and if, low burn mode production of WG Pu, is not taking place
Why would you assume that? Dhruva and CIRUS are still operating and 8 PHWRs are designated as military... surely at least a portion of their cores must be reserved for low burn
Becuase, there are some very sane people at the top, who may not think, they ever need a large stock pile.
OK, Serioulsly, I do hope that some of our PHWR's have been operating in low burn mode, since POK II. How many of them, I do not know but speculation is that, it has resulted in doubling of our fissile material on an annual basis, from what it was previously. Estimates range from 30-50 KG of WGP, per year.
There are some reports to indicate that in the view of DAE, the most optimal way (in costs and safety risks) for the small arsenal, that the establishment seeks, is best served through research reactors. This will enable the PHWR's to produce electricity, at optimal cost. Further, it will produce the RGP needed to fuel the FBR program and thus, not have to bring it under safeguards.
If, India indeed is using/planning to use the 8 reactors, say a quarter in low burn mode, over their remaining life, then it will indeed result in 12,000+ KG of WGP, enough for a 2000+ arsenal. However, 2 of these PHWR's have come on steam only in 2005 and the other two this year (do not know, if they are up). There are two issues, with the scenario. 1. FMCT will not allow them to keep on producing the WGP, for the reactors life time and 2. No Indian analyst has expressed a need for such an arsenal of fissile material.
It seems, the only realistic way to reach a higher, weapon arsenal, is to burn the 8 PHWR in low burn mode + FBR (making about 150 KG WGP PA) + Dhruva and maybe add Dhruva II to replace Cirrus, till about 2015 - my deadline for the FMCT to kick in. Hence, my take on the race with FMCT. Apart from this, there seems to be only one other option, that is to use RGP, for weapons, as done by the US, in a test and maybe one of the Chotus too? But, that has its own issues, in terms of reliability.
Again, feel free to enlighten. Also, a repeat question for you. How many years till the PFBR reaches, a state of equilibrium. Thanks.