India expands nuclear weapons site: US think tank

By AFP
Published: December 5, 2013
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Think tank says new facility could increase India's ability to produce enriched uranium for military purposes. PHOTO: FILE.

Think tank says new facility could increase India's ability to produce enriched uranium for military purposes. PHOTO: FILE.

WASHINGTON: India has expanded a secretive site that could be used to enrich more uranium for nuclear weapons, a US think tank said Wednesday, citing satellite imagery.

The Institute for Science and International Security, a private group opposed to nuclear proliferation, said that India appeared to be finishing a second gas centrifuge facility at its Rare Materials Plant near the southern city of Mysore.

“This new facility could significantly increase India’s ability to produce highly enriched uranium for military purposes, including more powerful nuclear weapons,” the institute said in a report that analyzed an image taken in April.

The institute said that India started building a second centrifuge plant near Mysore in 2010, but it was unclear whether it was a replacement for the first facility at the site or a supplement.

If it is a new facility, “India could have more than doubled its enrichment capacity, if the original building continues to function as an enrichment plant,” it said.

India closely guards its nuclear sites and says little about them publicly. In the past, India has complained about footage of sensitive infrastructure taken by commercial satellite services such as Google Earth.

Indian officials have reportedly said that highly enriched uranium from Mysore would fuel its new nuclear-powered submarines. India’s nuclear weapons program has traditionally been based on plutonium, not uranium.

India carried out nuclear tests in 1998, and historic rival Pakistan quickly followed suit. India’s program is not subject to international restrictions or inspections as it is one of the few nations, along with Israel, North Korea and Pakistan, to reject the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which New Delhi says is discriminatory.

However, India’s international isolation ended through a 2008 cooperation deal with the United States, where both President George W Bush and his successor Barack Obama have agreed that the world’s largest democracy is a responsible nuclear power.

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Reader Comments (43)

  • Mobeen
    Dec 5, 2013 - 4:25PM

    International Community must take Notice to these Developments. As the world seeks to shrink global stockpiles of nuclear weapons, India continues to modernise its arsenal which increases Pakistan’s security dilemmas, compelling it to respond appropriately.

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  • Sad reality
    Dec 5, 2013 - 4:43PM

    Fan boys unite, let the trolling begin !!

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  • Nikki
    Dec 5, 2013 - 4:52PM

    India has full support by the United States. USA will not stop India for doing that except hue and cry to show Pakistana and China.
    India, after USA believes on ” might and right” in South Asia only.

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  • Indian Business Analyst
    Dec 5, 2013 - 5:00PM

    India’s arch rival pakistan……

    We are not in joking mood anymore…Even Bangladesh exports have surpassed Pakistan…Hence Please know the reality…..although u are the country of highest supreme power bestowed by god only on u..Best of luck..Think like a brainer…

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  • Truth detector
    Dec 5, 2013 - 5:01PM

    @Nikki

    It is not “might and right”, it is “might is right” . It is amazing to see how Indians jump to the claim, US is on our side.

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  • Vijay
    Dec 5, 2013 - 5:02PM

    This is just a think-tank report, not the official position of the US government.

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  • Vijay
    Dec 5, 2013 - 5:03PM

    This report is wrong

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  • Indian Wisdom
    Dec 5, 2013 - 5:05PM

    “President George W Bush and his successor Barack Obama have agreed that the world’s largest democracy is a responsible nuclear power”

    Its not just a matter something to agree to. Its a fact; and they were merely stating the obvious that “the world’s largest democracy is a responsible nuclear power”…………………….

    Now we have a well developed nuclear submarine industry and this new site may be catering to its needs…….No need to sound the alarm!!!!!

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  • Blunt
    Dec 5, 2013 - 5:12PM

    Dominance craze at its worst, which in a way also shows the insecurity.

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  • Cosmo
    Dec 5, 2013 - 5:28PM

    Well the think tank can worry all they want, India aint bothered about all that. We do not beg to support our economy, so no outsider can pull any strings for our policy making.

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  • PAK
    Dec 5, 2013 - 5:44PM

    @Indian Business Analyst: then why are you here???? did you ever visit any Bangladishi News website ????

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  • WITIAN
    Dec 5, 2013 - 5:51PM

    Serves him right, for PM Nawaz Sharif blurting out Pakistan will wage another war to free Kashmir from India, spilling beans (and later denying). What a Noble cause, freedom for Kashmir, my foot!

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  • Arif
    Dec 5, 2013 - 6:17PM

    We have much bigger problems to worry than Indian nuclear weapons. It looks like india does not need to use nuclear weapons. Tanking economy, sectarian warfare, we are collapsing all around.

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  • no.nukes
    Dec 5, 2013 - 6:51PM

    Seems like ‘doomsday syndrome’ is not going to remain a syndrome as the things are taking shape in India and Pakistan…a perfect recipe for disaster. It is about time the people of the two countries wake up to this situation, and stop this unbridled and unending quest for more nukes and related stockpiles.

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  • Truth Detector
    Dec 5, 2013 - 6:51PM

    I am concerned about my Indian friends. The hype & hot air has bloated them so much that they may burst at any time…

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  • wiji
    Dec 5, 2013 - 6:55PM

    At last India is exposed. India used to deceive international community by pretending its soft image. Now satellite images have exposed India.

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  • unbelievable
    Dec 5, 2013 - 7:16PM

    If true not a smart move – what possible reason does India have to accelerate nuke production? Waste of resources and if either India or Pakistan is threatened they will respond in kind – just puts the entire region at more risk.

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  • Nikki
    Dec 5, 2013 - 7:35PM

    @Truth detector:

    Thanks for corretction.
    the USA has always been with India, its not new.Please do read the recent book by Husaain Haqqani, you will understand that why Americans feel haapy in India?

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  • Miral
    Dec 5, 2013 - 7:36PM

    “India’s arch rival Pakistan……..” ROFLMAO!!!! India’s military capabilities is about 8-10 times that of Pakistan. How much more dellusional can Pakis get!!!!

    BTW, INDIA DOES NOT NEED NUCLEAR WEAPONS TO DEAL WITH A TINY PAKISTAN. So, stop getting worked up about India’s nuclear weapons.

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  • Pakistani only
    Dec 5, 2013 - 7:42PM

    Might is right is already prevailing.Indian policies in Jamu and Kashmir is an evident.
    it is amazing that American do not take India as the biggest democratic state, they also enjoy social relations.
    Nikki: you are right America is dual in its policy,since 1947,India has been America’s blue eyed child.

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  • Pakistani only
    Dec 5, 2013 - 7:47PM

    @Indian Business Analyst:

    Pakistan’s arch rival India=========
    We are also serious, dont take us easy.
    Yes, Nikki, you rightly pointed that USA has always supported India/

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  • Lolzzz
    Dec 5, 2013 - 7:55PM

    @Truth Detector
    You have been desperately hoping India will burst for 68 years. Look who has been bursting all these years:-)))

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  • Roy Sullivan
    Dec 5, 2013 - 7:56PM

    Nuclear weapons are a deterrent only if one side has it or if both sides have it and are the same or similar conventional capability.

    However, if both sides having it are not similar conventionally, then the side with more conventional capacity has a substantial lead in nuclear weapons strike capability as it have a “multiplier effect” due to conventional superiority. So, Paks nuclear weapons may be a deterrence to Iran etc. has almost no deterrence on India or China.

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  • Hafiz
    Dec 5, 2013 - 8:04PM

    @PAK:
    stupid news is here na.

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  • Old Joe
    Dec 5, 2013 - 8:15PM

    For way too long the Pakis have been living in this total delusional state that somehow they can combat India. India has disputes with Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka and even China. Yet none of them are worried about India. What have these Pakis been smoking, that too for for this long!!!!

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  • Indignant
    Dec 5, 2013 - 8:15PM

    As Indian Wisdom pointed out, this site near Mysore is solely to meet 30 to 45% of the nuclear fuel requirements for India’s nuclear submarine fleet which is currently at 2 (INS Arihant & INS Chakra) and expected to be at 5 by 2023. In addition, the blue-water aircraft carriers also require nuclear fuel.

    Pakistan, which has accelerated its nuclear bomb production and is now producing more nuclear bombs than any other country, should be the last to comment on this news.

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  • Truth Detector
    Dec 5, 2013 - 8:36PM

    @Roy Sullivan

    So, Paks nuclear weapons may be a
    deterrence to Iran etc. has almost no
    deterrence on India or China.

    So, why does India not teach Pakistan a lesson then. What is stopping them. My point is your analysis is bogus.

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  • Harish
    Dec 5, 2013 - 9:04PM

    @Truth Detector:

    What lesson does India have to teach Pakistan?!!! India does not have any reason to attack Pakistan at all. Pakistan is not a threat to India, but just a nuisance which can easily be handled by an insurgency as it is happening now. Moreover, we do not want another 180 million people who will be a burden to us.

    BTW, Wasn’t 1971 enough!!!!

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  • gp65
    Dec 5, 2013 - 9:23PM

    ETBLOGS1987

    @no.nukes: Certainly agree that nuclear conflict would be disastrous for both countries. You should however note that India has a no first strike policy – Pakistan does not. The only way a conflict can become nuclear is if Pakistan makes it. With China having nukes – India has no choice to keep them for its protection.Recommend

  • gp65
    Dec 5, 2013 - 9:29PM

    ETBLOGS1987

    @Pakistani only: “Nikki: you are right America is dual in its policy,since 1947,India has been America’s blue eyed child.”

    Of course. It is India that was part of SEATO and CENTO and Pakistan was non-aligned. It was India that got billions of dollars of free arms including latest Sabre jet ighters in the 60s.IT is India whose assistant the 7th fleet pulled up in 1971. IT is India that partnered with US to fight Soviet Union in Afghanistan and took billions of dollars in lieu of its support.

    There is a height to delusion. It is after 1998 that BJP government decided to review its non-alignment policy which had become irrelevant in light of disintegration of Soviet Union which paved way for improved relations between India and USA. IT is Pakistan’s double dealing in the US war on terror that has alienated US.Recommend

  • Zen
    Dec 5, 2013 - 9:55PM

    There are only two countries in the world that say they will use nuclear missiles in the world. One is Pakistan and the other is North Korea (both destabilise). Pakistan at any instant reminds the world that its is a nuclear country. The world is sick and tired of hearing this and also “we are the victims of terrorism” when it fully supports its main terror export. India right side at UN that Pakistan is an epicentre of terrorism.

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  • Truth Detector
    Dec 5, 2013 - 9:55PM

    @Harish

    What you refer to as terrorism we call it insurgency. So, by same standard, when you refer to insurgency, what should we call it? In other words you are admitting India is relying on terrorism ( by your own definition) to get back at Pakistan. So, by that standard India is state sponsor of terrorism & hence India is a terrorist country !!! I am just applying your definitions to your logic !

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  • Maestro
    Dec 5, 2013 - 10:17PM

    Expecting Pakistani hoo haa reaction and lectures on our country’s poor. What you guys doing with the nuclear reactor build by China is known to the world. Plus this same origanization pointed out in last three years that while India has enough fissile material for 80-90 nukes while Pakistan has 110-120. What is Pakistan building this weapon for ?? Oh right, to eat grass.

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  • Spock
    Dec 5, 2013 - 10:44PM

    Writer failed to mention that India has capped its nuclear stockpile to 100. India is building no more nukes as there is no need while pakistan keeps on increasing its weapons and now has over 200 bombs.

    India being the world’s largest democracy which never had a track record of dictators, coups etc is most responsible nuclear nation in the world. It has neither attacked any country or ever its technology was sold to any country legally or illegally.

    India is a energy hungry nation with tens of new nuclear power stations coming up they dont want to be dependent on west. All the enrichment sites will be used for power stations and for submarine and aircraft carriers.

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  • Truth Detector
    Dec 5, 2013 - 10:49PM

    @Zen

    My friend, I am not saying anything. I am trying to analyze @Harish ‘s comments logically.

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  • Last Word
    Dec 5, 2013 - 11:10PM

    There is no need for Pakistanis to get paranoid on this expansion as the same is only meant for its all weather friend China with love.

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  • truthbetold
    Dec 6, 2013 - 12:40AM

    @Mobeen:

    “India continues to modernise its arsenal which increases Pakistan’s security dilemmas, compelling it to respond appropriately.”

    Of course, Pakistan should “respond appropriately”. What is preventing Pakistan from responding “appropriately”? All it has to do is spend more money on building more enrichment facilities, nuclear bombs and missiles.

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  • MAestro
    Dec 6, 2013 - 2:38AM

    @Truth Detector:
    “So, why does India not teach Pakistan a lesson then. What is stopping them” …….
    Because my friend no matter what you are brain washed to believe India does not care about attacking Pakistan. It is the delusion and paranoia spread by Pakistani army and ISI along with mullahs so they can continue justifying extorting maximum money out of your budget. Sooner the mis guided Pakistanis realize this sooner we will have peace and prosperity in region. Otherwise keep on thumping your chest while the world moves ahead.Recommend

  • Saad
    Dec 6, 2013 - 4:02AM

    @Miral:
    It doesn’t matter how many times your army is bigger when the NUKE factor is in play. That is an equalizer.

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  • Grammarian
    Dec 7, 2013 - 12:25AM

    @Indian Business Analyst:
    Perhaps you should also consider the supreme power of correctly used English grammar and diction.

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  • DM
    Dec 7, 2013 - 3:31AM

    @Mobeen U really think even if International community takes notice of it India will have any problem with that ? I dont think so. Its not Pakistan who goes begging for its every needs. Instead the international comminity will definitely raise the concern but will live with it. That’s what is power(market) of India you can say.

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  • zoro
    Dec 7, 2013 - 11:40AM

    No wonder Dr Manmohan Singh had tough message to Mr Sharif on Kashmir ….

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Dec 7, 2013 - 11:42AM

    Now any superpowers,IAEA and US shall never have any objections on Indian nuclear weapons’ sites’ expansion because this is the only US’ and superpowers’ prejudicial attitude and objective to not to see any muslim countries as a nuclear power……

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