India Has Largest Nuclear Programme: US Report

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According to latest Report released by Institute for Science and International Security, US based think-tank, India has one of the largest nuclear power programs among developing nations.

According to Report, utilizing plutonium produced in these power reactors and discharged in irradiated or spent fuel, India has developed a relatively large civil plutonium separation program and an associated fast breeder reactor program that is using that separated plutonium.

It says, India has a sizeable nuclear weapons effort. The weapons use separated plutonium produced primarily in a set of small, dedicated reactors and a smaller amount produced in nuclear power reactors.

Highlights of Report:

India has a growing gas centrifuge program able to produce significant amounts of highly enriched uranium (HEU) mostly for naval reactor fuel and perhaps for nuclear weapons, including thermonuclear weapons.

India is not transparent about its fissile material stocks. This report estimates India’s stocks of separated plutonium and highly enriched uranium.

India has a substantial stock of nuclear weapons made from weapon-grade plutonium, and perhaps some thermonuclear weapons that rely on both weapon-grade plutonium and weapon-grade uranium.

An estimate of India’s nuclear arsenal can be derived by considering its weapon-grade
plutonium stock. The resulting estimate has a median of 138 nuclear weapons equivalent with a range of 110 to 175 weapons equivalent. However, the actual number of nuclear weapons India built from its stocks of weapon-grade plutonium must be less.

When accounting for the amount of plutonium in the weapons production pipelines and in reserves, it is reasonable to assume that only about 70 percent of the estimated stock of weapon-grade uranium is in nuclear weapons.

Thus, the predicted number of weapons made from its weapon-grade plutonium at the end of 2014 is about 97 with a range of 77-123. These values are rounded to 100 nuclear weapons with a range of 75-125 nuclear weapons.

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