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Nuclear Thread - 3
#21
<b>Why should India enter into voluntary servitude!</b>
Rajeev Srinivasan
#22
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>N-deal dead: Govt to Left </b>
Pioneer.com
Santanu Banerjee | New Delhi
The India-US civil nuclear agreement is finally dead. The <b>UPA Government has conveyed to the Left parties that completing all necessary modalities with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and NSG in time for sealing the deal with the Bush Administration was unlikely.</b>

During the seventh round of the Left-UPA nuclear committee meeting on Tuesday, the Government told top Left leaders that as far as the status of existing 123 Agreement is concerned,<b> it is "dead for the time being" and would have to be renegotiated with the new US Government after the US election process is over</b>.

Senior Congress leader and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee informed the Left leaders about 123 Agreement's current status and also agreed to provide them with the gist of talks the Government representatives had in Vienna with the IAEA. It would help the Left leaders scrutinise what exactly the safeguard talks implied for India's nuclear sovereignty.

Incidentally, in the March 17 UPA-Left meeting when the Left leaders demanded details of the IAEA agreement, the Government denied it on the grounds that IAEA member countries would object to it.

According to sources, Tuesday's talks hovered around the same old issues which Left has been raising for quite some time now -- arrangement of fuel supply in perpetuity, implications of the Hyde Act and strategic reserves. Mukherjee admitted to a group of relaxed Left leaders that the deal cannot be pursued according to the time-frame set earlier

A candid Mukherjee is understood to have told CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI general secretary AB Bardhan, RSP general secretary TJ Chandrachoodan and Forward Bloc's D Biswas that the deal had to be "re-visited" after the new Government took over the American Administration later this year.

<b>However, both the UPA and Left leaders have agreed to sit again on May 28 to discuss the "safeguard talks" and see if Left has any problems with it.</b> Despite such categorical assurances, a section of the Left camp is still keeping its fingers crossed. <b>This section believes that if fate takes a good turn for the Congress in Karnataka Assembly elections, the Government would still have time to seal the deal with the Bush administration. "We can't lower our guard," </b>said a Left leader.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister's special envoy on N-deal Shyam Saran said "political uncertainty" over the agreement could increase if the Government in Washington changes. He said the Left parties had raised "valid questions" on the "nature of obligations of India and the obligations of the US" under the agreement and the Government was trying to address the allies' reservations while stressing the advantages of going ahead with the deal.

"This Government has a commitment to the agreement and every possible effort would be made to see the deal through," the former Foreign Secretary, who has been India's key interlocutor on the deal, said while interacting with members of the Women's Press Corps here.

Asked about the prospects of the deal if it failed to go through during the Bush tenure, he said, "Obviously, the sooner we have the deal, the better. As the process continues, the world is not standing still. The level of political uncertainty will increase. Therefore, it is in our interest to get it through sooner than later." Saran noted that there are "certain political realities on the ground" here and also on the US side.

Underlining that it was "not a matter of going this far and leaving it unfinished", he said the nuclear deal was a joint enterprise between India and the US and, therefore, "we have to work together to make it a practical reality".
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It means we will never know what Moron SIngh is hiding.
Sometimes even Left can be used for good cause.
Now defeat of COngress in Karnataka is very important.
#23
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Keep quiet on N-deal, US tells lawmakers</b>
May 09, 2008 | 23:44 IST
The United States' State Department has asked Congress members to keep quiet about the details�of the Indo-US nuclear agreement, according to a report in the Washington Post.

The State Department reportedly decided to ask Congress members to keep quiet about details of the deal as it fears that disclosure of any more information may worsen the chances of the deal, which is already in dire straits.

<b>Repiblican Tom Lantos, the late chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has already agreed to the request.� Republican Howard L Berman, the current chairman of the committee, is also expected to agree to the State Department's request</b>.�

Though nonproliferation experts have slammed the decision to keep details of the nuclear deal quiet, the few Congress members who have read them, have chosen to keep quiet, the Post reported.

"The administration's unwillingness to make their answers more widely available suggests they have something to hide from either US or Indian legislators," the report quoted Daryl Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association, as saying.

The details of the deal � answers to questions posed by Congress members � reveal how the US has managed to balance its nonproliferation laws and India's apprehensions about the deal.

The Congress passed the Hyde Act, a law to provisionally accept the agreement, but there are still many questions about critical details of the agreement, states the report.

For example, it is not clear if the US would terminate nuclear trade with India if the latter conducts a nuclear test, states the Post.

Lawmakers are also reportedly asking if the United States' commitment -- to supply India with a 'reliable supply of fuel' for its reactors and 'guard against the disruption of fuel supplies' � is legally binding. The Post points out that the agreement doesn't spell out if the commitment will be affected by India conducting nuclear tests, or the exact definition of 'disruption of fuel supplies'.

The State Department is trying to keep the answers to these vital questions away from public scrutiny.

A State Department spokesperson told the Washington Post that though detailed answers were provided to Congressmen, they have been asked to keep quiet as the information may be 'diplomatically sensitive'.

Moreover, the report says that the State Department does not intend to make the answers public.

"We've handled answers to sensitive questions in an appropriate way that responded to congressional concerns. We're going to continue with that approach," the Post quoted State Department spokesman Tom Casey as saying.�

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

URL for this article:
http://www.rediff.com///news/2008/may/09ndeal1.htm
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#24
<b>Go ahead with deal, says Kalam, won’t hurt sovereignty</b>
#25
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Vajpayee displayed courage in giving nod to N-test: Kalam </b>
PTI | Mumbai
Former President A P J Abdul Kalam was on Sunday all praise for the "courage" shown by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in deciding to go for Pokhran tests within weeks of assuming office in March 1998.

<b>"Vajpayee gave us the permission within a week of assuming the political office, to establish India's expertise," </b>Kalam said at a function at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre to commemorate the<b> 10th anniversary of the 'Shakti' series of tests at Pokhran in Rajasthan</b>.

Kalam, who had supervised the Pokhran-II explosions as the chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation camping in the Thar desert for over a fortnight, said the testing was a "defining moment" in the country's history, next only to adopting the path of economic liberalisation in 1991.

Another core member of the team that carried out five tests and then chairman of Atomic Energy Commission R Chidambaram reminisced, saying, "We recall the pleasure and excitement of May 11, 1998. It was just a coincidence that this day too was Buddha Purnima (just like the day on first test at Pokhran in 1974)."

The BARC presented Kalam with a memento of a banyan tree bonsai which had a statue of a smiling Buddha under it at the function.

"<b>The Buddha has smiled" was the code used by scientists in 1974 to declare that the nuclear test has been successful.</b>

Commenting on the memento, BARC Director S Banerjee quipped, "The smile on the Buddha's face means a lot of things."
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#26

<b>UPA ready for faceoff on N-deal </b>
By Harish Gupta

<b>It is now becoming obvious that the UPA government will go ahead with its pre-determined plan to pursue the Indo-US nuclear deal.</b> A confrontation with the Left parties is on the cards. A meeting of the coordination committee, slated for May 28, is going to be stormy. <b>Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee to make it clear to the Left that procedures and formalities of the deal cannot be brought to a halt now.</b> The deal may not be operationalised, but the process cannot be delayed either.

Sources in the PMO said any attempt by the Left to block the India-specific safeguards to be signed with the IAEA would not be acceptable. They added that it has been conveyed individually to the Left leaders.

The Karnataka election results, either way, would help the government go ahead with the deal. If the Congress wins, the PM’s confidence would get a boost and he would be prepared to take on the NDA and other adversaries better. Even if the Congress loses, Dr Singh would still go ahead to prove his mettle. After ex-President Kalam lent his support to the nuclear deal, the government hopes more individuals and parties will fall in line.

Expecting a confrontation, defence minister A.K. Antony has decided to cut short his Germany trip. He is understood to have asked the protocol division of the ministry to reschedule his trip to May 26. He will attend the inauguration of an air show there and take a special flight home on May 27 to be able to reach Delhi by May 28. <b>Some top industrial houses too are mobilising support for the deal silently.</b>
#27
Reliance / Ambanis are the top business houses
#28
That one (1998) and this one (2008) 11th May 98 was that Budh Poornima when India forced its way into the exclusive Nuclear Club.

20th May 2008 is this Budh Poornima when India is in the process of finalizing the Nuclear deal with the USA.

In 1998 India was ruled by a party with a sound coalition hence India did the daring act of detonating a Nuclear device and prepared itself to face the consequences. A proud India – a secure India and a resurgent India resulted.

In 2008 India is ruled by a weak coalition, hamstrung by irritating Left, who are the voices of outside powers - communism is alien to Indian thoughts. We are not able to do what is right and are slowly choking the Nuclear Deal.
<b>
1998 to 2008
A confident proud nation of 1998 in stark contrast to a directionless, hapless nation telling the world that 60 odd MPs are dictating the terms that the Government is bowing to, purely to enjoy perks and power for a few more months. We are easy prey to terrorists. We are weak. Let us try and fathom reasons for this.</b>


Ketu in the house of international affairs and policies in scorpio, trinal to dashanath venus may sing a different tune now and <b>the government may come out like a Chhupa Rustam</b>. With moon in leo ketu may be explosive in 6H of navamsh.
#29
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Nine scenarios for the nuclear endgame reality check

Siddharth Varadarajan

Whether the nuclear deal progresses beyond the current impasse or not, India needs to choreograph a proper diplomatic strategy to address all possible contingencies.

After four rounds of shadow-boxing in the coordination committee on the Indo-United States nuclear deal, it has become obvious that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh does not have a credible strategy to deal with either the concerns of the Left parties or his own government.

When the committee was first mooted last November, it was officially meant to parse and then approve or reject the draft safeguards agreement being negotiated with the International Atomic Energy Agency. But though the draft has been ready for some time now, the government has chosen not to share the text. While confidentiality is an issue, the government knows it cannot proceed without taking the Left into confidence. One reason for its reluctance to share the text, then, could be that the draft falls short of the Prime Minister’s promises to Parliament. Given the quality of the negotiating team India deployed in Vienna, however, this is unlikely.

The real reason is probably that differences with the Left on the basic principles underlying the deal run so deep that there is little sense in the two sides jointly poring over the safeguards text. At the heart of these differences is a curious paradox: the fate of the nuclear deal is actually of secondary importance for the Left parties. Their main concern is the growing strategic and military alliance with the U.S. Coming at the issue from the opposite side, the U.S. shares this ordering of priorities.

But where the Left sees danger, the Pentagon sees opportunity: If it can get India to swallow the bitter pill of a military partnership without the sugar-coating the nuclear deal provides, Washington isn’t going to complain. The nuclear deal can sink as far as the U.S. is concerned so long as military ties forge ahead. During Secretary of Defence Robert Gates’ visit to India in March, for example, the deal was of peripheral concern. What he wanted was progress on military acquisition, access and interoperability.

While the Left and the U.S. seem clear about what is at stake, the Prime Minister faces a dilemma. If he could find a way of reassuring the Left that India has no intention of pursuing a closer military and strategic partnership with the U.S., he could probably salvage the core of the nuclear deal. But the more India tries to rid the nuclear deal of the military-strategic baggage the U.S. has loaded on board, the less will be Washington’s enthusiasm to deliver its side of the nuclear bargain. The negotiating history of the past two years provides ample evidence of this inverse relationship. For example, instructions to vote against Iran at the IAEA were issued right after President George Bush told Prime Minister Singh during their meeting at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on September 13, 2005 that the fate of the nuclear deal was linked to Indian support on the Iran issue. This threat was repeated again in January 2006, on the eve of the IAEA’s second vote.

With the nuclear deal on temporary hold, India’s position on the Iran nuclear issue has reverted to what it was prior to September 2005 — that it should be resolved through diplomacy rather than sanctions and force. However, the Prime Minister is still pursuing a “make haste slowly” policy over the Iran pipeline for fear of irritating the Americans. In July 2005, the Left parties had said the pipeline was the “touchstone of an independent foreign policy.” By pressing ahead on that front, Dr. Singh could address the Left’s apprehensions about the deal affecting foreign policy. But the Prime Minister fears the U.S. will lose interest in pushing the nuclear deal the day a formal agreement for the Iran pipeline is signed.

There are ways of calibrating this balance and breaking the stalemate over the deal but the government’s political managers seem to be doing little other than hoping for a miracle. The India-U.S. civil nuclear energy agreement requires four steps for completion. First, the IAEA Board must approve India’s safeguards agreement. Second, the NSG must amend its export guidelines to give a clean exemption to India. Third, the U.S. Congress must approve the bilateral ‘123’ nuclear cooperation agreement. This is the least important step from India’s viewpoint for if the first and second steps are clinched, failure to approve the 123 will only disadvantage U.S. suppliers. The fourth and final step is India signing its IAEA safeguards agreement.

Time is a factor but it is not as much of a binding constraint as the nature of the NSG exemption. Of course, the longer the India file takes to get to the NSG, the greater the danger that opposition to the deal within the 45-nation cartel will strengthen. However, as early as last fall, barely weeks after the 123 agreement was finalised, it was clear that the U.S. itself was redrafting its NSG proposals to the detriment of India.

Part of the problem is that the UPA has wasted enormous effort making spurious arguments in favour of the deal’s less defensible elements like the Hyde Act. The Hyde Act is not binding on India and may not even be binding on the Bush administration but a future administration can always use it, should it so desire. By the same token, the deal’s critics should also not be overly preoccupied with Hyde. For even if the Act had been perfect from the Indian perspective, a future administration could always amend it or tear it up. The issue, therefore, is not textual protection but practical insurance against American double-dealing, and the latter can only be achieved by minimising nuclear imports from the U.S.

When the UPA and the Left meet on May 28 to decide the fate of the deal, they should evaluate the likely consequences of either going forward or standing still. Broadly speaking, there are nine scenarios, each of which has different probabilities of occurrence and different levels of associated strategic risk.<b>

Scenario 1: The Left allows the safeguards agreement to be sent to the IAEA if the government agrees not to sign it until all restrictions on India have been lifted and to not operationalise the 123 agreement without the coordination committee’s approval. After the IAEA Board’s approval, the U.S. asks the NSG to change its guidelines. Given the Left’s qualified backing, India stresses that anything other than a clean exemption is unacceptable. If the exemption is clean, India immediately operationalises its bilateral agreements with Russia and France. At this point, the U.S. Congress may insist on amending or vetoing the 123 agreement. Alternatively, the Left may threaten to topple the government if the 123 is operationalised. Either way, the Hyde Act would remain a dead letter. The U.S. will have gained no additional levers of influence over the conduct of Indian foreign and strategic policy. Risks: Very low. Probability: Low to medium.

Scenario 2: Same as 1, except that the 123 agreement is approved. Here, India buys lots of U.S. nuclear material and fuel and finds itself under pressure to support U.S. policies on fronts such as Iran and the pipeline. Risks: Very high. Probability: Low to medium.

Scenario 3: Same as 2, except that India buys only limited amounts of U.S. nuclear equipment and fuel. Though pressure to follow U.S. policies is great, Washington does not have much leverage because of India’s limited exposure. Risks: Very low. Probability: Medium.

Scenario 4: The Left allows the safeguards agreement to be submitted but the IAEA Board shoots it down. This would be a diplomatic setback since it would puncture the notion that India’s status as a de facto nuclear weapon state enjoys wide international support. Risks: High. Probability: Very low.

Scenario 5: The Left allows the safeguards agreement to be submitted, the IAEA Board approves it but the NSG sets impossible conditions. At this point, India walks away with dignity. The U.S. is shown up as a country that could not live up to its word. Risks: Low to medium. Probability: Low to medium.

Scenario 6: Same as 5 but the NSG imposes “borderline” conditions on the implementation of its waiver. The government consults the Left and all political parties on what the best course of action is. Risks: Low to medium. Probability: Medium to high.

Scenario 7: The Left parties block the deal at the present stage. The nuclear agreements with Russia and France remain a dead letter. Meanwhile, the underlying military partnership between the U.S. and India continues to grow. Risks: Medium to high. Probability: Medium to high.

Scenario 8: The same as 7 except that the Left also manages to reverse the underlying military partnership with the U.S. Risks: Low to medium. Probability: Low.

Scenario 9: Same as 7 except that Russia and France break ranks after a while and agree to start nuclear cooperation with India and eventually the U.S. itself comes around to offering better terms. Risks: Very low. Probability: Very low.</b>

A prudential strategy would minimise the risks — that is, buy as little nuclear material as possible from the U.S. or other countries imposing unwelcome conditions — while simultaneously expanding the energy options available for the country such as gas by pipeline. A country of India’s size can have its cake and eat it too. The U.S. wouldn’t mind a situation where India rejects the lifting of nuclear sanctions the deal envisages but not the strategic partnership which lies behind it. The challenge for the Left and the UPA is to craft a strategy where that equation is reversed.


#30
OTH it might be better to keep the nuke option and get into the military engagement.
#31
N-deal: Cong readies for final showdown

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->With the Left making noises about reviewing support to the UPA Government regardless of the Indo-US nuclear deal, there is growing restlessness in the ruling Congress camp about the need to take a final call on the deal.

Many top Congress leaders are of the view that since abandoning the deal is no guarantee for the Left's support till the end of the Government's tenure, it should think of going ahead with the deal that could be showcased as a UPA achievement in securing energy security for the country and providing power to farmers.

There are also indications that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh desires to express himself on the deal and to this end a high-level meeting of officials involved in negotiations could be held shortly. Indian Ambassador to the US Ronen Sen who was here recently was also learnt to have conveyed to the Government the urgency to take a final decision on the deal.

"A meeting may be convened to take a look at the available timeline for the deal so that if the Government, at some stage, has to bite the bullet, it should have a plan ready," said a ruling party source. The UPA-Left committee on the nuclear deal is likely to meet on June 11.

The CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc have already gone public with their intention to review support to the Government. Following the Congress's debacle in Karnataka, the CPI(M) has also taken a tough line, saying that the results reflect the UPA Government's performance. The four Left parties are likely to meet shortly to discuss this issue.

There is some thinking in the Left camp that it should not share the UPA's anti-incumbency by supporting the Government through its entire tenure.

Besides, as the Congress remains its main rival in its strongholds of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, the Left is wary of adding on to the anti-incumbency factor in these areas by sticking on to the UPA.

"The worst case scenario would be that we abandon the deal and then the Left withdraws support at some point of time. By going ahead with the deal, we will have at least something to talk about," said a senior Congress leader.

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#32
Does India need more nuclear tests?
Can somebody give more explanation
#33
<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Jun 6 2008, 07:49 AM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Jun 6 2008, 07:49 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Does India need more nuclear tests?
Can somebody give more explanation
[right][snapback]82405[/snapback][/right]
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I can make the same points that I have made elsewhere , If anybody cares to listen.

India has to have the capability to take out hardened structures in the event of a conflict. these hardened structures may house the enemy's command and control structure. Strategic warfighting takes place in waves and it is not just a matter of targeting the enemy's population centres.

Let me illustrate with an example, Say , the Chinese launch a first strike on us and destroy our land based deterrent. In this event we may only have our SSBNs left for retaliation. Now , what do these subs do? do they launch SLBMs on population centres or on military targets?

If these SLBMs have only 15-20 kt weapons then attacking hardened structures in no longer a possibility. They would target population centres but leave the Chinese C&C unscathed. this means that China's strategic warfighting capability would also remain intact. Subsequently, the Chinese could launch the next wave on whatever we have left and bring an end to our civilization. On the other hand if the SLBMs had "big bums" in the form of MIRVs they could have taken out China's warfighting capability with a second strike and limited damage to India.


The larger point is , unless we have the capability to take out the enemy leadership which in this case is the totalitarian Chinese state , deterrence will not be achieved. Say, tomorrow China is in a recession and the communist party is finding it difficult to hold on to power , they may start a conflict over Tibet which can have the potential to de-generate into a nuclear conflict. they may wargame and find out that in a nuclear exchange , in which they strike first , India does not have the ability to target them (the Chinese leadership) but can only take out a few cities . In this event they may be tempted to do something rash. remember during war the Vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission i.e the head of the PLA becomes the de facto CEO of China. And military people can make"tough decisions".


This is just a scenario and I hope it is far-fetched, but like our politicos are fond of saying we must be ready for all eventualities.



So what will it take to be ready?: in my opinion,
1. Weapons in the 200-250 KT range that can be MIRVED and put atop an SLBM.
2. Point #1 indicates the need to develop weapons with far greater yield to weight ratios . this counts because our potential adversaries are putting in place ABM defenses and we are opting for a minimum credible deterrence. this in turn means that we won't have a huge number of warheads and also not all of them will reach their intended target due to the ABM defenses. So MIRVING high yield weapons is the way ahead.
3. A point has been made that CEPs would obviate the need to have "large yields" . However in the course of a first strike our satellite guidance assets may be destroyed
considerably reducing accuracy. for this scenario , we need to have large weapons to assure the obliteration of the intended target.

4. A new generation of pure fusion weapons are on the anvil. the blast effect of these weapons is considerably higher than standard weapons where some of the energy is lost as radiation. Such clean weapons will remove some of the stigma attached with nuke use and create problems for the strategic war fighter.


Now all the points above are technical points. Achieving what has been detailed above requires "testing" either live or in a Laser ignition facility which can validate up to 90-93 per cent criticality.
India till date has only one thermonuclear test and it is anybody's guess if the data generated from that test is enough to develop a new generation of improved weapons.


5. There is also a question of standard testing for warhead maintenance. this can be done in an LIF as well.

The political and economic argument either in favour of/ or against testing is a separate issue. If the geo-economic/geo-political environment is not found to be conducive for testing , at the very least a Laser ignition Facility should be set up. Also in all of this I have assumed that we have a triad in place.
#34
<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Jun 6 2008, 07:49 AM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Jun 6 2008, 07:49 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Does India need more nuclear tests?
Can somebody give more explanation
[right][snapback]82405[/snapback][/right]
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Yes, but we won't. I am not an expert, for sure, but.....

Should this be even be a debatable item? Why limit our options and curtail our capabilities development & potential/scope for the same, just after handful of tests? I don't get it.

But then, just the fact that it is on the table and experts are discussing on how to limit and neuter ourselves, tells me that we are continuing our fine tradition following the footsteps of our glorious leaders. Once we are in this stage of discussion, it is just a matter of the degree of our self-neutering that is acceptable to the masters.
#35

Should this be even be a debatable item?


Can we start a thread for testing nuke weapons
#36
Sauravjha, I agree with you on all four points. India should do more testing but question is can they do it? Current political power G5 is targeting India to close its all nuclear option. Current Indian leadership had agreed to do so. Current political leadership had chosen greed and short term personal interest and had ignored long term India’s interest.

For strategic reason India need to develop better nuclear war head with more yield and keep it improving so that when required they can be used. They should not close option.
Now question is how to counter rest of world against India and lack spine among India’s leadership? Who are these people?
#37
We need to keep the options to test open, as we did so far.
When and what will be decided by leadership at appropriate time.
#38
<!--emo&:clapping--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clap.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='clap.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Together, these uranium resources would be enough to run all of India’s current and planned nuclear power plants for their entire lifetime of 40 years.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/storypage/st...N-plants+starve
#39
India lacks technology and other major component. Only having Uranium ore is not enough.
#40
‘China improving N-arsenal’

* Arms expert says development raises arms control questions

BEIJING: China is making dramatic improvements to its nuclear arsenal, raising questions for future arms control efforts, a leading arms expert said on Thursday.

Recent upgrades have increased the accuracy and mobility of China’s arsenal, while a switch from liquid to solid fuel has shortened reaction times, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Director Bates Gill said.

“China stands out in its effort to modernise, expand and improve its nuclear weapons capability,” Gill said at a panel for journalists while on a visit to Beijing to promote the institute’s annual report on the global arms industry. China signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1992, and Gill said the recent steps were mainly aimed at reducing the vulnerability of China’s deterrent force.

Questions: Still, he added, among the five nuclear powers, China was “making the most dramatic improvements in its nuclear force and this obviously raises arms control questions”.

After more than a decade of double-digit percentage increases in annual defence spending, improvements in China’s conventional military “are even more dramatic”, Gill said.

“This is a dramatic increase in the military capability of China, targeted mostly at Taiwan but clearly with the possibility going forward of force projection elsewhere,” Gill said, referring to the self-governing island that China claims is part of its territory and has threatened to invade.

But Gill praised Beijing for reining in its sales of weapons and military technology abroad, which he said was largely done out of a desire to be viewed as a more responsible player in international society.

According to the institute, China has only a two percent share of the global arms export trade. ap



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