That country between Afghanistan and India… you know, the one that is in effect partially ruled by the Taliban/Islamic militants and was the only public outlet for the Taliban when they ruled Afghanistan… well, it’s expanding it’s nuclear program.
And in a big big big way.
… the dimensions of the new reactor suggest a capacity of 1,000 megawatts or more, according to the analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security.
“Such a reactor could produce over 200 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium per year, assuming it operates at full power a modest 220 days per year,” it says. “At 4 to 5 kilograms of plutonium per weapon, this stock would allow the production of over 40 to 50 nuclear weapons a year.”
Plutonium creates more powerful and sophisticated bombs than uranium, which is what the Pakistanis have now.
According to the report, Pakistan currently has over 30 uranium-based warheads, India has roughly the same amount of warheads, but they are plutonium. So this enhancement by Pakistan would effectively raise the bar in South Asia as they could feasibly both double the number of warheads and match or better Indias technology at the same time.
This is happening at the same time as Congress approves a major deal to share nuclear technology with India, which while it does not mention military applications, does not expressely forbid it, so the US is effectively supporting the Indian nuclear weapons effort itself.
For a completely different view, here is an interesting opinion peice from rediff:
… One wonders what ‘corrective measures’ India would have a right to take if it conducted a nuclear test and the US and NSG countries stopped fuel supplies.
Will India take them to an international court? Will India wage war against the US or other NSG countries and get the fuel supply reinstated as part of war reparations? Or, will India withdraw from the safeguards agreement, in which case too it won’t get any further fuel?
After all, first the Americans said, the nuclear agreement was for building a ‘strategic partnership’ with India. Saran applauded. Then the Americans said it was meant to achieve their own non-proliferation goals. Saran accepted that too. To him, it does not make sense not to accept American conditions.