India expanding its Nuclear plant, claims study

The facility, located near Mysore, could be operational by mid-2015

New Delhi: India is expanding a covert uranium enrichment plant that could potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons, a defence research group said, raising the stakes in an arms race with China and Pakistan.

The revelation highlights a lack of nuclear safeguards on India under PM Narendra Modi. New units at the Indian Rare Metals Plant would boost India’s ability to produce weapons-grade uranium to twice the amount needed for its planned nuclear-powered submarine fleet, the research group IHS Jane’s said.

The facility, located near Mysore, could be operational by mid-2015, the research group said, based on analysis of satellite imagery and public statements by Indian officials.

“Taking into account all the enriched uranium likely to be needed by the Indian nuclear submarine fleet, there is likely to be a significant excess. One potential use of this would be for the development of thermonuclear weapons,” Matthew Clements, editor of IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, said.

No comment was available from the government. Pakistan reacted with consternation, with a senior aide to PM Nawaz Sharif saying the news underscored India’s “established hegemony”.

India is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

( Source : reuters )
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