjee said, "All ongoing efforts are directed towards meeting the target of 60,000 mega watt (MW) capacity for nuclear power by 2032. This will be 10 per cent of the 6,00,000 MW installed capacity that has been projected from all sources by 2032 in the country."

As of now, nuclear power accounts for a three per cent share in the overall power being generated from different sources in India, he said. Taking this share up to 10 per cent by 2032 involves a slew of measures, including the setting up of imported light water reactors that are intended to add 20,000 MW capacity.

Banerjee said the department of atomic energy was in the process of setting up energy parks that will have more reactors. Each of these parks could have a 6 x 1,000 MW or even 6 x 1,650 MW capacity. The energy parks are coming up at Chhayamithi Virdi in Gujarat, Jaitapur in Maharashtra and Kowada in Andhra Pradesh, among other places, he said.

The AEC chief strongly disagreed with the suggestion that the recent incident at the Kaiga nuclear plant in Karnataka, where some employees were affected by radioactive elements after drinking contaminated water from a water cooler, was a result of sabotage. "The Kaiga incident was not sabotage. In fact, I am not sure how one can define sabotage in an incidents like this," he said, adding, "An inquiry into the incident is in progress."

On the raging debate within the Indian scientific community over the results of the Pokhran-II nuclear tests, Banerjee said that barring certain classified information, the country had released all details about the experiment. "There is no difference in the claims made then and now," he added.
I wanted to post this in response to some speculations on available Indian fissile material.

Gagan: I think you are misreading the statement. At that time, except for 6 reactors, all others, i.e: 14, were not under safeguards. The separation agreement, put another 8 under safeguards. It did not mean that all the 14 non safeguarded reactors were actually being used for military purposes. The general understanding is that their potential for military use has been well understood, however, they were largely being used for civilian purposes. The PHWR's partial use to produce fissile material, would be an inefficient use of available resources and the best way would be, is to have dedicated reactors. The best public guidance for fissile material is a third coming from Cirrus, mentioned in our parliament by Arun Shourie to go by.

Almost ALL others are speculations of India's fissile material, by mostly foreign sources, based on the potential of the non safeguarded reactors, plugged into our civilian grid.

I do not have much evidence, based on Indian sources, beyond what has been publicly cited, but I believe the following, based on readings and understandings.

- Arun Shourie's estimates on Indian FM are correct, but older - pre - 1998 (the statement was made in 2006).

- Post 1998, at least some of the non safe guarded PHWR's are being used to produce fissile material, in partial burn mode

- It was the above, that concerned BM, in initially not endorsing the nuclear deal, however, the INC government assured BM, that they are continuing to produce FM in quantities, consistend with what the NDA regime did, which resulted in him endorsing the deal

My understanding is Dhruva continues to be the main stay for production of Indian FM, supplemented by the TFBR and the Cirrus, to be soon closed down and this gap to be fulfilled by the unsafeguarded PHWR's and as supplemental capability available, if needed.

India's fissile material production, is under the policy guidelines of the MCD. I believe, that K. Subrahamanyam's changes in the view from about 60 weapons needed for deterrence to about 150 weapons, has a direct correlation to the additional fissile material, India has produced. India's main stay of nuclear weapons are pure fission bombs. BF weapons are a high probability and TN weapons have not been deployed. The yields of India's atomic weapons are in the 15-80 KT range, appropriately configured for missiles and gravity war heads. BF weapons are reserved for Agni II AT and Agni III and upcoming Agni V. Shourya will likely have fission bombs and some version of Agni III, when ready for SLBM will have the BF weapons.

Based on the above assumptions, one can come up with some ranges, on what is the likely fissile material that India is likely to have, how much fissile material is used in such weapons but the numbers are only as good as the assumptions. The above assumptions can and should be challenged for I offer no proof and have none. Have fun, calculating these.
Interesting thought. In particular because as I was reading some stuff on Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, the definition of fissile material is either:

  1. 1. Uranium that is enriched >20%

    2. Plutonium that has been separated from spent fuel. (I.e. Spent fuel that is sitting idle from unsafe-guarded reactors awaiting reprocessing can't be counted in Pu inventory of a nation).

    3. Looks like there is no mention yet of Fissile Uranium from non-enrichment process (AKA Thorium derived from FBR or AHWR)[/code]

For India the need for military use of fissile material is not only weapons but also to power nuclear powered submarines (and later surface vessels also). The latter requires steady stream of fissile fuel as against material required for a fixed sized weapon inventory.

Only part of the installed capacity of Indian made and locally fueled PHWR can be used for military grade Pu production (mainly limited by fuel loader throughput and availability). If one had the will, yet did not want to compromise plant load factor, my conservative guess is that only ~5 - 7 % of the plant capacity can be used to convert fresh fuel into lightly irradiated fuel rod (and then withdrawn to recover Pu). Thus a 220 MWe PHWR will yield ~ 10 - 15 Kg WgPu /Year. or ~1,900 Kg from all non-safeguarded reactors since inception. It is however unlikely that the reactors have been used like this since inception. More like 20% of what was possible since inception. Viz 380 Kg. Add to that what is obtained from Dhruv ~300 Kg. And assuming all WgPu spent fuel were reprocessed (a question mark in itself), that (680 Kg) defines reasonable estimate of Indian fissile stock.

As far as non-weapon grade Pu, literature shows officials mentioning ~10 tonnes of it, much of it I suspect is un-separated from in the from of spent fuel rods

Now one can see from 680 Kg WgPu, how many pure 20 Kt yield fission bombs ( @ 8Kg per core) can be made? Answer: <85

If one considers half of the fissile material is in form of FBF of 17 Kt yield ( @~2.5 Kg per core) that gives: 42 pure Fission + 136 FBF.

[quote name='Shaurya' date='26 December 2009 - 12:54 AM' timestamp='1261768562' post='103132']

I wanted to post this in response to some speculations on available Indian fissile material.

Gagan: I think you are misreading the statement. At that time, except for 6 reactors, all others, i.e: 14, were not under safeguards. The separation agreement, put another 8 under safeguards. It did not mean that all the 14 non safeguarded reactors were actually being used for military purposes. The general understanding is that their potential for military use has been well understood, however, they were largely being used for civilian purposes. The PHWR's partial use to produce fissile material, would be an inefficient use of available resources and the best way would be, is to have dedicated reactors. The best public guidance for fissile material is a third coming from Cirrus, mentioned in our parliament by Arun Shourie to go by.

Almost ALL others are speculations of India's fissile material, by mostly foreign sources, based on the potential of the non safeguarded reactors, plugged into our civilian grid.

I do not have much evidence, based on Indian sources, beyond what has been publicly cited, but I believe the following, based on readings and understandings.

- Arun Shourie's estimates on Indian FM are correct, but older - pre - 1998 (the statement was made in 2006).

- Post 1998, at least some of the non safe guarded PHWR's are being used to produce fissile material, in partial burn mode

- It was the above, that concerned BM, in initially not endorsing the nuclear deal, however, the INC government assured BM, that they are continuing to produce FM in quantities, consistend with what the NDA regime did, which resulted in him endorsing the deal

My understanding is Dhruva continues to be the main stay for production of Indian FM, supplemented by the TFBR and the Cirrus, to be soon closed down and this gap to be fulfilled by the unsafeguarded PHWR's and as supplemental capability available, if needed.

India's fissile material production, is under the policy guidelines of the MCD. I believe, that K. Subrahamanyam's changes in the view from about 60 weapons needed for deterrence to about 150 weapons, has a direct correlation to the additional fissile material, India has produced. India's main stay of nuclear weapons are pure fission bombs. BF weapons are a high probability and TN weapons have not been deployed. The yields of India's atomic weapons are in the 15-80 KT range, appropriately configured for missiles and gravity war heads. BF weapons are reserved for Agni II AT and Agni III and upcoming Agni V. Shourya will likely have fission bombs and some version of Agni III, when ready for SLBM will have the BF weapons.

Based on the above assumptions, one can come up with some ranges, on what is the likely fissile material that India is likely to have, how much fissile material is used in such weapons but the numbers are only as good as the assumptions. The above assumptions can and should be challenged for I offer no proof and have none. Have fun, calculating these.


K. Subrahamanyam's 60-80 kT is not founded on sound scientific/military methodology, and IMVHO unsubstantiated wet dream.

Upper limit of scaling the 17kT FBF tested in Pok-II is ~50-60 kT, but obviously that article (design) is not validated. Higher yield (I.e. those >50 kT, like 100 kt, 150 kt, or even 200 kt) FBF require high speed diagnostic equipment that India does not have (and Pakistan has that gifted by Chinese). Thus lacking will to test, 50 kt FBF is upper limit of credible weapon yield. One can thus base own assessment above or below K. Subrahamanyam's 80 kT, after all it a guesswork unencumbered by scientific methodology.
This is wrong move that pushes India on slippery slope where other countries (that have fulfilled their national interests) determine Indian possession fo a tested TN weapon arsenal.

[url="http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/491818.aspx"]India to Japan: Let US, China ratify CTBT first[/url]

Quote:New Delhi, December 29, 2009

Pitching for civil nuclear cooperation with Tokyo, [color="#0000FF"]India Tuesday made it clear to Japan that it will consider its options on signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) only after the US and China show the way by ratifying the pact.[/color]

Tokyo, however, kept the door open for civil nuclear business and high-tech trade, saying it will be "an important agenda for the future" in India-Japan dialogue.

Civil nuclear cooperation was among key issues Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discussed with his Japanese counterpart Yukio Hatoyama in wide-ranging talks.

They vowed to push for an early conclusion of an economic partnership agreement to scale up trade and investment and cooperate on a range of global issues, including the UN reforms, climate change and nuclear disarmament.

The two leaders signed an ambitious joint declaration entitled 'New Stage of India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership', which has an action plan on advancing security and counter-terror cooperation as its centrepiece.

The action plan, based on a declaration signed in October last year, unveils a new "2-plus-2" dialogue framework at the subcabinet/senior official level involving the external affairs and defence ministries.

The two sides also decided to ease visa rules within a year to spur trade and tourism and agreed to conclude Comprehensive Economic Partnership Pact (CEPA) by next year, an important move that can multiply the current $13 billion bilateral trade manifold.

But the prospect of closer security cooperation did not translate into a breakthrough in the area of civil nuclear cooperation due to differences over the CTBT, which New Delhi regards as as unfair and discriminatory.

"I expressed the hope that along with the US and China, India will sign and ratify the (CTBT) treaty," Hatoyama told reporters at a joint press conference.

[color="#0000FF"]"In response, Prime Minister Singh said should the US and China ratify the CTBT, a new situation will emerge,"[/color] he said.

"I believe he has stated it as a matter of fact. We firmly have to engage in these endeavours," he added.

Hatoyama wrapped up his three-day visit to India Tuesday, his first stand-alone visit to an Asian country since his party's surprise victory in the August elections, that ended a five-decade-plus run of the Liberal Democratic Party.

The US and China have signed the CTBT, but has not ratified it due to sharp divisions among the political establishment over its impact on their deterrence. [color="#0000FF"]US President Barack Obama has declared the ratification of the CTBT as an important policy goal of his administration and put nuclear disarmament back on global agenda[/color].

Underlining India's impeccable record in nuclear non-proliferation and the Nuclear Suppliers Group waiver for resuming global nuclear trade with New Delhi last year, Manmohan Singh made a pitch for initiating atomic trade with Japan.

"We had fairly extensive discussions in civil nuclear energy. I explained to the prime minister the circumstances under which India took the nuclear weapon route," Manmohan Singh said while alluding to India's 1998 nuclear tests that led Japan and many NSG countries to impose sanctions on India.

[color="#0000FF"]Manmohan Singh, however, assured that India will stick to its "unilateral and voluntary moratorium on explosive nuclear testing" and pledged to cooperate in the area of universal nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

"That's a commitment India will honour," he added.


Japan's response was non-committal. "We discussed civil nuclear cooperation. This would become a very important agenda in the future," was all Hatoyama would say. His remarks indicated that Japan, a pacifist nation that swears by a hawkish non-proliferation agenda, may consider exporting atomic materials to India sometime in future.

The two prime ministers shared the view that nuclear energy can play an important role as a safe, sustainable and non-polluting source of energy in meeting the rising global energy demands, said the joint statement.

Urging India to join efforts for a speedy conclusion of the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), Hatoyama struck an optimistic note on spurring high-technology trade, saying that there is enormous scope in this area. He, however, added that India needs to assure Japan that the Japanese high-tech imports will not be diverted for weapons or to third countries.
BARC fire is accident or something else?
[quote name='Mudy' date='30 December 2009 - 07:12 AM' timestamp='1262136869' post='103194']

BARC fire is accident or something else?


Current indications are it was an accident.

An interesting factor to keep in mind is what chemicals can result in that size explosion and fire; and from that evaulate the processes that use that kind of chemicals. Again this was a lab (I.e. process control or new development), and not reactor operations area.

[url="http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/article95097.ece"]India to build two more fast breeder reactors[/url]


Kalpakkam, January 26, 2010Two more fast breeder reactors of 500 MWe capacity each would be set up here by 2020, a top official of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) said on Tuesday.

“In addition to the prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR), work on which is nearing completion, we have planned to construct two more reactors of this kind,” IGCAR Director Dr Baldev Raj told reporters here.

He said the work on the two reactors was expected to start by 2014.

On the ongoing work on the Rs 3,500-crore first FBR, Raj said the physical and civil construction was almost complete and it would be commissioned by October 2011.

The safety vessel and main vessel had already been placed in the reactor vault while the inner vessel would be installed before the reactor was closed, he said.

Other works, including primary piping and electrical, would be completed very soon, Raj said.

The testing of indigenously developed fission chamber would be carried out for three months from February end.

Stating that officials were ensuring the safety of the reactor, double testing each and every aspect, he said more validation was being done in each and every parameter.

On cost over run, he said the increase in the prices of steel and cement would push up the cost by 15-20 per cent.

On possible competition by China in FBR technology, he said country was trying to buy two reactors from Russia.

In future, IGCAR would go in for 1000 mw FBRs, the Director added.
[url="http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Outside_View_Obama_and_India_999.html"]Outside View: Obama and India[/url]

Quote:by M.D. Nalapat

Manipal, India (UPI) Jan 26, 2009

Once in office, U.S. President Barack Obama apparently decided to abandon his own policy preferences in favor of those of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Given the reluctance of the former president and the current secretary of state to agree to an equal partnership with India, it is no surprise that the past year has seen the killing-off of the tiny shoots of U.S.-India high-tech cooperation promised by former President George W. Bush.

This is despite the eagerness of NASA for joint projects with India. The U.S. space agency is aware that it will continue to be commercially outclassed by the European Union unless it ties up with India's Space Research Organization.

The Indians can undertake space launches that are 40 percent cheaper than the EU. Were NASA to outsource some of its hardware and software needs to India, the agency would outclass the Europeans in almost every segment of space research and exploration. This is why successive NASA administrators have -- on record -- pushed for closer cooperation with India.

However, the death-grip between Washington and Islamabad has sabotaged all such efforts, even though NASA and ISRO have numerous complementarities, such as in hardware and software.

On several occasions, pressure from the White House and the State Department aborted efforts by Taiwan, Malaysia and a Middle Eastern country to put payloads into orbit through ISRO rockets. Taiwan withdrew its request to use Indian launch capabilities more than a decade ago but it has been scarcely five years since Malaysia called off its launch less than an hour before liftoff.

[color="#800080"]The Malaysians were up front in privately telling the Indians that pressure to abort came directly from the White House and hence could not be refused.[/color]

During the 1950s, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson and his successor J. Foster Dulles muddied U.S. relations with several Asian countries by tagging alongside European countries unwilling to put an end to their colonial empires in Asia. This included the French, for example, who sought to hold on to Indochina long after the British had left India.

These days, despite his promise of change, Obama appears to have returned to Clinton-style paternalism toward countries in Asia and Africa, focusing obsessively on the EU as the only U.S. partner of choice.

In the mind war that is being lost by the coalition in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the addition of a few non-EU partners would have done much to remove the fear among the local populations that European-style colonialism was returning via the Pentagon. Media commentators in the West quote high "approval" ratings for occupation forces, unaware that the people polled are simply telling them what they believe the West wants to hear -- the way these same people professed love for former Saddam Hussein and fealty toward the Taliban.

Asian visitors to Iraq and Afghanistan say the local populations are eager to see the back of the hundreds of thousands of coalition troops in their countries.

Indeed, the security situation in Iraq has improved considerably now that U.S. forces have taken a recessed role. In Afghanistan as well, only a withdrawal of coalition forces from the towns and cities will generate public support and participation for the government of President Hamid Karzai as it seeks to fend off the threat from the Taliban -- newly revived by cash from coalition sources buying off opposition and logistical backing from within Pakistan.

Sadly, such advice sounds as outlandish now to coalition ears as did similar advice by this columnist to friends in the Pentagon in 2004, who refused to believe that the high visibility of U.S. troops was in fact the primary engine fuelling recruitment to the growing tide of militancy.

Although George W. Bush understood the imperative of close cooperation between the United States and India, the many Europeanists within his administration -- including Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, though not Donald Rumsfeld -- prevented him from building on the momentum created by his 2005 decision with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India to forge a nuclear partnership.

However, baby steps toward high-tech cooperation were initiated on his watch, including a small easing of visa restrictions on Indian scientists.

Today, thanks to Hillary Clinton, these irritants are back. Indian scientists, including people such as Goverdhan Mehta who is a member of the U.S. Academy of Sciences, are once again being denied visas to enter the United States. Those working in aerospace, physics and chemistry find it next to impossible to visit the United States even to attend a conference.

This has created anger among India's scientists, who are now dismissive of Singh's claim that there has been a qualitative improvement in U.S.-India high-tech cooperation. Of course, a few cosmetic measures have been permitted by Clinton and Obama, such as the sending of a small NASA payload aboard India's recent mission to the moon.

Clinton and Obama have been working overtime to pressure India into giving concessions to U.S. entities that have no place in a market economy. An example is the attempt to fix a cap of $400 million as liability for a nuclear accident involving a U.S. reactor, a figure that would apply even if such a disaster were to claim as many lives as Union Carbide's 1984 Bhopal gas leak did -- around 30,000 over its course.

Of course, a benevolent Indian Supreme Court demanded less than $400 million from the company for the accident. Soon afterward Chief Justice R.S. Pathak was appointed to the International Court -- clearly by coincidence.

Indian civil society is aghast at the way the Nobel Peace Prize-winning U.S. president is permitting his administration to arm-twist the Singh government into placing such a low cap on financial liability for a nuclear accident.

A senior atomic scientist in India's nuclear establishment warned that such a cap "would encourage U.S. companies to make Indians into experimental mice for reactor designs," pointing out that it has been close to four decades since the United States designed a reactor. He warns that the use of technologies with such artificial caps would be hazardous to public safety.

Under President Nicolas Sarkozy, France has become the new poodle of Washington, displacing Britain. As a consequence, Paris is seeking tough conditions for nuclear trade with India -- in the process handing over the advantage to Moscow, which is much more open to equal collaboration.

No wonder Russia has secured 70 percent of the new Indian orders for nuclear reactors, with France taking the rest. Because of its insistence on conditions that are antithetical to a free market, the United States has not secured a single order.

However, this shortfall in cash from India could be made up if the United States emerged as the major weapons supplier to India, displacing Russia. But here as well, a toughening of conditions under the Obama administration -- as well as a repeat of the Dick Cheney policy of thrusting the obsolete F-16 down the throat of the Indian air force -- may mean that defense orders bypass the United States.

By any rational measure, India is at least as important as Britain and France, nuclear weapons states with permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council. Unless Clinton paternalism is discarded in favor of realism, and India is seen as deserving of the same status, the promise of an India-U.S. technology alliance may remain no more than that during the Obama years -- a promise.

(M.D. Nalapat is vice-chairman of the Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair, and professor of geopolitics at Manipal University.)

(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)
[url="http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Politics/Nation/US-certifies-India-IAEA-Safeguards-Agreement-on-civil-n-facilities-/articleshow/5534227.cms"]US certifies India-IAEA Safeguards Agreement on civil n-facilities [/url]

4 Feb 2010,

Quote:WASHINGTON: In yet another step towards full implementation of the India-US civil nuclear deal, President Barack Obama has certified that India

has placed its nuclear facilities under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

Obama made the Congressionally-mandated certification Wednesday in a presidential memorandum to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking her to have it inserted in the Federal Register that records all government actions.

Obama's confirmation that India has formally agreed to provide the UN nuclear watchdog access to a specified number of nuclear reactors takes the deal yet another step closer to implementation of the landmark deal. Military facilities are excluded from the safeguards agreement.

But a couple of other crucial steps are still pending. India and the US are still negotiating an agreement on reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. The two sides are said to be on track to complete the talks by August as provided under the deal.

India also needs to approve liability protection for US companies. The Indian cabinet has approved the necessary legislation, but it has yet to be placed before parliament.

In a presidential memorandum released by the White House, Obama wrote: "I hereby determine and certify that:

1. The agreement between the government of India and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the application of safeguards to civilian nuclear facilities, as approved by the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency on August 1, 2008 (the 'Safeguards Agreement'), has entered into force; and

2. The government of India has filed a declaration of facilities pursuant to paragraph 13 of the Safeguards Agreement that is not materially inconsistent with the facilities and schedule described in paragraph 14 of the Separation Plan present in the national Parliament of India on May 11, 2006, taking into account the later initiation of safeguards that was anticipated in the Separation Plan."

[url="http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article101914.ece"]Russia unveils new nuclear doctrine[/url]


Quote:Lowering the threshhold for the use of nuclear weapons, Russia has said it reserves the right to hit back with nukes in case of an aggression, in a new doctrine which may be a veiled warning to China and rising NATO powers.[color="#0000ff"]“Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction against it and its allies, as well as an aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons jeopardising the very existence of the state,”[/color] a military doctrine signed by President Dmitry Medvedev said.

Speaking on the conditions of anonymity some foreign diplomats believe that the lowering of threshold for the nuclear weapons could be a veiled warning to China, which has an overwhelming numerical advantage over Russia with the total population less than 147 million.

A retired three-star Soviet general, who wished not to be named, told PTI yesterday that after 1968 border conflict with China, the Soviet General Staff had virtually given up the concept of a conventional war with ‘our great Asian neighbour’, the new doctrine has publicly stated the stance.

Expansion of NATO closer to the boundaries of Russia, deployment of missile shield elements on the perimeter of its land and maritime borders, international terrorism, proliferation of WMD and growing number of nuclear powers have also been identified as the external threats for the security of the nation.



Column: Applaud, don't shoot the chief


Quote:2010-02-11 15:17:28

Last Updated: 2010-02-11 19:00:10

Colonel Anil Athale

`If you do not like the message, shoot the messenger,` goes an old adage.

General Deepak Kapoor, the Indian Army Chief and currently the Chairman of Joint Chief`s of Staff, would not have anticipated that his enunciation of India`s defence strategy would make him a target of the Indian media. The reaction from Pakistan and to some extent China is along predictable lines, but the attempts by some Indian media houses to run him down is appalling, to say the least.

This is my small attempt to set the record straight and nail the lies.

In his recent statement which seems to have provoked this peculiar reaction, General Kapoor basically proposed three things-

• [color="#800080"]India is preparing for a limited conflict under the `nuclear overhang`[/color].

• India is preparing for a quick response short of all out war to ‘unconventional warfare’ (diplomatese for cross border terror)

• India is preparing for a two front war-against China and Pakistan simultaneously.

The reaction to this has been a predictable hysteria in Pakistan and among the peaceniks in India. Pakistan described the statement as threatening, while sneering at India’s capability to take on China.

As the Kargil episode showed, a limited war under conditions of nuclear deterrence is not a new concept. It is hypocritical for Pakistan to now protest if India is preparing to pay it back in its own coin. The point is, by [color="#800080"]clearly enunciating this doctrine India has put Pak on notice that a ‘reverse Kargil’ would be a distinct possibility[/color].

The second issue of a quick response or ‘cold start’ is directly linked to the fact that in last decade India has suffered several proxy terror strikes from Pakistan, always denied by Pakistan. Given the type of attacks, what this new strategy means is that in future Pakistan will have to take into account a likely Indian retaliation.

In the aftermath of Kandahar hijacking of 1999, the attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 as well as the massacre of soldiers’ families in Kaluchak in May 2002, India found that its forces lacked flexibility and reaction speed. The Mumbai train blasts of July 2006 and Mumbai attack of Nov 2008 brought home the need to have forces to react quickly and inflict appropriate punishment on the adversary.

Apparently this lacunae has now been rectified, and the nation now has the tools to implement it. With this force in being, it is hoped that Pakistan will be deterred from repeating the earlier adventures. The onus on escalating further will lie fully on it shoulders. Rather than increasing tensions or chances of war, this will possibly prevent adventurism by Pakistan and force it to revive its support to the Jihadi non-state actors.

Those who are familiar with the history of Cold War developments of strategies between the US and erstwhile Soviet Union will know that the strategy of flexible response was developed by the US under Robert McNamara, to deal with similar situation of asymmetric Soviet threats. This is a sort of deterrence within deterrence.

As to the two front threat that India faces, the history of last 40 odd years shows that this has been a reality since 1963, when the Pakistan-China nexus came into existence. In 1965 at the height of Indo Pak war, China had massed troops on Sikkim border to help Pakistan. During the 1971 war too, India faced a similar two front threat. This was dealt with deftly by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by signing a treaty with Soviet Union (12 August 1971). During the 1971 war, China was kept quiet by the deployment of 21 Soviet divisions on the Amur-Ussuri border. With the demise of Soviet Union, India had to naturally revise its policy to deal with future conflicts.

But the most curious comment from Pakistan has been that this shows that the military is calling the shots in India. Anyone with even nodding acquaintance with the process of Indian decision-making would know that this new strategy must have been result of the review ordered by the Cabinet. In India, Generals do not make policy, political leaders do. But unlike Pakistani Generals, Indian Generals seldom speak out, and when they do, the Pakistanis should take them seriously. In the 2002 standoff, it was the warning of impending disaster for Pakistan issued by General Padmanabhan that had the desired effect, forcing Pakistan to submit a ‘verifiable’ assurance of curbing the Jihadis.

With US breathing down its neck to close down the Jihadi factories and India deciding to forge instruments to punish proxy attacks, there is natural disquiet in Pakistan over the loss of leverage obtained through patronising terror organisations like the Lashkar-e-Toiba..

[color="#800080"]But what is surprising that even some Indians found this new strategy objectionable[/color]. Do they want India to suffer another Mumbai-style attack?

Ayaz Amir in the ‘News’ (of Pakistan) and Mr K Subrahmanyam, former convener of India’s National Security Council, have made more or less the same points as I have made above. [color="#800080"]But the real ‘Elephant in the room’ is the distance that we seem to have covered in acquiring the needed capability. [/color]

Thanks to the inefficiencies of the DRDO, the Indian armed forces have fought all wars with technology inferior to the enemy. This was true of 1962, 1965 and even 1971, be it the artillery, tanks, radars or even infantry weapons. Not just our adversaries, but [color="#800080"]even terrorists have had better weapons than our own soldiers.[/color] That we still held our own is a tribute to the valour and leadership of our forces.

This is not mere bellyaching, or a bad carpenter blaming his tools syndrome. We were in a situation that we did not have the necessary tools at all . The fact that we are in a position to now think of a ‘flexible response’ strategy as opposed to ‘all or nothing’ means that we have now the means to carry out the required tasks. This would not be possible without the support of the US, the leading country as far as military technology is concerned.

Perhaps wisdom has finally dawned on the West that India –not Pakistan-- is the frontline state as far as the war on terror is concerned. Strategically, with the Americans building up in Afghanistan and the Pakistanis on the backfoot, there was a possibility that the Jihadis would mount attacks on India to derail the US operations by diverting the Pakistan army to check India. It is to counter such an eventuality that the new ‘cold start’ strategy has been initiated.

Hope for peace, or `Aman ki Aasha` for the subcontinent depends squarely on the Pakistani state giving up terror as a state policy.

That being the case, this is an occasion to celebrate, not castigate the messenger.

[Image: Anil_63x63.jpg]Colonel (Dr) Anil Athale is Chhatrapati Shivaji Fellow of the USI studying insurgency, and the co-ordinator of Inpad, a Pune-based think tank.

Quote:On Yields of May 11, 1998 Indian explosions by network averaged teleseismic P-wave spectra

Authors: S.K. Sikka

(Submitted on 20 Dec 2009)

Abstract: We show here that the network averaged teleseismic P-wave spectra for Indian explosions of May 11, 1998, given by Barker et al, do not have an unambiguous interpretation. Barker et al had earlier demonstrated these were similar to the Shagan River testing site of former Soviet Union. We prove here that these are equally consistent with RUBIS (57 kt) and PILEDRIVER (62kt) explosions in French Hogger and US Nevada testing sites respectively.


Quote:On Yields of May 11, 1998 Indian explosions by network averaged teleseismic P-wave spectra


Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India, Delhi


The above analysis clearly shows that the net work-averaged P wave spectra given by the US scientists now fully support the radiochemical yield estimates of Indian scientists and also the interpretation of close-in data and seismic analysis done earlier (Sikka et al [7- 9] and Roy et al [10]) and that the thermonuclear device performed as designed (see Table 1).


Yield (kt)



P-wave magnitude calibrated with Pok-1 yield


Net- work averaged P wave spectrum (reinterpreted)


Δm(Lg) between Pok 1 and Pok 2


Ms from regional and teleseismic stations


Δm (pcp) between Pok 1 and Pok 2





50 ± 10

13 ± 3
Ignoring lessons of Bhopal & Chernobyl

Brahma Chellaney

The government’s nuclear-accident liability bill seeks to burden Indian taxpayers with a huge hidden subsidy by protecting foreign reactor builders from the weight of the financial consequences of severe accidents.

Quote:The vaunted civil nuclear deal with the United States came into effect in 2008, with the U.S. Congress attaching a string of conditions to the ratification legislation, the Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Non-Proliferation Enhancement Act (NCANEA). The Indian Parliament was allowed no role to play, not even to examine the deal’s provisions. But having sidelined Parliament on the main deal, the government now wants it to pass a special law to provide foreign companies with liability protection in case of nuclear accidents. Such a law has been demanded by U.S. firms, which, unlike their state-owned French and Russian competitors, are in the private sector.

It is important to remember that the promises on which the deal was sold to the country have been belied, one by one. For example, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had exulted in 2008 that the deal “marks the end … of the technology-denial regime against India.” Yet, just last month, his Defence Minister conveyed to U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates India’s “concerns regarding denial of export licences for various defence-related requirements of the armed forces” and other “anomalous” technology restrictions.

After the 123 Agreement was clinched, Dr. Singh told Parliament in 2007 that an “important yardstick has been met by the permanent consent for India to reprocess.” But in 2010, India is still negotiating with the U.S. to secure a right to reprocess spent fuel. The U.S., in any event, has no intention of granting India “permanent consent,” with the State Department having notified Congress that the proposed arrangements with India “will provide for withdrawal of reprocessing consent.” The biggest fiction, of course, was to present the deal as the answer to the country’s burgeoning energy needs. Nuclear energy cannot be a reasonable solution for any country because plants take too long to build and cost far too much. The first plant to be set up under the deal is likely to generate electricity, in the rosiest scenario, not before 2016.

In a more-plausible scenario, the timeline may stretch up to 2020, given the three reactor-exporting countries’ record. While the U.S. has built no plant in many years, Russia is still struggling to complete its much-delayed twin reactors in Kudankulam, India. As for France, its two new plants under construction, one in Finland and the other at home, are billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.

The bigger question, which New Delhi consistently has shied away from discussing, is about the cost of electricity from foreign-built reactors. India’s heavily-subsidised indigenous nuclear power industry is supplying electricity at between 270 and 290 paise per kilowatt hour from the reactors built since the 1990s. That price is far higher than the cost of electricity from coal-fired plants. But electricity from foreign-built nuclear reactors will be even dearer. That, in effect, will increase the burden of subsidies on the Indian taxpayers, even as the reactor imports lock India into an external-fuel dependency.

To compound matters, the government’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Bill, proposed to be introduced in the upcoming Parliament session, amounts to yet another tier of state subsidy, even if a hidden one. The bill is designed to shield foreign-reactor builders from the weight of the financial consequences of severe accidents. It shifts the primary burden for accident liability from the foreign builders to the Indian state. Although its text has not yet been made public, the bill is said to cap total compensation payable in the event of a severe radioactive release at Rs. 2,250 crore ($483 million), with the liability of the foreign supplier restricted to a trifling Rs. 300 crore ($64.6 million).

That represents an Indian taxpayer subsidy to foreign firms to help slash their cost of doing business in India. Each foreign reactor will carry a price tag of several billion dollars. Given that India has agreed to award contracts specifically to U.S., French and Russian firms, each such foreign supplier is expected to build more than one twin-reactor plant. India indeed has agreed in writing to import at least 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power-generating capacity from the U.S. alone. While each such firm stands to rake in billions of dollars in profit from the Indian market, its accident liability is being capped virtually at a pittance.

The partial core meltdown almost 31 years ago at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania didn’t kill anyone, but it led to 14 years of clean-up costing $1 billion. Despite India’s own bitter experience over the Union Carbide gas catastrophe at Bhopal, the government wants the Indian taxpayers to carry the can for foreign reactor builders. Why cap liability on terms financially prejudicial to Indian interests?

Worse still, India — instead of facilitating open market competition — is seeking to protect foreign firms from the market. From procuring land for them for reactor construction to freeing them from the task of producing electricity at marketable rates, India is doing everything to rig the terms of doing business in their favour. By designating nuclear parks for foreign-built reactors, the government has reserved reactor sites exclusively but separately for the U.S., France and Russia. In the same way it has signed billions of dollars worth of arms contracts in recent years with the U.S. without any competitive bidding and transparency, New Delhi is set to award nuclear contracts on a government-to-government basis.

India’s nuclear-accident liability bill aims to help replicate what U.S. nuclear firms presently enjoy in their domestic market, where the Price-Anderson Act caps the industry’s liability for a severe radioactive release. But for each accident, the Price-Anderson liability system provides more than $10.5 billion in total potential compensation through a complex formula that includes insurance coverage carried by the reactor that suffered the accident, “retrospective premiums” from each of the covered reactors in operation in the U.S., and a 5 per cent surcharge. Washington assumes liability for any catastrophic damages from an accident only above the $10.5 billion figure (which is inflation-adjusted every five years and thus variable).

Why should a poor country like India assume liability from a ridiculously low threshold? In fact, to cover claims of personal injury and property damage in the event of a catastrophic nuclear accident, India — given the density of its population and the consequent higher risks — must also maintain a large standby compensation pool, but without the state being burdened.

Another troubling aspect of the proposed Indian legislation is that while the Price-Anderson Act permits economic (but not legal) channelling of liability, thereby allowing lawsuits against any party, New Delhi is granting foreign suppliers immunity from legal actions — however culpable they may be for an accident — by introducing legal channelling of all liability to the Indian state (which will run the foreign-built plants through its Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited). What will it do to nuclear safety to free foreign suppliers upfront from “the precautionary principle” and “the polluter pays principle” and turn their legal liability for an accident into mere compensation, that too at an inconsequential level?

To be sure, without a cap on liability damages in India, U.S. firms would be exposed to unlimited liability. But in its effort to help create a congenial environment for them to do business in India, should the state gratuitously assume the principal financial burden in the event of an accident? The proposed Indian cap is well below international levels. Japan, for example, has boosted its plant operator liability to120 billion yen ($1.33 billion). Under the OECD’s 2004-amended Paris Convention, total liability was set at €1.5 billion ($2.04 billion), with the operator’s share being nearly half. Germany, for its part, has unlimited operator liability and demands € 2.5 billion ($3.4 billion) security from each plant’s operator.

After the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, with its transboundary consequences, international efforts were initiated to harmonise rules on liability and compensation. But those efforts have been stymied by the failure to bring all relevant international instruments into force. States with a majority of the world’s present 436 nuclear power reactors are not yet party to any international liability convention. Many countries still maintain a “wait and see” approach. For example, China, Japan and the U.S. are not party to any international liability convention, while Russia — a party to the Vienna Convention since 2005 — has refused to pass legislation to waive or cap accident liability for its foreign suppliers. China has yet to erect a formal domestic liability regime, although its State Council in 1986 issued an administrative legal document as an “interim” liability measure.

[color="#0000FF"][color="#0000FF"]When a number of nuclear-generating countries are yet to adopt domestic legislation in this field, let alone ratify international conventions, why is New Delhi in a rush to pass a bill that caps liability on terms weighted in favour of foreign suppliers? [/color][/color]Parliament indeed should seize the opportunity offered by the liability bill to scrutinise the nuclear deal in its entirety.
Nuclear power is the right way forward, in perticular the 3 stage Thorium fuel cycyle.


2016 Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources from the Annual Energy Outlook 2010[/url]

Quote:Release Date: January 12, 2010

Next Release Date: N/A

The table below page provides the average national levelized costs for the generating technologies represented in the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) as configured for the Annual Energy Outlook 2010 (AEO2010) reference case.[url="http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/electricity_generation.html#notes"][sup]1[/sup][/url] Levelized costs represent the present value of the total cost of building and operating a generating plant over its financial life, converted to equal annual payments and amortized over expected annual generation from an assumed duty cycle. The key factors contributing to levelized costs include the cost of constructing the plant, the time required to construct the plant, the non-fuel costs of operating the plant, the fuel costs, the cost of financing, and the utilization of the plant.[sup][url="http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/electricity_generation.html#notes"]2[/url][/sup] The availability of various incentives including state or federal tax credits can also impact these costs. The values shown in the table do not incorporate any such incentives. As with any projections, there is uncertainty about all of these factors and their values can vary regionally and across time as technologies evolve. When evaluating actual plant proposals, the specific technological and regional characteristics of the project must be taken into account.

In the AEO2010 reference case a 3-percentage point increase in the cost of capital is added when evaluating investments in GHG intensive technologies like coal-fired power plants without carbon control and sequestration (CCS) and coal-to-liquids (CTL) plants. While the 3-percentage point adjustment is somewhat arbitrary, in levelized cost terms its impact is similar to that of a $15 per ton CO2 emissions fee when investing in a new coal plant without CCS, well within the range of the results of simulations that utilities and regulators have prepared. The adjustment should not be seen as an increase in the actual cost of financing, but rather as representing the implicit hurdle being added to GHG intensive projects to account for the possibility they may eventually have to purchase allowances or invest in other GHG emission-reducing projects that offset their emissions. As a result, the levelized capital costs of coal-fired plants without CCS are higher than would otherwise be expected.

Levelized costs can be useful when comparing different technology options to satisfy a given duty cycle requirement. For example, levelized cost could be used to determine the lowest cost new capacity available to satisfy a need for baseload[sup][url="http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/electricity_generation.html#notes"]3[/url][/sup] power that would be expected to operate at a 70 percent capacity factor or higher. In the table below, the levelized cost for each technology is evaluated based on the capacity factor indicated, which generally corresponds to the maximum availability of each technology. However, it should be noted that a technology such as a conventional combined cycle turbine that looks relatively expensive at its maximum capacity factor may be the most attractive option when evaluated at a lower capacity factor that would be associated with an intermediate load duty cycle. Simple combustion turbines (conventional or advanced technology) are typically used for peak load duty cycles, and are thus evaluated at a 30 percent capacity factor. The duty cycle for intermittent renewable resources of wind and solar is not operator controlled, but dependent on the weather or solar cycle (that is, sunrise/sunset). The availability of wind or solar will not necessarily correspond to operator dispatched duty cycles and, as a result, their levelized costs are not directly comparable to those for other technologies (even where the average annual capacity factor may be similar). In addition, intermittent technologies do not provide the same contribution to system reliability as dispatched resources, and may require additional system investment (not shown) to achieve a desired level of reliability.

As mentioned, the costs shown in the table are national averages. However, there is significant local variation in costs based on local labor markets and the cost and availability of fuel or energy resources such as windy sites.

[Image: elcngr_tbl.jpg]


1 The original full report and updated reference case are available at <a href="http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/index.html">http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/index.html.

2 The specific assumptions for each of these factors are given in the Assumptions to the Annual Energy Outlook, available at [url="http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/index.html"]http://www.eia.doe.g.../aeo/index.html[/url].

3 While there are no definitive utilization breakpoints, baseload plants are facilities that operate almost continuously, generally at annual utilization rates of 70 percent or higher. Intermediate load plants are facilities that operate less frequently than baseload plants, generally at annual utilization rates between 25 and 70 percent. Peaking plants are facilities that only run when the demand for electricity is very high, generally at annual utilization rates less than 25 percent.
[url="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8543897.stm"]US plans 'dramatic' nuclear cuts[/url]

Quote:US President Barack Obama is planning "dramatic reductions" in the country's nuclear arsenal, a senior US administration official has said.

This would come as part of a sweeping policy review designed to prevent the spread of atomic weapons, he said.

He added that the new strategy will point to a greater role for conventional weapons.

Mr Obama was holding a meeting with his Defence Secretary Robert Gates to discuss the new nuclear strategy.

The review "will point to dramatic reductions in the stockpile, while maintaining a strong and reliable deterrent through the investments that have been made in the budget," the official said.

He said the review would go further than previous reviews in "embracing the aims of non-proliferation. "

Officials say thousands of nuclear weapons could be cut, in many cases by retiring weapons that are now kept in storage.

The new strategy will also seek to abandon plans put in place by the previous administration to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons for penetrating underground targets known as "bunker busters."

The officials say the strategy will be an important step towards Mr Obama's declared aim of reversing the spread of nuclear weapons and seeking a world without them.

New partnerships

Last April, Mr Obama outlined his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons in a major speech in the Czech capital Prague.

He spoke of putting an end to Cold War thinking, a process in which, he insisted, the US was morally obliged to play a leading role.

He called for the forging of new partnerships to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and a global summit on nuclear security, which will take place next month.

Ahead of the summit, the Obama administration began a wide-ranging nuclear policy review, which was initially supposed to have been released in December.

The BBC's Jonathan Marcus says all the signs are that the first draft of the document has been rejected as being too wedded to the status quo and not sufficiently "transformational" to use the language favoured by the Obama administration.

He says the review will be read closely to see what it might say about the potential circumstances in which nuclear weapons would be used, an issue Mr Obama is to discuss with Mr Gates.

The review comes as the US and Russia appear close to a new deal to cut their nuclear arsenals, despite Moscow's concerns over Washington's missile defence plans.

On Monday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said negotiations with the US on a replacement for the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start), which expired last December, had reached the stage of agreeing the nuances of the text.

"We are close to agreement on virtually all issues," Mr Medvedev said, but admitted that it was "not an easy subject".

The document will also set the tone for the next five-yearly review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT agreement, to be held in May.

The Obama administration is hoping to bolster the NPT, amid growing concern over Iranian and North Korean nuclear programmes.

Jonathan Marcus says Mr Obama will want to prevent the weakening NPT regime from unravelling, and to do so he needs to have powerful evidence that the US is taking its disarmament responsibilities seriously.

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Published: 2010/03/02 01:02:36 GMT

Now that US is reducing it by thousands, while retaining its Thermo NUkes, will MMS fall head over heels to forgo nuclear testing forever by sigining CTBT and/or reduce Indian arsenal to ZERO?

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