folks excellent discussions nad very educative too.
There are three components to the success of such a complex project (Fusion device).
1) The Science aspect (which Sunder garu Lakshmi c Arun Ramana, and many other have contributed here for understanding).
2) The engineering part (which is manufacture, selection and shaping of material)
3) The technology part (which is using the right tools equipment jigs fixtures to materialize what scientists and engineers versioned).
Where is that we can improve (aka went wrong)
a) The science was not good enough, i.e. the theoretical modeling and understanding?
b) Fundamental research not being pursued in institutions
c) The new crop of young scientistâ€™s replacements becoming scarce?
(Once upon a time when I was growing up MSc Nuclear Physics was most coveted degree for any university than BE or B Tech electronics)
What inputs and infra structure are needed (the so called dual technologies which unkil refers to) for us to catch up?
a) Do we have manpower (engineers) who are competent engineers to translate the theoretical models of scientists into tangible projects that can be delivered?
b) Do we have the equipment which has the capability built into deliver the precision components (the CNC etc)?
a) are we producing enough artisans, foremen, shop floor leadership technical skills ( during the 60s Diploma engineering and ITI candidates used fill this role, with the proliferation of donation engineering colleges I donâ€™t know if Polytechnic and ITI institutes are doing any good , the equivalent to community colleges in US)
Our nearest comparator for progress in science during the 50s 60s 70s (even late 70s) was PRC.
Everybody in International community agreed that Indian science was way ahead of PRC; as far as engineering infrastructure was concerned we were ahead
Then what happened?
Are we in the current state we because we always believed in Piece Full development of Nukes?
Only few Pieces worked, what is the way ahead?
Is it not proof enough that the powers be want us to sign deals so that we are locked in our piece ful efforts only?
(answers like funding was cut, salaries are not good are beaten track solutions, if you pay penuts you get monkeys is well known, is that happened?)
Note PRC progress with out comprable infrastructre with respect to India.
When China decided in 1955 to develop atomic bombs it faced a number of technological choices as to the most appropriate route to follow. At that time China could only work on one path, and had to choose between producing Pu239 from a reactor, or developing the method of producing U235 through isotope separation. The uranium path offered two alternatives, either system, either chemical separation or physical separation. Chemical separation of Pu235 from the mixed system of U235 and U238 would have been easier than physical separation, but the separation of plutonium and uranium was difficult due to the high radioactivity of the Pu-U system, and the severe toxicity of plutonium. Therefore, the chosen path was the physical separation of U235 and U238 isotopes. The implosion method of detonating an atomic bomb was considered more technically advanced, though there were questions as to whether China was capable of producing a uranium bomb detonated by the implosion method.
China made remarkable progress in the 1960s in developing nuclear weapons. In a thirty-two-month period, China successfully exploded its first atomic bomb (October 16, 1964), launched its first nuclear missile (October 25, 1966), and detonated its first hydrogen bomb (June 14, 1967.
The first Chinese nuclear test was conducted at Lop Nor on 16 October 1964 (CHIC 1). It was a tower shot involving a fission device with a yield of 25 kilotons. Uranium 235 was used as the nuclear fuel, which indicates Beijing's choice of the path of creating high-yield nuclear weapons right away. Of the ten test shots that followed by 29 September 1969, six are believed to have been related to thermonuclear development. The others had as their goals the adaptation of CHIC 1 for bomber delivery and test of a missile warhead (CHIC 4). The third nuclear test was conducted on 9 September 1966 using a Tu-16 bomber. In addition to uranium 235, this nuclear device, with a yield around 100 KT, this time contained lithium 6, which attested to China's readiness to test a thermonuclear explosion. CHIC 6, an airdrop test on 17 June 1967, was the first full-yield, two-stage thermonuclear test.