India expanding military nuclear site: US think tank

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  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/jun/03/india-building-new-nuclear-site-us-think-tank.htm

    India expanding military nuclear site: US think tank


    A Washington-based think-tank has claimed that India [ Images ] is expanding its military nuclear site near Mysore.

    In a statement released on the eve of crucial Indo-US Strategic Dialogue the Institute for Science and International Security said on Thursday that Google Earth imagery showed initial excavations and construction of a large building or buildings at the Rare Materials Plant site in Karnataka [ Images ].

    "While the construction is in its early stages in this image, the size of the building or buildings to be constructed indicates that these will be large industrial buildings," it said as it released a satellite picture of the site taken on March 30.

    "A DigitalGlobe satellite image from 2005 shows the same area as undeveloped with several adjacent ponds," it said referring to the older picture of the same site.

    "Based on procurement data and public advertisements for bidding requests, ISIS concluded in 2006 that India was on the verge of adding at least 3,000 centrifuges to the RMP," it claimed.
    "If the construction seen in the March 3, 2010 imagery is for a new gas centrifuge hall, India's uranium enrichment capacity at RMP will be greatly expanded," ISIS claimed.
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://frontierindia.net/wa/india-e...s-centrifuge-uranium-enrichment-facility/912/


    India expands its military gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility


    Google Earth recently posted satellite imagery from GeoEye taken on March 3, 2010 of the Rare Materials Plant (RMP) in India (see figure 1). This is the site of India’s military gas centrifuge uranium enrichment program. In the new imagery, initial excavation and construction of a large building or buildings can be seen. While the construction is in its early stages in this image, the size of the building or buildings to be constructed indicates that these will be large industrial buildings. A DigitalGlobe satellite image from 2005 shows the same area as undeveloped with several adjacent ponds.

    Based on procurement data and public advertisements for bidding requests, Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) concluded in 2006 that India was on the verge of adding at least 3,000 centrifuges to the RMP1. If the construction seen in the March 3, 2010 imagery is for a new gas centrifuge hall, India’s uranium enrichment capacity at RMP will be greatly expanded.

    Since the 1970s, India has pursued gas centrifuges to enrich uranium. The history and current status of India’s gas centrifuge program has been a long-held state secret. ISIS has been producing reports that trace the history of India’s centrifuge enrichment program and assess its current and projected enrichment capacity based on open sources, information from interviews with Indian and other government officials, and publicly available procurement data.

    The Indian Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) commissioned India’s main enrichment plant, codenamed the Rare Materials Project (RMP), around 1990. In addition to a gas centrifuge facility, this site, located about 19 kilometers from Mysore, may also contain a uranium hexafluoride production facility. As per ISIS, by 1997, after several years of difficulty, India seems to have achieved a technical breakthrough at RMP. Although India has experienced difficulties in building centrifuges, it now appears to be competent at constructing centrifuges comparable to those common in Europe in the 1970s. ISIS concluded in 2007 that, India is currently operating between 2,000 and 3,000 centrifuges at the RMP. The DAE in 2007 was attempting to expand the number of centrifuges at RMP by 3,000, increasing RMP’s capacity by at least 15,000 separative work units (SWU) per year, a common measure of the output of a uranium enrichment plant and more than double its current output.

    The Indian government designated its gas centrifuge enrichment facilities, such as RMP, as military sites under the framework of US-India nuclear cooperation. Thus, India is unlikely to use these facilities to create fuel for the Tarapur boiling water reactors, which will be designated as civilian facilities. India is currently importing sufficient amounts of low enriched uranium (LEU) to fuel the Tarapur reactors. These reactors could have otherwise absorbed the RMP’s capacity.

    As a result of its recently acquired ability to import LEU, India can devote the enrichment capacity of RMP to highly enriched uranium (HEU) for military applications. As per ISIS in 2007, India would most likely use the HEU for fuel in submarine reactors and in thermonuclear weapons. The production of thermonuclear weapons may lead India to conduct additional underground nuclear tests as it seeks to make more deliverable, reliable, and efficient weapons.
     

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