Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by I-G, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist
    Sachin Parashar , TNN 27 August 2009, 12:38am IST


    NEW DELHI: The 1998 Pokhran II nuclear tests might have been far from the success they have been claimed to be. The yield of the thermonuclear
    explosions was actually much below expectations and the tests were perhaps more a fizzle rather than a big bang.

    The controversy over the yield of the tests, previously questioned by foreign agencies, has been given a fresh lease of life with K Santhanam, senior scientist and DRDO representative at Pokhran II, admitting for the first time that the only thermonuclear device tested was a "fizzle". In nuclear parlance, a test is described as a fizzle when it fails to meet the desired yield.

    Santhanam, who was director for 1998 test site preparations, told TOI on Monday that the yield for the thermonuclear test, or hydrogen bomb in popular usage, was much lower than what was claimed. Santhanam, who was DRDO's chief advisor, could well have opened up the debate on whether or not India should sign CTBT as claims that India has all the data required and can manage with simulations is bound to be called into question.

    ``Based upon the seismic measurements and expert opinion from world over, it is clear that the yield in the thermonuclear device test was much lower than what was claimed. I think it is well documented and that is why I assert that India should not rush into signing the CTBT,'' Santhanam told TOI on Wednesday.

    He emphasised the need for India to conduct more tests to improve its nuclear weapon programme.

    The test was said to have yielded 45 kilotons (KT) but was challenged by western experts who said it was not more than 20 KT.

    The exact yield of the thermonuclear explosion is important as during the heated debate on the India-

    US nuclear deal, it was strenuously argued by the government's top scientists that no more tests were required for the weapons programme. It was said the disincentives the nuclear deal imposed on testing would not really matter as further tests were not required.

    According to security expert Bharat Karnad, Santhanam's admission is remarkable because this is the first time a nuclear scientist and one closely associated with the 1998 tests has disavowed the government line. ``He is not just saying that India should not sign the CTBT, which I believe is completely against India's interests, but also that the 1998 thermonuclear device test was inadequate.

    His saying this means that the government has to do something. Either you don't have a thermonuclear deterrent or prove that you have it, if you claim to have it,'' said Karnad.

    Sources said that Santhanam had admitted that the test was a fizzle during a discussion on CTBT organised by IDSA. Karnad also participated in the seminar. He told TOI that no country has succeeded in achieving targets with only its first test of a thermonuclear device.

    ``Two things are clear; that India should not sign CTBT and that it needs more thermonuclear device tests,'' said Santhanam.

    The yield of the thermonuclear device test in 1998 has led to much debate and while western experts have stated that it was not as claimed, BARC has maintained that it stands by its assessment. Indian scientists had claimed after the test that the thermonuclear device gave a total yield of 45 KT, 15 KT from the fission trigger and 30 KT from the fusion process and that the theoretical yield of the device (200 KT) was reduced to 45 KT in order to minimise seismic damage to villages near the test range.
    British experts, however, later challenged the claims saying that the actual combined yield for the fission device and thermonuclear bomb was not more than 20 KT.

    Key Pokharan scientist R Chidambaram had described these reports as incorrect. He has also argued that computer simulations would be enough in future design.


    Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - India - NEWS - The Times of India
     
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  3. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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    This is kind of shocking, hope some light gets spread on this news!
     
  4. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Hope this starts a national debate. This is a very important issue that has strategic ramifications about India's future as a nuclear weapons power.
     
  5. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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    I say we Test again! Thats the only way!
     
  6. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Not the right time to test, I guess. We have just signed nuclear deal, and if we test now, there will be a huge fallout and there might be revoking of NSG approval as well. Let us first get the civil nuclear reactors, accumulate enough nuclear material, start our 3 stage civilian nuclear program and then we can go for more tests. May be 10 yrs down the lane.
     
  7. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    We can only test when we become so indispensable that the world cannot afford to sanction us. India needs to be a low cost, large scale manufacturer and worldwide supplier of nuclear reactor components. In such a scenario, where India becomes the prime manufacturer and supplier for 70% of the world market, any sanctions on India in the event of a nuclear test would be counter productive, because that would cut off critical reactor components to western countries.

    There are many indications that this is, in fact, the next step in the strategy of the Indian nuclear negotiators.
     
  8. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

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    This makes sense, but there is no evidence to suggest that India has any world-class manufacturing base. How is India going to compete with French companies like Areva or Hitachi in Japan.

    Indian products are generally weak when it comes to quality, and India is behind in Hi-tech manufacturing.

    I agree with Daredevil that this is the wrong time to test. India has to develop a stronger economy, and higher domestic consumption which is less prone to being affected by sanctions. The only way do that is to expand the middle class. More poor people have to move up the chain in to the middle class and become consumers before that can happen.

    But more importantly, sanctions will affect Indian conventional military acquisitions from the West. I happen to think that the conventional military balance is more important with respect to China & Pakistan, because China cant really afford a nuclear conflict with anyone either.....their economy is too export based. If China and India have a border based conflict - it will be a conventional short conflict resulting in a land grab by China.

    Using Nukes by any country in the world for a small regional problem, would be crossing a devastating threshold especially for emerging countries with shaky economies like India & China. Unless the very existence of the country is at stake - no country is going to contemplate using nukes. Other than the United States....i really dont see any country being strong enough to be able to survive the economic & diplomatic fallout from using nukes without having a compelling reason to do so.
     
  9. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    India is heavily investing on computer simulation tests. we are very close to perfect simulated nuclear fission(3-6 months) and fusion(2-3)years of time. there is no need to test again. there was need to test if the so called yield was to be 'ZERO'.Enemy of India full of joy after this article shouldn't underestimate. India's new friends are providing Nuclear S***s to improve the same. Can't disclose it further. Sceptical on supercomputer simulation nuclear tests are idiots(over and out). i am not sure about the timing of statement if it is well planned? but Mr. Santhanam will have difficult time ahead if wasn't there to speak as per plan.
     
  10. prahladh

    prahladh Respected Member

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    There is something fishy. I think we will see a test soon. I think this is good time to test because we (world) are still not out of recession and imposing sanctions is going to help recession.
     
  11. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    India must not sign CTBT as Pokhran II was not successful: Scientist

    In a startling revelation that questions country’s nuclear prowess, a senior DRDO scientist associated with Pokhran II nuclear tests has claimed that the tests were only partially successful and the results much below expectations.

    According to a report published in English daily on Thursday, K Santhanam, senior scientist and DRDO representative at Pokhran II, has blown the lid off the claims by India about the success of the nuclear tests.

    Santham has also stressed that the country needs to conduct more nuclear tests to consolidate its position and improve its knowledge of nuclear weapon programme before joining Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).


    The report quotes Santhanam, who was director for 1998 test site preparations, as saying that the yield for the thermonuclear test or hydrogen bomb in popular usage was much lower than what was claimed.

    As per him the yield of Pokharan II tests can only be classified as a “fizzle” rather than big bang.

    In nuclear terminology, a test is classified as a fizzle when the yield is below expectation.

    This revelation is likely to stir up a hornet’s nest by giving fresh credence to the earlier debates in the foreign media over the success of India’s nuclear tests.

    “Based upon the seismic measurements and expert opinion from world over, it is clear that the yield in the thermonuclear device test was much lower than what was claimed. I think it is well documented and that is why I assert that India should not rush into signing the CTBT,'' Santhanam was quoted as saying.

    Soon after the tests, the Indian authorities claimed that Pokhran II test was a huge success as it yielded 45 kilotons (KT). However, this was contradicted by the western experts who said that it was not more than 20 KT.

    Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry has reacted sharply to Santhanam’s revelation by saying that India has a meaningful nuclear deterrent, TV reports claimed.
     
  12. NSG_Blackcats

    NSG_Blackcats Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009 Senior Member

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    India has done 5 tests in Pokhran II. The above report only talks about thermonuclear explosion.
     
  13. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Defence Ministry rejects scientist's stand on Pokhran II

    The Defence Ministry on Thursday rejected senior DRDO scientist K Santhanam’s assertion that the 1998 Pokhran II nuclear tests were not fully successful, adding that India has a meaningful number of nuclear weapons and an effective delivery system to go with it.

    Sources in the ministry told a TV channel that India has a nuclear deterrent that is adequate for its security.

    K Santhanam, who was director for 1998 test site preparations, had said in an interview that the yield of thermonuclear explosions was actually much below expectations and the tests were perhaps more a fizzle rather than a big bang.

    In nuclear parlance, a test is described as a fizzle when it fails to meet the desired yield.

    Santhanam said the yield for the thermonuclear test, or hydrogen bomb in popular usage, was much lower than what was claimed. Santhanam also said that given this fact, India should not rush into signing the CTBT.

    He emphasized the need for India to conduct more tests to improve its nuclear weapon programme.

    The test was said to have yielded 45 kilotons (KT) but was challenged by western experts who said it was not more than 20 KT.

    The exact yield of the thermonuclear explosion is important as during the heated debate on the India-

    US nuclear deal, it was strenuously argued by the government's top scientists that no more tests were required for the weapons programme. It was said the disincentives the nuclear deal imposed on testing would not really matter as further tests were not required.

    According to security expert Bharat Karnad, Santhanam's admission is remarkable because this is the first time a nuclear scientist and one closely associated with the 1998 tests has disavowed the government line.

    “This means the government has to do something. Either you don't have a thermonuclear deterrent or prove that you have it, if you claim to have it,'' said Karnad.

    The yield of the thermonuclear device test in 1998 has led to much debate and while western experts have stated that it was not as claimed, BARC has maintained that it stands by its assessment.

    Indian scientists had claimed after the test that the thermonuclear device gave a total yield of 45 KT, 15 KT from the fission trigger and 30 KT from the fusion process and that the theoretical yield of the device (200 KT) was reduced to 45 KT in order to minimise seismic damage to villages near the test range.

    British experts, however, later challenged the claims saying that the actual combined yield for the fission device and thermonuclear bomb was not more than 20 KT.

    Sources claim that Santhanam had admitted that the test was a fizzle during a discussion on CTBT organized by IDSA.

    India conducted five nuclear tests at the Pokhran test range. Three of them were conducted on May 11 and two on May 13, 1998.

    Rajagopala Chidambaram headed the team, which conducted tests, and the device was developed at the Defence Research and Development Organization’s Ballistics Research Laboratory
     
  14. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    our scientist, wake up just now, almost 11 years after the test...... now they are saying that thermonulcear device did not yeild the desired result. (through evidence suggest that nuclear weapons/device were tested and explosions did happen)

    If that be the case and it was device and not nuclear weapon, then i would say we should again test the weapon/device what ever that be.....

    For Credible nuclear deteriance, it has to be credible, if the weapon itself is doubtful then your nuclear deteriance goes.

    all the five major powers have tested their weapons for more then 45 times. we have done that only 6 times.

    What is the economic cost of the test that is different issue if you are looking at the point of defence only.....
     
  15. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Saya,
    this is not the first time the scientists have raised this issue. Some senior scientists have said it much before, but nobody paid heed. Atleast, now we should conduct some tests to bolster our minimum deterrance and it has to be real test not virtual one.
     
  16. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Former NSA Brajesh Mishra says Pokhran II was successful

    New Delhi: Former National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra on Wednesday rejected senior DRDO scientist K Santhanam’s assertion that the 1998 Pokhran II nuclear tests were not fully successful.

    Mishra told a private television channel that the five nuclear tests conducted in May 1998 were successful and dismissed Santhanam’s statement with regard to them.


    “Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who was then the scientific adviser to the Defence Ministry, had openly said that the 1998 nuclear tests conducted in Pokhran were successful. It is enough that Dr. Kalam said that they were successful. Dr. Santhanam was working directly under Dr. Kalam. That should set the record straight,” said Mishra

    Mishra’s statement came as the Defence Ministry also rejected Santhanam’s assertion and added that India has a meaningful number of nuclear weapons and an effective delivery system to go with it.

    Sources in the ministry told a television channel that India has a nuclear deterrent that is adequate for its security.

    K Santhanam, who was director for 1998 test site preparations, told the Times of India in an interview that the yield of thermonuclear explosions was actually much below expectations and the tests were perhaps more a fizzle rather than a big bang.

    In nuclear parlance, a test is described as a fizzle when it fails to meet the desired yield.

    Santhanam said the yield for the thermonuclear test, or hydrogen bomb in popular usage, was much lower than what was claimed. Santhanam also said that given this fact, India should not rush into signing the CTBT.

    He emphasized the need for India to conduct more tests to improve its nuclear weapon programme.

    The test was said to have yielded 45 kilotons (KT) but was challenged by western experts who said it was not more than 20 KT.

    The exact yield of the thermonuclear explosion is important as during the heated debate on the India-US nuclear deal, it was strenuously argued by the government''s top scientists that no more tests were required for the weapons programme. It was said the disincentives the nuclear deal imposed on testing would not really matter as further tests were not required.

    According to security expert Bharat Karnad, Santhanam''s admission is remarkable because this is the first time a nuclear scientist and one closely associated with the 1998 tests has disavowed the government line.

    “This means the government has to do something. Either you don''t have a thermonuclear deterrent or prove that you have it, if you claim to have it,'''' said Karnad.

    The yield of the thermonuclear device test in 1998 has led to much debate and while western experts have stated that it was not as claimed, BARC has maintained that it stands by its assessment.

    Indian scientists had claimed after the test that the thermonuclear device gave a total yield of 45 KT, 15 KT from the fission trigger and 30 KT from the fusion process and that the theoretical yield of the device (200 KT) was reduced to 45 KT in order to minimise seismic damage to villages near the test range.

    British experts, however, later challenged the claims saying that the actual combined yield for the fission device and thermonuclear bomb was not more than 20 KT.

    Sources claim that Santhanam had admitted that the test was a fizzle during a discussion on CTBT organized by IDSA.

    India conducted five nuclear tests at the Pokhran test range. Three of them were conducted on May 11 and two on May 13, 1998.

    Rajagopala Chidambaram headed the team, which conducted tests, and the device was developed at the Defence Research and Development Organization’s Ballistics Research Laboratory.
     
  17. unlimittautar

    unlimittautar New Member

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    Should India sign the CTBT ? Otherwise conduct the more test? if India conduct the more test then it will hamper the Indo-US nuclear deal.What should India do now?
     
  18. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    'India must not sign CTBT as Pokhran II was not successful'

    Thursday , Aug 27, 2009

    A senior scientist and DRDO representative at Pokhran II has admitted for the first time that the May 1998 nuclear tests may not have been as successful as has been projected.

    K Santhanam, who was director for 1998 test site preparations, said in in an interview that the yield of thermonuclear explosions was actually much below expectations and the tests were perhaps more a fizzle rather than a big bang.

    In nuclear parlance, a test is described as a fizzle when it fails to meet the desired yield.

    Santhanam said the yield for the thermonuclear test, or hydrogen bomb in popular usage, was much lower than what was claimed. Santhanam also said that given this fact, India should not rush into signing the CTBT.

    He emphasized the need for India to conduct more tests to improve its nuclear weapon programme.
    The test was said to have yielded 45 kilotons (KT) but was challenged by western experts who said it was not more than 20 KT.


    The exact yield of the thermonuclear explosion is important as during the heated debate on the India-US nuclear deal, it was strenuously argued by the government's top scientists that no more tests were required for the weapons programme. It was said the disincentives the nuclear deal imposed on testing would not really matter as further tests were not required.

    According to security expert Bharat Karnad, Santhanam's admission is remarkable because this is the first time a nuclear scientist and one closely associated with the 1998 tests has disavowed the government line.

    “This means the government has to do something. Either you don't have a thermonuclear deterrent or prove that you have it, if you claim to have it,'' said Karnad.

    The yield of the thermonuclear device test in 1998 has led to much debate and while western experts have stated that it was not as claimed, BARC has maintained that it stands by its assessment.

    Indian scientists had claimed after the test that the thermonuclear device gave a total yield of 45 KT, 15 KT from the fission trigger and 30 KT from the fusion process and that the theoretical yield of the device (200 KT) was reduced to 45 KT in order to minimise seismic damage to villages near the test range.

    British experts, however, later challenged the claims saying that the actual combined yield for the fission device and thermonuclear bomb was not more than 20 KT.

    'India must not sign CTBT as Pokhran II was not successful'
     
  19. NSG_Blackcats

    NSG_Blackcats Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Even the US has not signed the CTBT. So India should not sign CTBT. In my view it will be foolish on our part to conduct any nuclear test at this point of time. We are a growing economy so we need energy for our growth. So nuclear energy is important to us. Once we have all the nuclear technology related to reactors with us than we can go for a test. I agree with daredevil’s point of view.
     
  20. Officer of Engineers

    Officer of Engineers Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    The US signed the CTBT in 1996. The US Senate rejected ratification in 1999. Therefore, the US is not legally bound by the CTBT but has continued to observe its tenets through executive instead of legislative authority.
     
  21. NSG_Blackcats

    NSG_Blackcats Member of The Month OCTOBER 2009 Senior Member

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    If the US congress did not ratify CTBT (during Bill Clinton as President of US) it really does not matter whether they sign it or not.
     

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