India's military nuclear capability

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by warrior monk, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    There has been lot of misconception about India's real and imagined nuclear capabilities and make belief comparing with small countries like Pakistan so I am posting about India's fissile material capability since these so called Think Tanks use Fissile material as a yard stick for comparing India with Pakistan's military nuclear infrastructure.




    India India has the capacity to reprocess at least 350 metric tons of heavy metal per year (MTHM/yr) in four facilities.

    The official estimate of India’s natural uranium reserves provided by the Indian Govt stands at 210000 tons of uranium“reasonably assured resources” (RAR) plus an additional 500000 tonnes in AP –Telengana region of discovered conventional resources so that makes it a grand total of

    210000 +500000 = 710000 tonnes.


    Now where does India produce plutonium

    1) CIRUS ( 40Mwt) assuming 1,000 (MWD/MTU) is necessary for producing weapons-grade plutonium it would have generated 9.4 kgs of plutonium ( WG) per annum so total WG Pu generated 413.6 Kgs till 2010 when CIRUS was shut down.

    2) DHRUVA ( 100 Mwt) assuming low burnups of 665 MWD/MTU to 1000MWD/MTU with an operating factor of 0.7 woud have generated till now 626 Kg of WG Pu.


    Now India has 8 PHWRs outside safeguards assuming .29 conversion factor so total thermal rating == 8233 to 8410 Mwt


    that a single 700 MWt PHWR is committed for the production of weapons-grade plutonium rather than the production of electricity at low BURNUPs of 1000 MWD/MTU will generate 180 kgs of WG Pu per year .

    If all are used at low burn ups it would yield 1400 Kgs of WG Pu per year which is ggod for 280 nuclear heads a year , but it would require annual fuel loading of 2000 MTU but we only prduce 1200 MTU/yr but we can increase our capacity and fast refuelling capacity which our CANDU derivatives are capable off but it would tax our refuelling machines.

    These eight CANDU derivatives would have a requirement for natural uranium would increase to 60000MTU for their complete lifetime , as i have mentioned above we have the Uranium .

    Our online reuelling machines will have problems if we fast fuel full core for all the reactors but it is possible.

    So if India goes with this maximalist stance of agressive fissile material buildup through its CANDU derivatives at 1000 MWD/MTU and 0.7 loading factor India would be able to produce--------- 1400 Kgs of WG Pu /yr which is good for----------------------280 warheads/yr

    Due to the above mentioned problems of 2000 MTU fuel and technical difficulties if only

    1/4th or 1/3rd of the core is used for the production of weapons-grade plutonium operated at a 0.7 capacity factor and low discharge burnup of 1,000 MWD/MTU for a single 700 Mwth reactor ----50 Kgs for 1/4th core and 86 kgs 1/3rd core of WG Pu per year.


    700 MWth 50Kg(1/4th core) 86 Kgs ( 1/3rd core ) 1000 MWD/MTU at 0.7


    If all 8 reactors are used WG Pu generated per year


    8200 Mwth 538 Kgs ( 1/4th core ) 995 Kgs ( 1/3rd core ) 1000 MWD/MTU



    The fuel requirement for 1/3rd core low burup operation 1100 MTU/yr which is in India’s capacity

    So India can operate all PHWR at ¼ th or 1/3rd core and can make

    ¼ th core---------- 107 warheads /yr

    1/3rd core-----------200 warheads/yr


    Here I will not include our PFBR which itself can generate 146 Kgs of WG Pu / Yr in its radial and axial blanket.

    Again I will not include our ongoing expansion of our cemtrifuge program which is for our SSBN and SSN cores and also for Staged fusion ( Thermonuclear secondary)

    Again i am not going into our AVLIS and MVLIS program.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
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  3. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    The problem is that all the large countries i e P5 + India do not convert all their fissile material into nuclear weapons like for Eg US has enough fissile material to assemble 60000 warheads if it wants but has not done so because US doesn't need it.

    India currently can also assemle 1200 to 1822 simple implosion type nuclear warheads but has not done so because it dosen’t need it so India has only 186 warheads .


    Puny countries like Pakistan, Israel and North Korea assemble all their fissile material into warheads because they are small and puny they don’t have resources to compete with p5 + India. It is like comparing Pakistan's 100 % with India's 5 % which is unfair.
     
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  4. Rowdy

    Rowdy Co ja kurwa czytam! Senior Member

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    200kt was the one detonated in 98. But people say it was 800kt / 1 MT.
    A floor of 200kt and cieling of 1 MT is what I would say..... exact values no one knows. It is also unknown as to how muchthe design was improved through computer simulations.
     
  5. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    No, India government itself claimed 43 kt for a series explosion including the biggest one of 12 kt.
    However, the data collected by other sources suggests a much lower result, some scientists even suggested it was a failure.

    http://thediplomat.com/2014/06/is-india-building-thermonuclear-weapons/
     
  6. DingDong

    DingDong Senior Member Senior Member

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    India has kept silent over "failure/low-yield claims" because it gives us a window for conducting another series of tests in future. Plus, we do not require high-yield nukes because our delivery system is extremely accurate (CEP of as small as 10 meters).
     
  7. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Some also says that India is also working on Neutron Bomb ... I can see Chinese insecurity here ...
     
  8. Yumdoot

    Yumdoot Regular Member

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    The officials involved suggested that the Shakti tested TN device of 45KT can go only upto a max of 200 kt (probably even 250 KT) TN warhead. What was tested was also not a warhead.

    The 1 MT that is usually suggested with early Agnis capable of 1.5 ton bus are most likely Fusion Boosted Fission warheads and not TN. I will not be surprised if its a cheaper Sloika kind or of dirtier variety Plutonium. Soviet Sloika at its best yield to mass was expected to produce around 400 KT for 1800 pounds of warhead with Tritium boosting. For Tritium Boosted Fission the French have gone upto 500KT for around 700 kg (MR-41).

    My guess is the Indian early Agnis too had this 500 KT warhead. With the full bus the early Agnis could not have covered a large part of China. That would have forced mating of a smaller warhead with an additional high altitude motor. When these early Agnis were being developed we had a lag to manage and had very small amounts of funding for military uses, which I expect to have been best utilized by low risk higher yield unitary warheads. As the Agnis matured they still persisted with the bigger unitary warheads but with manuverable surfaces provided to the RV. Later on these surfaces too vanished but the conical motor came in but still they persevered with the RVs that looked more convincing with manuverable unitary warheads. The Brits used to mention their 500 KT bombs as megaton range and whenever our people talk about megaton warheads on Agnis, my guess is they are merely following the Brit example. Official India still follows a lot of the Brit examples and leads.

    Here are two well known bloggers (one not alive now) discussing a few relevant things and notice the level around which their discussion are centered, so far as weights are concerned. With some idea of weights involved you can guess somethings about the possibilities of the warheads and risks involved:
    http://ramanstrategicanalysis.blogspot.in/2009/09/no-heroes-in-nuclear-fizzle-debate.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
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  9. rockey 71

    rockey 71 Regular Member

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    And how you would you compare India's nuke assets with that of China and Pakistan? Do you have existing figures and the potential?
     
  10. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    It was not supposed to be an Indian nuclear weapons design thread but about India's fissile material capability potential .

    Anyhow

    India's nuclear warhead explosive yield vary from .8 kt to 200 Kt TN weapons . The 200 Kt weapon was tested at 46 kt yield of which Plutonium based boosted primary stage and Li-D secondary the Boosted fission primary of 18 KT and the rest was from the secondary.

    The primary warhead for the Agni family would be a 200-250 Kt fusion weapon with the weapons yield adjustable from 45-300Kt by changing the amount and quality of tertiary fuel .
    The weight is of 300 kg . When we tested it during Pokhran it used an inert mantle to ensure third stage did not generate any yield.

    We have also tested our FBF ( Fusion boosted fission ) device which has a modest amount of deuterium- tritium mixture inside the fission core potential yield from 15 kt to 90 Kt by modifying the amount of deuterium- tritium mixture.

    We also have designed pure fission weapon of 20 Kt which weighs around 170-200 Kgs. Five to Six of them can be MIRVED on Agni missiles.

    We tested Sub kilo tonne devices for accurately measure signatures of chain reactions and to test trigger device which helps is creating complex mathematical model for simulation in labs.
     
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  11. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    China's nuclear assets -
    China produces highly enriched uranium (HEU) for weapons in two complexes through gaseous diffusion method with a combined capacity of 3,800,000 SWU . It has generated 20 tons of weapon-grade HEU and has consumed 1 tonne for testing etc so total approx 19 tonnes HEU.
    China also produces WG Pu from two plants which used graphite as moderator and water as the coolant, went critical in October 1966 and has been shut down since 20 yrs. It has extracted around 2 tonnes Plutonium ( WG )

    China total nuclear weapons potential fissile material
    HEU------ 20000 Kgs ----- ( 1000 warheads+ ) I think China has more
    WG Pu------2000 Kgs----- (500 warheads )

    The HEU capability of China has been downgraded because of lack of open source information .

    So China has total 1500 to 2000 warheads potential
    Total warheads deployed --260 including Multi megaton Thermonuclear warheads.


    India warhead potential
    I have already given above India's potential in the first post of this thread.
    India primarily uses Plutonium for weapons but makes HEU for SSBN cores and Thermonuclear weapons

    HEU----------1200 Kgs + producing 100 Kgs per year ---------( 40 warheads )
    Wg Pu---------880 Kgs Minimum from ( CIRUS and DHRUVA )-------(186 warheads )
    Now
    WG Pu potential from 8 heavy water reactors if run at 1/3rd core
    One reactor of 700 Mwth ------86 Kg Pu /yr-------18 warheads/yr
    Eight reactors of 8233 Mwt------995Kg/yr-----------200 warheads/yr

    Total Plutonium inventory including Reactor grade and Weapons grade plutonium of India--------16000 Kgs atleat-------------------1000 to 1800 simple fission warheads if reactor grade Pu is used
    India has only deployed 100 to 120 warheads rest are not deployed or even assembled.
    Here I am not including India's future PFBR


    Pakistan warhead potential
    Total reprocessing capacity of Pakistan 140 tHM/Yr
    HEU--------------3000 kgs---------120 warheads
    WG Pu
    Khusab-1 ( 50Mwt)
    Khusab ( 2, 3, 4) each 50 to 75 Mwt-------------------160 kgs currently producing at 61 Kgs per year---------35 warheads



    Summing up

    China
    Fissile material capable------1500-2000 warheads
    Warheads deployed------260 warheads
    Types from 4Mt thermonuclear to simple gun type

    India
    Fissile material capability-------1000 to 1800 warheads (simple fission device)
    warheads deployed-----120 (Currently we do not require more than that if Pakistan forces India then we will make far more warheads that Pakistan can dream off)
    Types from 200 kt Staged fusion to .8 kt tactical


    Pakistan
    Fissile material capability-------155 Warheads
    Warheads deployed---------130 to 150 Warheads
    Types simple implosion and gun type


    As you see China and India have far larger capability of making warheads but have deployed only 1/10th of their capability.
    Small countries like Pakistan , North Korea and Israel deploy all their fissile material as warheads not like larger countries
     
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  12. Yumdoot

    Yumdoot Regular Member

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    Chinese have a massive Centrifuge capability too. Kind of jealous about it.

    Pakis can get the refined stuff from Chinese.
     
  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    I hope you understand this is a violation of NPT which china has signed.
    Either way it would give us an excuse to import(if needed). And point out to the NPT lovers another failure of the NPT treaty.
     
  14. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    No, India government itself insists that test was a success. Some Indian scientists and the rest of world don't buy it.

    No, you need it even if your missiles reach the level of accuracy as you claimed (Generally CEP linked to your tech and the number of missile tests). There is no one would waste the highly accurate small war heads on low value civilian target. You simply can't afford the necessary number of small warheads to kill the cities.
     
  15. Yumdoot

    Yumdoot Regular Member

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    NPT was to keep India among others boxed in for good.

    NPT was not meant for the haves to not have it.

    China merely did what was its right. Merely writing somethings on a piece of paper does not mean you have to follow it if the main purpose is not being met. NPT is redundant.
     
  16. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    @no smoking


    A test’s yield is only known by the PBI (Post blast inspection) which involves


    1:Taking soil sample
    No body but Indian scientists have collected the soil sample for testing


    2:Seismic equipment
    Seismic testing depends upon local geological conditions which is not sufficiently well known and the explosive energy of the explosion will be miscalculated .

    In TTBT ( Thresh hold test ban treaty ) USA and Soviet Union used to exchange the data for their test area geologies especially for underground explosion to help in interpreting seismic magnitudes , even then they used to make 30% error in calculations.Look at the pic how many seismic stations do you think there are in India or nearby countries.

    upload_2015-8-25_17-10-16.png


    3:Radio nuclide testing

    Show me the test result of radio nuclide testing of India’s tests because you can’t because there were NO STATION TO MEASURE THE POST BLAST RADIO NUCLIDES ONLY INDIAN SCIENTISTS MEASURED THE NUCLIDES WITH OUR OWN INSTRUMENT.

    Show me the xenon isotopes from the RADIOXENON SYSTEMS , argon , Iodine etc


    Show me the radioactive debris report and the post blast site geological inspection report because there are none , There are no international monitoring station in India ( Only country in the World ) and in our neighboring countries have a couple of seismic monitoring stations which is only good for local area monitoring and seismic stations have discrepancies of the order of 30 % or more thats why radionuclide testing is done and post blast site inspections are performed.
     
  17. Screambowl

    Screambowl Senior Member Senior Member

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    Pakistan is not even close in terms of our manufacturing capability per year and tech to us. But we have ought to keep it low profile.

    We are aware that after 5 devices on Pak, it will get radio-saturated and then it won't matter whether we further drop 5 or 50 on them.

    Same goes for China , max 10 are sufficient for them.. as it crosses thresh hold , then it won't matter how may we drop on them, as it will only create more saturation and spread radiation around the world.
     
  18. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    well that's the idea as far as India's nuclear policy is concerned.
     
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  19. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    No, they are good at monitoring the test in the neighbourhood. They maybe not as precise as your own results, but they won't be far away. Yes, I am pretty sure because these stations in Pakistan and central Asia were used to monitor Chinese nuclear test in last 60s and 70s. Their data was quite close.
     
  20. Yumdoot

    Yumdoot Regular Member

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    See this the the level to which a chinese outside china can be stupid.

    In the 60s and 70s the Chinese tests were spied upon with U-2s primarily and not the seismic stations. There was never any real doubt as to the size of chinese tests. China always do beeg.

    What was not clear about the chinese tests was the material used and the supplies of those materials. Which is still in doubt today and the only country that has information releases it in a piecemeal manner so its fanboys across the globe can talk amaricanese to the natives.

    The Seismic monitoring was so bad that a number of western groups gave widely divergent readings. And they failed to read any of the subkilotons. To this day they cannot reliably detect subkilotons if the testing side is non-cooperative.

    You can actually do atmospheric subkilotons which is enough for TN device reliability tests without any hope of attribution. Remember Vela.

    For Indians it was important to hid everything because radionucleotide release simply could not have been allowed.
     
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  21. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Wrong, U2s were sent to picture nuclear facilities and collect those material samples in the air around nuclear test site. By analysing these samples, Americans had pretty good idea of the material used in Chinese nuclear bomb. On the other hand, the major way to estimate the scale of yields is seismic stations instead of U2

    First, India's 1998 tests were claimed as big as 55k in total (43k, 12k, 0.2k), only one of three was sub-kiloton as you suggest here;
    Second, the wildest estimation of these tests is 25k, which means even India uses every possible method to cover her tests yields, the result was still far away from her claim.


    By your own government, among 3 tests in one day, only one was sub-kiloton test. The one disputed mostly was 43k device. So, sub-kiloton has nothing to do with the discussion here.
     

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