Monday, July 13, 2020
Home Politics India secretly increasing its nuclear power: Foreign journal

India secretly increasing its nuclear power: Foreign journal

New Delhi: India could “deeply unsettle” its neighbours Pakistan and China as it is building a secret facility in its southern Karnataka state to augment its nuclear power for civilian use and up gradation of its weapons, a foreign policy journal has reported.

According to an exhaustive report published on December 16 in the international US magazine Foreign Policy, the work on the project in southern Karnataka began early in 2012.

The 14-page report said tribal pastureland was blocked off with a barbed-wire fence at Challakere for “a project that experts say will be the subcontinent’s largest military-run complex of nuclear centrifuges, atomic research laboratories, and weapons- and aircraft-testing facilities when it’s completed, probably sometime in 2017”.

The project’s primary aim was to expand the government’s nuclear research, to produce fuel for India’s nuclear reactors, and to help power the country’s fleet of new submarines, says the Foreign Policy journal.

“But another, more controversial ambition, according to retired Indian government officials and independent experts in London and Washington, is to give India an extra stockpile of enriched uranium fuel that could be used in new hydrogen bombs, also known as thermonuclear weapons, substantially increasing the explosive force of those in its existing nuclear arsenal,” the report reads.

New Delhi has never made public details of its nuclear arsenal, which it first developed in 1974, the magazine said.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an independent agency, estimates that India already possesses between 90 and 110 nuclear weapons, as compared to neighbour Pakistan’s estimated stockpile of up to 120. China, which borders India to the north, has approximately 260 warheads.

The report says that China and Pakistan would see the secret project as a provocation. “Experts say they might respond by ratcheting up their own nuclear firepower. Pakistan, in particular, considers itself a military rival, having engaged in four major conflicts with India, as well as frequent border skirmishes.”

“I believe that India intends to build thermonuclear weapons as part of its strategic deterrent against China,” Gary Samore, who served from 2009 to 2013 as the White House coordinator for arms control, was quoted by ‘Foreign Policy’ as saying.

Other than the Challakere project, Western monitoring agencies were keeping an eye on a similar nuclear facility near Mysuru, also in Karnataka.

“However, Western knowledge about how India’s weapons are stored, transported, and protected, and how the radiological and fissile material that fuels them is guarded and warehoused — the chain of custody — remains rudimentary,” the report added.

According to the magazine, a retired official who served inside the nuclear cell at the Indian prime minister’s office, the apex organisation that supervises the military nuclear programme, conceded that other uses besides submarines had been anticipated “for many years”.

He pointed to a “thermonuclear bomb programme” as “a beneficiary” and suggested India had had no choice but to “develop a new generation of more powerful megaton weapons” if it was to maintain “credible minimum deterrence”.(IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

18,990FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,784FollowersFollow

Most Popular

The Dynamic of Tibet and the Chinese Dream of Expansion

Tsering Woeser uses her blog named Invisible Tibet, together with her poetry and nonfiction and social media platforms like Twitter to give voice to...

Limit Video Meetings to 30 Minutes, Says Research

Do remote work and video meetings actually tax our brain more than in-person work? According to Microsoft, due to high levels of sustained concentration,...

OTT and Cinema Race is Complicated

After my column, "OTT wants first strike: Bad news for cinema" (Column: B-Town, published on 28.6.20), the question that I am asked is: will...

COVID-19 Can’t Be Eliminated Under Current Conditions

The World Health Organization’s emergency program chief said Friday that the new COVID-19 probably could not be eliminated if current global conditions persisted. “In the...

Lamborghini Launches ‘Sian Roadster’ With Iconic V12 Engine

Who wouldn't like a limited edition, open-top hybrid super Lamborghini sports car engineered with unique technologies and unsurpassed performance? Follow NewsGram on Facebook to...

Google Translate Helps Disseminate Covid-19 info

Google AI and ML translation services are helping health officials communicate with people in languages they understand to disseminate the Covid-19 information, and it...

Walmart to Unveil Subscription Service Like Amazon Prime

The retail giant Walmart is reportedly planning to unveil a new subscription service called Walmart+ that will offer similar benefits to Amazon Prime. The company...

Pradhan Appeals to Indian Students Abroad to Come Back, Innovate India

As the government pushes for a self-reliant India -- 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' -- Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has appealed to the...

Recent Comments