India’s Anticipated Uranium Boost Prompts Alarm in Islamabad

Global Security Newswire Staff
Global Security Newswire Staff
June 20, 2014, 10:29 a.m.

A Pakistani of­fi­cial be­moaned In­dia’s ap­par­ent pro­gress on a new site cap­able of mak­ing urani­um for ad­vanced nuc­le­ar weapons, Re­u­ters re­ports.

The high-level in­sider soun­ded alarm over a Fri­day find­ing that In­dia is inch­ing to­ward com­ple­tion of a second urani­um-en­rich­ment fa­cil­ity at its Rare Ma­ter­i­als Plant near Myso­re. The pos­sible gas-cent­ri­fuge site could an­nu­ally gen­er­ate fuel for five bombs fol­low­ing its launch, which may take place by next sum­mer, IHS Jane’s se­cur­ity spe­cial­ists said in a Fri­day ana­lys­is of satel­lite im­ages and re­marks by In­di­an gov­ern­ment per­son­nel.

In­dia could also com­bine any ad­di­tion­al urani­um with plutoni­um from its cur­rent stock­pile, po­ten­tially help­ing New Del­hi to build a class of more power­ful “ther­mo­nuc­lear” weapons, ac­cord­ing to Re­u­ters.

“This is something that In­dia has been try­ing to de­vel­op for a long time,” said Tariq Az­eem, a staffer for Pakistani Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif. “We don’t want any nuc­le­ar race. That doesn’t bode well for either coun­try.”

Az­eem ad­ded that In­dia’s re­por­ted work on the fa­cil­ity un­der­lined its “es­tab­lished he­ge­mony” as a nuc­le­ar power.

The po­ten­tial clandes­tine site in south­ern In­dia may be­come cap­able of gen­er­at­ing roughly twice the amount of urani­um fuel needed for the coun­try’s fu­ture line of sub­mar­ines, ac­cord­ing to Re­u­ters. Karl Dewey, pro­lif­er­a­tion ed­it­or at IHS Jane’s In­tel­li­gence Re­view, said the ad­di­tion­al pro­duc­tion ca­pa­city would “most likely” sup­port nuc­le­ar-arms activ­it­ies, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by the re­search group.

Ac­cord­ing to former U.S. State De­part­ment of­fi­cial Mark Fitzpatrick, In­dia’s re­por­ted ex­pan­sion of the Myso­re site’s urani­um-re­fine­ment ca­pa­city would fur­ther bol­ster its “already far great­er ad­vant­age over Pakistan in terms of nuc­le­ar-weapons pro­duc­tion po­ten­tial.”

“It also brings In­dia closer to match­ing China, which is how most In­di­ans would prob­ably see it,” Fitzpatrick said.

MOST READ
What We're Following See More »
FORMERLY THE DEPT’S TOP ATTORNEY
Transportation Sec. Names Special Adviser for Metro System
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has appointed a veteran legal insider with strong personal ties to the Obama administration to serve as his special adviser focused exclusively on fixing the Washington region’s troubled Metro system. Kathryn Thomson, who was expected to leave her job as the Department of Transportation’s top lawyer, instead will stay on as Foxx’s special adviser on Metro oversight." She'll start this week.

Source:
DEATH PENALTY CASE
SCOTUS Finds Racial Bias in Jury Selection
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that prosecutors in Georgia violated the Constitution by striking every black prospective juror in a death penalty case against a black defendant. The vote was 7 to 1, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting. The case, Foster v. Chatman, No. 14-8349, arose from the 1987 trial of Timothy T. Foster, an African-American facing the death penalty for killing Queen Madge White, an elderly white woman, when he was 18."

Source:
RETRACTED FUNDING
Congressional Report Says NFL Tried To Influence Concussion Study
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

report from House Democrats charges that NFL officials retracted funding for a $16 million NIH study on head injuries after repeated unsuccessful attempts to direct the money away from a Boston University researcher and instead to scientists who might be more favorable to the league. Democrats have been trying to go after the NFL over its handling of concussion science, although the sport's popularity and increased lobbying presence has made that difficult. The new revelations about meddling in the NIH study should offer more ammo. 

Source:
THE QUESTION
How Much Has Trump Loaned His Campaign?
18 hours ago
THE ANSWER

"More than $43 million, although the loans are loans in name only — Trump says he has no intention of recouping the cash."

Source:
NO STAFF IN OHIO
Trump Has the Poll Numbers; Does He Have the Organization?
18 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

While Donald Trump's poll numbers are steadily climbing, he "trails far behind" Hillary Clinton "in organizing in key general-election states. Ohio ... presents both ... Trump's best opportunity to carry a big swing state and reveals his team's steep logistical challenges. After winning the GOP nomination on a tight budget with a skeletal staff ... Trump doesn't have any general-election staff in the state, and senior aides in New York and Washington haven't made contact with the state Republican Party. Efforts to recruit the state's experienced operatives who helped elect" John Kasich "have so far been unsuccessful, people familiar with the matter said." Clinton "has a small team of full-time aides in Ohio."

Source:
×