MetadataShow full item record
Even though India performed its first nuclear test in 1974, India did not announce the possession of nuclear weapons until after the second round in 1998. The state is quite certainly in possession of fission weapons and boosted fission weapons. One cannot exclude its claimed possession of also sub kiloton and thermonuclear devices (up to 200 kt). The production of weapon-grade plutonium (WGPu) is done in Trombay. There one finds the uranium fuel fabrication, the production of WGPu in the Cirus and Dhruva reactors, and its reprocessing. Each year, an estimated 23-36 kg WGPu is produced, enough for 4-6 weapons. We estimate that the accumulated WGPu stockpile is 340-620 kg (or about 60-100 weapons) as of 2003. From the commercial reactors about 11 000-14 000 kg of reactor-grade plutonium is produced as of August 2003. There are no indications that India has used its ten non-safeguarded nuclear power plant reactors in the production of WGPu. If the state has, the production cannot have been more than 1 800-2 400 kg WGPu, or about 3-400 extra nuclear weapons, by the capacity for fuel fabrication. This corresponds to about 20 years production in one of them (e.g. MAPS-1, the oldest), and about 80 % of the commercial, non-safeguarded operation is found “not guilty”. In 2002, a facility for the reprocessing of thorium and uranium-233 (fissile) was started up. A prototype submarine reactor is reportedly undergoing tests. If so, one can conclude that the uranium-235 enrichment programme in Rattehalli is in operation. India could become the only state besides the five acknowledged nuclear weapons states that has nuclear submarines. The draft nuclear doctrine contains a no-first-use policy.