Nuclear capacity

ACCORDING to a study published by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), New Delhi, India will have the capacity to produce up to 50 nuclear weapons by the year 2000. The study says that going at the present rate of plutonium (which is a fuel used in producing fission or atomic bombs) at various atomic reactors in the country, India will have an inventory of about 250 kg reactor grade plutonium, which will be enough for producing 50 nuclear weapons.

The IDSA says that it is unlikely that India had the capacity to produce weapons more sophisticated than the advanced fission weapons developed in the US and the then Soviet Union more than 40 years ago. Till January 1993, four of the five reactors in the country were estimated to have produced 1,000 kg reactor grade plutonium, none of which was safeguarded. However, India has had the capability to separate plutonium since 1964, when it commissioned the unsafeguarded Trombay reprocessing facility at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.