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Deterrence

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ShauryaT
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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 13 Feb 2017 05:16

Let me put my few lines to state my point.

1. There is credible doubt that the tested S1 device, a scalable yield two stage TN device failed to perform to its designed test yield
2. There are credible indications (by people in the know) that the deployed warhead on our missiles are actually FBF weapons limited by weight/yield. The same inhibitors affect air deployed weapons too in carrying a capable yield.
3. The above limits the efficacy, type and credibility of the deployed arsenal thereby impacting deterrence - based on power and capabilities the nation can wield
4. Given the above, the nation should resume its testing so that the right type of weapons deemed essential for credible deterrence is in place

To your short point that our forces accept it. Two related points, they are not given a choice and when they bring up these issues, the political decision masters have always sided with the the "scientists", providing the military very little if any say in the weapons design, excepting for the Indian Navy, that has somewhat invested in building up a working knowledge of nuclear weapons. e.g: There is no committed nuclear cadre in the armed forces. Moving into and out of SFC is a three year rotation.

We have indeed prosecuted much of the above points back and forth. The recent talk at FINS India as reported by Bharat Karnad, simply reiterates and confirms the same fundamental issue that the scientists claim that the tested design has succeeded and furthermore they can design new weapons based on the tests using simulation and lab tests alone.

krishna_krishna
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Re: Deterrence

Postby krishna_krishna » 13 Feb 2017 07:52

Ramana guru, the one who cannot be named said on this forum many moons ago:

We need to test for two reasons one our TNW designed wasn't proved in proving it's worth/is not scalable.

Secondly our Wheads are not Pu especially in mizzilesthat will have big impact on our submarine crews well being that are supposed to be in contact for longer something western navies learned and moved to complete PU.

I wanted to bring this in discussion as well if gurus can throw light on these two.

shiv
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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 13 Feb 2017 07:53

ramana wrote:
I asked in five lines it shows understanding.


i did in 3 lines above.

ramana there is an assumption here that everyone must display your level of intelligence, your prodigious memory and your ability to encapsulate in a few syllables that others need to write books about. Like showing understanding by telling Ramayana in 5 lines. It can be done by our brightest. But please don't demand the same intellectual capacity from everyone else. Those of us who don't have it simply don't have it.

shiv
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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 13 Feb 2017 08:01

ShauryaT wrote:Let me put my few lines to state my point.

1. There is credible doubt that the tested S1 device, a scalable yield two stage TN device failed to perform to its designed test yield



krishna_krishna wrote:Ramana guru, the one who cannot be named said on this forum many moons ago:

We need to test for two reasons one our TNW designed wasn't proved in proving it's worth/is not scalable.

These doubts have never gone away. But asking or answering is called rehashing. Why?

Doubts about the deterrent=doubts about deterrence. And there are others who have expressed such doubts in the last 4-5 pages.

OK armed forces have accepted the weapons. Have they been forced into accepting because they have no choice or is the answer different? Why do we argue so much about T-90 versus Arjun when "Armed forces have accepted them". Is that a one point reply to scotch all discussion?

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Re: Deterrence

Postby krishna_krishna » 13 Feb 2017 08:26

Shiv Garu, I honestly believe you have lot of knowledge on these matters at least better than me. I believe you misread my point. I am clarifying it again doubt was never for our deterrence, it holds true even with what I said and our armed forces have accepted it validates that testimony.

Doubt is related to TNw design only and other question I had was not using PU Wheads in at least submarine launched projectiles. I am qouting who cannot be named on this forum as I distinctly remember awesome discussion we had on this topic

ShauryaT
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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 13 Feb 2017 08:34

shiv wrote:OK armed forces have accepted the weapons. Have they been forced into accepting because they have no choice or is the answer different?

Along with Koithara's book of 2012, this article will provide to you the state of affairs, as far as the armed forces are concerned on nuclear affairs. One can quibble with anything but the plain language and thrust of the article by CoSC CNS Arun Prakash (retd) is clear.

https://www.rsis.edu.sg/wp-content/uplo ... errent.pdf

PS: Since hardly any of the information being posted is new, so to say, some like ramana are legitimately wondering, what the fuss is about. The concern is valid as somewhere along the line someone will snap and someone else will take the bait and the discussion will soon go down spiral, as it has so many times in the past on the topic.

shiv
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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 13 Feb 2017 09:01

krishna_krishna wrote:Shiv Garu, I honestly believe you have lot of knowledge on these matters at least better than me. I believe you misread my point. I am clarifying it again doubt was never for our deterrence, it holds true even with what I said and our armed forces have accepted it validates that testimony.

Doubt is related to TNw design only and other question I had was not using PU Wheads in at least submarine launched projectiles. I am qouting who cannot be named on this forum as I distinctly remember awesome discussion we had on this topic

It has nothing to do with you personally. And I don't know who can or cannot be named on this forum. No such rule exists as far as I can tell. As long as one is not insulting it is OK to name anyone.

From day 1 people have had some doubt or the other compounded by people in the scientific community who expressed doubts. Those doubts keep cropping up and we need to look at some of those things in the light of new information that has come up . Attempting to shut off all debate or demanding that discussion should be in limited point form is, in my opinion, unnecessary. I have learned so much in these discussions while searching for answers that I certainly cannot put it down in 3 point or 5 point form like college exam answer to short notes question. I thought many of us left that behind decades ago.

When I quoted your post I left out the part about "no Pu in submarine warheads" because I cannot recall anyone saying that. We are/were short of Uranium, not Pu. But yes doubts have been expressed about "desired yield" or "scalability". That is why I quoted only that part of your post.

I would also like to address a point you have made that you do not doubt deterrence but have some technical questions about scalability and warhead type. That is perfectly reasonable - but I must point out that none of us is alone on this planet. When a person of some repute expresses a doubt about nuclear weapons - everyone who reads or hears his words will not completely understand. At least a few people will then think that we have no deterrent. This can have a blowback down the line. Imagine a senior school teenager in 1998 who read and absorbed all that was said by everyone including doubters. 19 years later this person could be a middle ranking officer in the Indian army. He may have no direct access to the SFC policy but he may have doubts in his mind based on what he read as a young man. Looking back at some things boldly is no crime.
Last edited by shiv on 13 Feb 2017 09:20, edited 2 times in total.

krishna_krishna
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Re: Deterrence

Postby krishna_krishna » 13 Feb 2017 09:10

No offence taken. I was referring to Arun _* if that name rings a bell, oldies on this forum will remember why I said that particular term for him. Secondly that PU thing was interesting thing thing from him since at that time K series was just out of wraps and it was not related to short of material but proven deisgnnto be used in submarines. I miss him.

shiv
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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 13 Feb 2017 09:19

krishna_krishna wrote:No offence taken. I was referring to Arun _* if that name rings a bell, oldies on this forum will remember why I said that particular term for him. Secondly that PU thing was interesting thing thing from him since at that time K series was just out of wraps and it was not related to short of material but proven deisgnnto be used in submarines. I miss him.

Whatever the reality with regard to submarine based warheads - it only goes to show that people do recall things said by people they respect for decades. People may say things based on information available to them. If new information becomes available it must be shared and old replaced or modified by new

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ramana » 13 Feb 2017 12:21

Shaurya T, Your 4 points are valid. Only 1 needs reply. *Lightweight TN needed for long range challengers. Heavyweight TN is for short and medium range challengers. Besides look at Cuban crisis. It was good enough to deter. Credible delivery is the key.
19 years are enough to fix any bug. Besides CAN be field tested when needed in case of two front war.

One more thing. FBF is quite reliable.

Besides SFC should require more numbers to ensure assured destruction. I wrote this ~18 years ago in BRM. If doubt is there about yields need more numbers.

This constant doubting does not do anyone good when deterrent patrols are underway.
Whether one gets killed by Teller Ulema or Sloika is moot. It's garauntee strike that is important.

* 200 kt is due to the secondary performing at its design partial. If the tamper is replaced by participating metal would give that number. If it's mixed with fissile maal it could be more.

As UB says all these will get moot as beam weapons get realized.
I would urge young folks to study high energy physics. Or biology!

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Re: Deterrence

Postby sudeepj » 14 Feb 2017 00:09

ShauryaT wrote:Let me put my few lines to state my point.

1. There is credible doubt that the tested S1 device, a scalable yield two stage TN device failed to perform to its designed test yield.


To my knowledge, not even a single physicist has doubted the device or the claims. Subbarao, Santhanam or random forum members do not count as they have absolutely no knowledge of the physics package. Even PKI was only involved in a simple (simple based on details in WOP) fission test and may not be familiar with the details of the new weapon.

2. There are credible indications (by people in the know) that the deployed warhead on our missiles are actually FBF weapons limited by weight/yield. The same inhibitors affect air deployed weapons too in carrying a capable yield.


Can you point to some links/references etc.?

4. Given the above, the nation should resume its testing so that the right type of weapons deemed essential for credible deterrence is in place


Testing may resume based on perceived interests/threats etc. But I dont think any physicist will doubt the Indian capability. The TU design was independently invented by Russians and Chinese at a time when computers, ICF etc. were non existent. To even think that Indian scientists and industry, with access to plenty of Tritium, super grade plutonium, beryllium, high speed Xray photography, super critical centrifuges, super computers and an ICF facility can not build a reliable weapon is simply propaganda.

To your short point that our forces accept it. Two related points, they are not given a choice and when they bring up these issues, the political decision masters have always sided with the the "scientists", providing the military very little if any say in the weapons design, excepting for the Indian Navy, that has somewhat invested in building up a working knowledge of nuclear weapons. e.g: There is no committed nuclear cadre in the armed forces. Moving into and out of SFC is a three year rotation.


They will never have a choice.. Its not like you can put out an RFI for these things..

We have indeed prosecuted much of the above points back and forth. The recent talk at FINS India as reported by Bharat Karnad, simply reiterates and confirms the same fundamental issue that the scientists claim that the tested design has succeeded and furthermore they can design new weapons based on the tests using simulation and lab tests alone.


This is a good point but not in the technical sense. The doubts in yield can be used to mount propaganda campaigns and unnerve the general public and opinion makers at times of crises thereby causing the govt. to change its policies.. A kind of 4Gen coercion. The solution is some boasting and counter propaganda by our own. (But then this will have soft power consequences.. )

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ranjan.rao » 14 Feb 2017 00:47

But I dont think any physicist will doubt the Indian capability. The TU design was independently invented by Russians and Chinese at a time when computers, ICF etc. were non existent. To even think that Indian scientists and industry, with access to plenty of Tritium, super grade plutonium, beryllium, high speed Xray photography, super critical centrifuges, super computers and an ICF facility can not build a reliable weapon is simply propaganda.

Sudeep,
I dont think most of people here question the ability/capability to demean ourselves. There is a difference between and theory and practice and that difference is bridged by testing. Even most brilliant physicists including the nobel prize winners have had critical experimental mistakes. It could be faulty parts or testing issues or forget even Nirbhay/agni missiles have failures in real world.
To your other point (and I am saying this with neither the intention of nitpicking nor self flagellating) other's have had access to much more real world data through actual testing. To take this chain of thought to another extreme who knows they might not have been successful in the first go and merely fudged.
The fact that some of our scientists, who are closer to actual reality than DDM points, which aligns with independent seismic observations taken by ovservatories(though they may have an agenda) points to something fishy and that what is debated. The point is know the truth better with whatever we have.
As people pointed out earlier, in absence of full info, your guess is as good as mine or ShauryaTs(though a noob like me will still not say that). Who knows this may be a Chankian ploy to keep future testing option open for next gen of weapons(I'm on thin ice called speculation)

Long story short: Unless other hard facts are posted, it is equally hard to refute such doubts

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Re: Deterrence

Postby sudeepj » 14 Feb 2017 01:16

ranjan.rao wrote:
But I dont think any physicist will doubt the Indian capability. The TU design was independently invented by Russians and Chinese at a time when computers, ICF etc. were non existent. To even think that Indian scientists and industry, with access to plenty of Tritium, super grade plutonium, beryllium, high speed Xray photography, super critical centrifuges, super computers and an ICF facility can not build a reliable weapon is simply propaganda.

Sudeep,
I dont think most of people here question the ability/capability to demean ourselves. There is a difference between and theory and practice and that difference is bridged by testing. Even most brilliant physicists including the nobel prize winners have had critical experimental mistakes. It could be faulty parts or testing issues or forget even Nirbhay/agni missiles have failures in real world.


While a highly weight optimized device with very high tolerances may need physical testing, if you build a conservative device with lower tolerances, it will not be as sensitive to minor changes. There is an actual statement to this effect in the first design report by Teller.. (paraphrasing) '..provided the design work is done, the device is not sensitive to minor changes..'. This is also shown by the successful Chinese and Russian tests very early in their programs. And also repeated in the recently reexamined Glosner paper.

What my understanding is, that even if the especial device tested failed, a big bang conservative two or three stage design (not an FBF) is doable and the throw weights of our missiles going up are an indication that such an approach has already been taken in response to 'doubts'.

To your other point (and I am saying this with neither the intention of nitpicking nor self flagellating) other's have had access to much more real world data through actual testing. To take this chain of thought to another extreme who knows they might not have been successful in the first go and merely fudged.

The fact that some of our scientists, who are closer to actual reality than DDM points, which aligns with independent seismic observations taken by ovservatories(though they may have an agenda) points to something fishy and that what is debated. The point is know the truth better with whatever we have.
As people pointed out earlier, in absence of full info, your guess is as good as mine or ShauryaTs(though a noob like me will still not say that). Who knows this may be a Chankian ploy to keep future testing option open for next gen of weapons(I'm on thin ice called speculation)

Long story short: Unless other hard facts are posted, it is equally hard to refute such doubts


Problem is, most of us dont know the extent of what we dont know. :-) Therefore we have to go by what some gyani uvacha and some educated guesswork. I take this as an exploration of what I dont know..

shiv
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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 14 Feb 2017 07:26

ranjan.rao wrote:I dont think most of people here question the ability/capability to demean ourselves. There is a difference between and theory and practice and that difference is bridged by testing. Even most brilliant physicists including the nobel prize winners have had critical experimental mistakes. It could be faulty parts or testing issues or forget even Nirbhay/agni missiles have failures in real world.
To your other point (and I am saying this with neither the intention of nitpicking nor self flagellating) other's have had access to much more real world data through actual testing. To take this chain of thought to another extreme who knows they might not have been successful in the first go and merely fudged.

I think this "lack of real world test data" argument has been taken to absurd lengths - particularly on BRF because I have not seen so much of it elsewhere.

Several factors have contributed to this
1. First is a general lack of knowledge of physics that prevents people from digging into papers and publications that deal with these subjects
2. Failure to look at details of large numbers of tests by the US, USSR, Britain, France and China where the tests were not used for acquisition of data but simply to test "weapon effects" - in fact a vast majority were for weapon effects
3. Lack of knowledge of the fact that computer simulation is a tool whose value is underestimated on the forum especially because no one knows enough physics to understand how or why they can be used and imagine that testing and repeat testing is the only way;

Here is a footnote from one of the Gsponer pdf which serves as goddess Saraswati to me, a source of knowledge even if there are some who have a snooty patronizing attitude towards informative pdfs
53 The fact that relatively limited computing resources are enough to design unsophisticated
hydrogen bombs is a controversial subject. In the case of the French H-bomb, see references [100]
and [101].


The same article goes on to say that more and more testing is nowadays of no use in making weapons better and the only advance that might come in future is from Inertial Compression testing

In a talk given by S.Chidambaram at IISC around 2001 or so he said:(from my notes)
Dr Chidambaram repeated time and again that computer simulation and the level of development in physics had made it easier to simulate and predict a lot of stuff and leave less to chance. He said that in the last 10-20 years there has been a vast increase in the amount of knowledge regarding "equations of state" of elements. In the 50s and 60s these were not known, and computers were very slow. If it took 3 months to do a particular calculation, it was easier to conduct a test, check the results and then tweak the computer to fit the results. He showed a very interesting graph of how the number of tests conducted by the US dropped with each jump in computer number crunching ability. RC said that a LOT of the work was done on computer and a lot of the computer simulations were verified against available data even before the tests.


All this is ignored by the constant refrain "They have data from tests they have data from tests We don't we don't" Possibly the fact that Chidambaram spoke of simulation made it worse because his reputation was sullied right at the outset and no one would believe anything that he said. These biases need to be set aside to understand what people are doing in nuclear science - which is a mix of physics, chemistry, materials science and engineering

I dispute ramana's suggestion that one needs to study high energy physics. If a man bleeds from his rear end, studying medicine will not cut it. But a modicum of trust in his doctor will ensure that bleeding will stop. We decided right at the outset that we would not trust what our scientists said. This is a disease that extends, incidentally to Arjun, LCA and any other program done by Indians

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Re: Deterrence

Postby SSridhar » 14 Feb 2017 18:50

Agni-V and Strategic Signalling - Ajay Lele, IDSA
Is China feeling threatened by India’s Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capabilities? The way it has reacted to India’s recent back-to-back successful testing of Agni-IV and V, it is clear that China is rattled and upset with India’s growing missile capabilities. Though India had been testing these missiles for the last five to six years, China had by and large refrained from commenting over India’s missile programme. The last time China had reacted was in April 2012, when Agni-V was first test-fired successfully. China did not react when Agni-V was test-fired for the second time in September 2013 and for the third time in January 2015. India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) is expected to conduct two more tests before inducting Agni-V missile into its weapons arsenal. Similarly, there was no reaction from China when Agni-IV was first test-fired earlier in November 2011, and thereafter in September 2012 and January 2014, before being inducted into the armed forces in December 2014, though user trials are still on.

However, after India conducted the fourth test of Agni-V on December 26, 2016, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson stated the very next day that “The UN Security Council has explicit regulations on whether India can develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.” The spokesperson added, “China always maintains that preserving the strategic balance and stability in South Asia is conducive to peace and prosperity of regional countries and beyond.” Interestingly, similar to the statement issued by China in April 2012, after Agni-V was first tested, the latest statement too reiterated that India and China “are not rivals for competition but partners for cooperation.”1

The Chinese spokesperson was probably referring to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1172 of June 1998, which was passed in the aftermath of the nuclear tests conducted by both India and Pakistan in May 1998. The resolution had urged India and Pakistan not to develop nuclear weapons delivery platforms like ballistic missiles and also to cap their nuclear weapons programmes and cease all fissile materials production. This resolution was approved under Chapter VI of the UN Charter and is non-binding. There are no constraints therefore on India pertaining to its weapons and missile programmes.

In response to the Chinese reaction, the spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs immediately affirmed that “India's strategic capabilities are not targeted against any particular country and India abides by all the applicable international obligations. India’s strategic autonomy and growing engagement contributes to strategic stability.”2 The Indian print and electronic media, however, stated the obvious; claiming that, now with 5000 km-plus range, Indian missiles could reach any part of China. The way media went about commenting on India’s growing missile capabilities, which received wide international coverage as well, could have to an extent spurred China to react.

The Chinese spokesperson in her statement had alluded to speculations in the media reports about India developing Agni-V to counter China. This came out in a more upfront manner in an editorial published in the Global Times, country’s leading English-daily affiliated to the Communist Party of China, two days after India successfully conducted the user trial of Agni-IV on January 02, 2017. The editorial accused India of breaking “the UN's limits on its development of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile” as “New Delhi is no longer satisfied with its nuclear capability and is seeking intercontinental ballistic missiles that can target anywhere in the world.” The editorial warned that China “will not sit still if India goes too far...If the UN Security Council has no objection over this, let it be. The range of Pakistan's nuclear missiles will also see an increase.”3

Interestingly, three weeks later, Global Times carried an editorial emphasising the strategic significance of Dongfeng-41, China’s own ICBM, and how it could bring more respect to China. The editorial argued that, “It is logical that Beijing attaches particular importance to the Dongfeng-41 as a strategic deterrence tool. With China's rise, China's strategic risks are growing. China bears the heavy task of safeguarding national security. Nuclear deterrence is the foundation of China's national security, which must be consolidated with the rising strategic risks.” Taking the argument further, the editorial stated that, “China must procure a level of strategic military strength that will force the US to respect it.”4

However, media coverage of the successful test-firing of the two long-range missiles by India cannot be considered as the only reason why China reacted so brashly. Some of the recent developments too could have added to China’s growing discomfort over India gaining prominence in the strategic arena. Beijing is probably finding it difficult to accept the fact that India, despite not being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), is getting preferential treatment from the rest of the world (read the US, Russia and the European Union). India had recently joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), whereas China’s credentials to be in the grouping were found lacking. Meanwhile, China has been trying to ensure that India does not gain entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Instead, it wants Pakistan to gain entry into the NSG, fully aware of its highly questionable non-proliferation record.

While China appears concerned about India’s growing ballistic missile capabilities, it fully understands that the concept of so-called strategic stability in South Asia is actually a misnomer. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had established a special missile arm in their defence establishment, called Rocket Force, on December 31, 2015. Further, China itself had tested various missiles during 2016. These tests included Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs) like DF-21, ICBMs like DF-41 (a multiple warhead missile), a hypersonic missile test-fired from Chinese J-16 strike fighter, anti-ship missiles like YJ-12 and YJ-18, and missile defence interceptor test for missile DN-3, which is also known to have the capability to destroy satellites in the low earth orbit. In fact, very recently, there were reports about PLA’s Rocket Force conducting an exercise with DF-16 medium range ballistic missile, which, with a range of 1,000 km, can easily target several countries in China’s neighbourhood including the US military assets in Japan.

China fully understands that having arsenal in thousands is of little consequence. What counts is the potency and accuracy of the weapons/missiles and the nature of military tactics employed. It is but obvious that China must be keenly monitoring India’s progress in the submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) arena. India has already successfully tested the K-4 SLBM and its efforts to marry this missile with the submarine are progressing well. China probably worries that India’s growing military profile is no longer South Asia-specific.

Apart from raising objections to India’s missile testing and stalling India’s entry into the NSG, China has also been acting against Indian interests on the issue of terrorism emanating from the Pakistani soil. India, however, does not appear to be giving a strong response to such Chinese actions. India could have launched a ‘different form of surgical strike’ by exhibiting its missile potential during the Republic Day parade in January this year. For all these years, the parade has been used by India to display its achievements and progress in social, scientific and military sectors.

Globally, it has been observed that countries use such ceremonial parades to display their military capabilities to the world. On September 03, 2015, China had held a grand military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of ‘Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War’. The occasion was used by China to display a host of new armaments, ranging from ICBMs to medium-long range bomber aircraft, highlighting the nation's inherent military strategy of “active defense.”5 Russia is also known to use the occasion of Victory Day parade held every year on May 09 (to commemorate the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany) to demonstrate their military capabilities. States like North Korea, South Korea, Iran, etc. are also known to use such ceremonial parades to demonstrate their military strength including missiles.

During the 2013 Republic Day parade, India had displayed Agni-V and at that point of time too Chinese media had taken note of it. During the subsequent years, 2014 and 2015, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the US President Barack Obama were the chief guests for this parade. It appears that India avoided displaying its nuclear might after 2013 for obvious geopolitical reasons. But, January 2017 parade was different. During the last one year, China has repeatedly rubbed India the wrong way and for no reason. Hence, it was important to fully display India’s strategic capabilities.

A display of ICBM in a ceremonial parade may have a very limited strategic relevance but, what was important is the timing. In view of China’s adverse reaction to India’s missile testing, this year’s Republic Day parade could have been used for strategic signalling. Nuclear deterrence is also about demonstration and display of capabilities. If you have it, then flaunt it! Such strategic signalling is often necessary to send a strong message to arrogant entities questioning India’s ‘strategic autonomy’.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ramana » 14 Feb 2017 21:50

Every think tanker tries to tell how difficult the TN is to achieve.

Yet every power set of a TN with in 4 years after the US showed it can be done.

Studying High Energy Physics was for young people as beam weapons are coming.

---
Also above article by Ajay Lele is from IDSA or MEA?

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Re: Deterrence

Postby prasannasimha » 15 Feb 2017 00:36

Santhanam was in my opinion made to say that the "yield was not enough" purposely to allow smoke and mirrors to play out and keep our "need to test' open.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby Amber G. » 17 Feb 2017 05:11

Few comments:
shiv wrote:
ramana wrote:
I asked in five lines it shows understanding.


i did in 3 lines above.

ramana there is an assumption here that everyone must display your level of intelligence, your prodigious memory and your ability to encapsulate in a few syllables that others need to write books about. Like showing understanding by telling Ramayana in 5 lines. It can be done by our brightest. But please don't demand the same intellectual capacity from everyone else. Those of us who don't have it simply don't have it.


Shiv, Ramana: IMHO: Valmiki's Ramayana has about 48,000 lines (24,000 shloka's) and telling it in "5 lines" reminds me of Richard Feynman -- when asked to describe his work in QED, which won him nobel prize, in 30 seconds by a famous news anchor, he replied:
Look buddy, if one can describe it in 30 seconds, it won't be worth a Nobel!
:)

for a simple person like me, I wonder why one would think (or talk about) pdf's, black cats and darkrooms..instead of turning a light inside dark room and see if there indeed is a cat, black or otherwise. :)

These "dictatorial" demands, as Shivji called it, as we all have seen it in past, sometimes, resulted into shutting the technical part of the conversation down.

So I hope it is okay to make a few technical comments here.-- Feel free to ignore if you think it all has been hashed out before.

(Standard disclaimer: I am no expert, so take it for what it's worth ityadi - but I do know nuclear physics (have degree, and been taught by/worked with Indian scientists so am some what familiar with Indian context) and my basic physics training teaches me to see through BS in technical write-ups and I do not believe in = = type treatment for all view points -- I do give zero's in an exam I think the problem solution is wrong)

****
ShauryaT wrote:Let me put my few lines to state my point.

1. There is credible doubt that the tested S1 device, a scalable yield two stage TN device failed to perform to its designed test yield..

ShauryaT: Can you expand it a little further -- for example can you post some of the strongest "credible doubts" with link/s sources -- just get top 2 or 3 strongest points I have seen/looked most of the debate in BRF in great details and have seen other material (more of this later) but there may be many new people here, so just summarize top 2 or 3 best arguments which are like "smoking guns" casting doubt on S1. (I would prefer if doubt is shown by some one who worked in the field, has data, or data which can not be explained by other means).

I ask this because: (* below are my views strictly but I am trying to be objective in presenting them()

- In BRF discussions (and other write-ups I have seen) I have not seen a SINGLE point/data/argument which tells me that TN device "failed to perform" -- Sure there were hints ( like "other shoe is going to fall".. or "gamma spectrometry of neutron data will show that no fusion took place".. or bombshell like " serious mistakes in equations which Indian scientist used - aka they made elementary errors -- "did not know how to work in spherical coordinates" -- or made fundamental error in design (often "non-radial symmetry") etc..In fact I have no doubt (credible or otherwise) about the success of S1. No I was not there to personally see fusion taking place, but I see no reason why *all* scientists will lie or can get away by fooling GOI.

- These "hints/ claims: NEVER were given technical details - just innuendos and absurd arguments ( at least form what I saw the were close to absurd)... virtually every point - when looked carefully - fizzled.

- The physics of Fusion etc is quite well known, and one simply can not get away by "faking it" -- considering the number of scientists involved.

- There are many, absolute smoking gun type data, possible which a whistle blower can blow, which are not possible to hide. Analysis of leaked radio-active gases, or material can tell if the top scientists/politicians are lying or incompetent -- S, BK etc never presented any such strong data.

Shivji was a little polite while describing BK (and other "skeptics") technical arguments.. some times it is surreal as if the author does not know even the most basic physics principle.

****
I hope, some one will, at least document here, the strongest (or top 2 or 3) top reasons to have "credible doubt".

ShauryaT
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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 17 Feb 2017 07:20

Amber G: Answer me one question, before I go and document the above request - again.

Does one have to know how to build a product, to test its efficacy, results? If I tell my builder to build the floor of my house to withstand a certain amount of load per square inch, Do I have to know how will he frame it and support it, right down to the type of screws and nails to test the end result. Could I simply test the end result and see if it meets the specifications?

Similarly, if the group responsible for testing is expecting a certain crater to be formed and even the wood framing on top is not disturbed and this group then goes on to validate the "results" (not the design) through some well accepted means and the group concludes based on multiple means of measuring the test results that the expected designed yield of the tested device did not work but for reasons best known to GoI, this report is suppressed/rejected by GoI.

Now I place a big piece of rock that will test the flooring of the house and it is within 50% of the max tolerance of the PSI load limits of the floor and the floor breaks away, does not crack just breaks down by placing this rock on the floor (no momentum in the picture, only the mass of the object). The builder will now tell me all the reasons it happened blah, blah.

Maybe the answer is to simply change the type of screw to meet the PSI load point and now it will support two rocks of the same mass but that is a moot point. Do I have to be an expert in PSI load design to understand how to support this load or simply realize that the builder has not delivered to the specifications and ask him to rebuild and test again? Should I just trust the builder, who has theorized that changing the screw will fix the issue? Should I not retest?

I am sorry to be providing such obvious examples to some like you, shiv ji and many others here whom I believe are very competent and intelligent minds. But, this going down the tube of trying to understand how a nuclear explosive can work is somewhat like trying to say, if one does not know how to build the floor of the house then one cannot gauge, if the design specifications were met. It is an interesting exercise to learn about the science and engineering of anything but with all due respect none of you are nuclear scientists and even if you were and understand the process completely, I will still ask for the end product to be tested and ONLY on some reasonable number of successful tests will one accept the delivered product. Just like that house floor.

So, I can document the views of the group responsible to measure the tests, place their doubts here again. Place the doubts of some other credible nuclear scientists, who based on their knowledge (and most likely inside knowledge too) have theorized on why S1 test device failed.

There are alternate explanations and indeed alternate measurements for the S1 tests provided by the designers and along with the all important claim that no one outside of the design team knows the design and hence only their self attested result is to be deemed valid.

The claim only states that there is "credible doubt" on success of S1 based on its expected outcomes and the people who have stood behind these doubts. It is not to prove someone as liars. Let me know, if you are interested in what and who are these doubts expressed by, if your mind is open to receiving these doubts but if you have read them and made up your mind then there is no point in this exercise.

Example, If you were to say, that you will logically put down all the reasons why the tested device worked and why the claims of the designers are to be believed with very detailed understanding of the entire process and if I were to believe everything said, I will still ask one thing. Test again. My mind on the issue of tests is closed and for multiple reasons apart from just the events in 1998. I can compltely accept that a TN device and multiple iteration of such designs are well within the capabilities of BARC.

Mean no disrespect, as it is completely OK to have opposing views on the matter. But this issue to me is not a scientific exercise, it is about credible capabilities, that I deem essential for our national security.

Let us leave Bharat Karnad aside for a minute. None of the posters here come close to the kind of knowledge he has on national security matters. National security is not an exercise of understanding just the science. The science needs to be understood only to the limited extent that contributes towards understanding capabilities and in this area, please do read his books to determine, if he understands them. 99% of his works are extremely well referenced and furthermore he has very extensive contacts in the community as his Father spent a lifetime in BARC. Does not mean he is flawless or cannot be disagreed with I do too in some areas.

If the answer to the highlighted question is a NO, I will document the most important doubts expressed by the weekend. Thanks.

shiv
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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 17 Feb 2017 10:16

ShauryaT wrote: I will still ask for the end product to be tested and ONLY on some reasonable number of successful tests will one accept the delivered product. Just like that house floor.

Shaurya - your example was not clear at all to me but this sentence is perfectly clear. It is about credibility.

You have set yourself a particular standard that you want to see reached before you believe that a bomb works to your standard. Unfortunately the standard I have for credibility is different from yours - and what is worse - people who do not know science or physics are always going to be at the mercy of those who do and may thrash about but without believing the science people there is zilch they can do. That is how the world works. Chagrin and frustration won;t cut it. That is why I used the example of a man bleeding from his ass and his needing to trust his doctor.

Patients who bleed from their ass often feel they are the only ones who do that and ask me if I have ever seen this problem before. If those patients say the equivalent of "I will still ask for the end product to be tested and ONLY on some reasonable number of successful tests will one accept the delivered product. " - then I will politely tell them to go ahead and do whatever they want and that I will not be able to help them. If they don't trust their doctor - the doctor does not need to demand that they be trusted. Only others can vouch for the doctor and say - "Don't be silly. Let the man do his job"

None of this is science. It is about perceptions and you are speaking of perceptions

he has very extensive contacts in the community as his Father spent a lifetime in BARC.

Sorry. This means NOTHING. A doctor's children who are not themselves doctors know bullshit about medicine despite father spending a lifetime with doctors

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Re: Deterrence

Postby Amber G. » 17 Feb 2017 13:18

ShauryaT wrote:Amber G: Answer me one question, before I go and document the above request - again.

Does one have to know how to build a product, to test its efficacy, results? If I tell my builder to build the floor of my house to withstand a certain amount of load per square inch, Do I have to know how will he frame it and support it, right down to the type of screws and nails to test the end result. Could I simply test the end result and see if it meets the specifications?

Short answer NO. (That is, one does not have to know how to build a product but the test result must show clearly that it is not meeting the specification).

Look forward to see solid test result/documentation. Will wait till the weekend (or even later). Thanks in advance.

(I am looking for actual test data/test not some innuendos - so let us wait till you provide this )


Example, If you were to say, that you will logically put down all the reasons why the tested device worked and why the claims of the designers are to be believed with very detailed understanding of the entire process and if I were to believe everything said, I will still ask one thing. Test again. My mind on the issue of tests is closed and for multiple reasons apart from just the events in 1998. I can compltely accept that a TN device and multiple iteration of such designs are well within the capabilities of BARC.


All I am looking for is a SINGLE data which can not be explained away and there is explanation other than TN failed... For example your house example, I don't have to see godzilla movies where houses are destroyed, just one house, where the said test is run and it got destroyed proving that it did not meet the specification,


Let us leave Bharat Karnad aside for a minute. None of the posters here come close to the kind of knowledge he has on national security matters. National security is not an exercise of understanding just the science. The science needs to be understood only to the limited extent that contributes towards understanding capabilities and in this area, please do read his books to determine, if he understands them. 99% of his works are extremely well referenced and furthermore he has very extensive contacts in the community as his Father spent a lifetime in BARC. Does not mean he is flawless or cannot be disagreed with I do too in some areas.


You obviously have great respect for BK. I do not comment on his expertise in national security matters, but sorry, whenever he talks about science (even the most basic aspects) he looses my respect. IMO a physics grad student as an editor to check out his writing to avoid blunders, could have saved his credibility as far as I am concerned. I too am ancient enough to spend 50+ years with Indian Scientists (I have first seen Bhabha / TIFR in later 50's/early sixties)... and may know some of his contacts better than he claims to know them.

So as you say, let us leave him aside -- of course you can use any thing based on his work if it is more than "BK's opinion".

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 17 Feb 2017 16:23

Amber G. wrote:The link was posted just recently here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BHdsjo-NR4
Other ( + - of that class lectures) can be seen in related links etc..

Thanks for the link. That is a brilliant lecture and even I who like to imagine that I know most of the basic stuff that the prof says in the lecture that his students "should know" found out some interesting stuff. But this post is not just to praise the video.

Fact is that if one has forgotten, or not learned at all, 9th std physics about the structure of atoms being nucleus of protons and neutrons with orbiting electrons and some basic physical chemistry like light and heavy elements and alpha particles=helium nuclei then there is no hope of following even this lecture. What is interesting about the lecture is that the US government was not interested in the kilotons/megatons achieved Saddam, Iran, Khadaafi or NoKo, They knew damn well that if you get enriched Uranium or reprocess fuel to extract Plutonium you can get a dangerous bomb - publicly visible yield and publicly visible crater be damned. Crater size of course is complete mumbo-jumbo guesswork - pseudoscience passed off as science

What the US was interested in was were they getting Uranium 235; large building means gaseous diffusion. Maraging steel means centrifuge (or golf clubs). A warm. heavy lump of metal meant plutonium. Once you have the right materials in your hand, assembling a bomb and scaling it up without testing is guaranteed.

So the signals that go to the public of a nation may depend on the size of bang. But the signals that go to people who actually make bombs are much more subtle. Deterrence is not about what the public believe - but what the defenders of the other side view of their enemy's potential, visible through more subtle indicators of capability.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ramana » 18 Feb 2017 10:01

Implosion needs testing. It's very tricky. Richard Rhodes gives detailed description in Making of the Atomic Bomb. It has flash x-ray pictures of the compression. I sent it to a member to post.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 18 Feb 2017 22:58

Posting the primary articles, I have that places credible doubt on the S1 TN test. All have been posted before, apologies for the long post. Some of the original links in various news portals are now defunct.

Pokhran-II thermonuclear test, a failure
K. Santhanam and Ashok Parthasarathi

A critical analysis of the technical facts can lead to no other conclusion. BARC must learn to tell the nation the truth.

Several inaccuracies in the claims made by BARC and in the articles published in the press, including The HinduPokhran-II need to be corrected. We have hard evidence on a purely factual basis, to inform the nation that not only was the yield of the second fusion (H-bomb) stage of the thermonuclear (TN) device tested in May 1998 was not only far below the design prediction made by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), but that it actually failed.
All the five nuclear tests conducted in May 1998 were undertaken through a joint BARC and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) team. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and R. Chidambaram assigned the DRDO team the critical responsibility for all the field instrumentation to record seismic data from all the tests: this was vital in estimating the yields. The seismic sensors were placed at many points in the device shafts and out to a radius of 2.5 km. The sensors and instrumentation were calibrated several hundred times and perfected. They fully met international standards and were acknowledged to be so by BARC.

The DRDO was thus deeply involved in all the seismic measurements and was fully aware of the BARC-projected readings vis-À-vis its own measurements. One of the authors, Dr. Santhanam, was personally aware in detail from key BARC scientists of the core designs and hence the projected yields. Consequently, the reference in a report published by The Hindu on August 28 (headlined “’Fizzle’ claim for thermonuclear test refuted”) attributed to a “former senior official of the Vajpayee government” that I was “not privy to the actual weapon designs which are highly classified,” was incorrect.

The DRDO also designed and conducted numerous tests of the High Explosive (HE) Trigger of the TN test. BARC scientists witnessed these tests, took copies of test records, and expressed satisfaction with the DRDO’s work.
Over May-October 1998, DRDO produced a comprehensive report of actual seismic readings vis-À-vis values predicted by BARC, mentioning why the former showed considerably lower yields than the latter.

The DRDO report was discussed at a meeting called by National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra in late 1998. The meeting was attended by Dr. Chidambaram and Dr. S.K. Sikka, the scientific head of the BARC team; Mr. Kalam, the Director-General of the DRDO; Dr. V.K. Aatre, the Chief Controller of the DRDO, Dr. Santhanam, and the Chiefs of the Defence Services. Despite a long discussion, largely between the DRDO and BARC, both stuck to their positions on the TN device yield. Thereafter, the NSA took a ‘voice vote’! This was highly unusual because the matter was technically very complex and the services were ill equipped to give an opinion on yields. Most surprisingly, NSA concluded saying government would stand by Dr. Chidambaram’s opinion.

Dr. Chidambaram’s claims and those in Atomic Energy Commission statement reported on September 16 under headline “No reason to doubt the yield of 1998 nuclear test: AEC” are wrong. BARC basically argued that the geological structure of Pokhran was different from test sites elsewhere. However, the DRDO and BARC utilised the same published information in their calculations of TN device yield. BARC accepted the DRDO’s yield estimates of the fission (A) bomb, but not of the TN device, although the latter’s shaft was situated only a few hundred metres from the former’s shaft. Globally, geological structures do not change dramatically at such small separations. So BARC’s argument to “explain” a lower TN yield is untenable.

Dr. Chidambaram’s statement that “the post-shot radioactivity measurements on samples extracted from the test site showed significant activity [levels] of radioisotopes Sodium 22 and Manganese 54, both of which are byproducts of a fusion reaction rather than a pure fission [device]” is incorrect. He should indicate the exact level of activity instead of merely saying “significant activity” as the activity level determines whether a fusion reaction of the magnitude claimed by BARC actually occurred.

Dr. P.K. Iyengar, a former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and a former Director of BARC, informed me that trace levels of these same isotopes were detected in Apsara, a pure fission reactor not involving any fusion at all. This is the exact opposite of Dr. Chidambaram’s claim.

Dr. Chidambaram’s statement that “from a study of this radioactivity and an estimate of the crater radius confirmed by drilling operations at positions away from the shaft, location, total yield and break-up of fission and fusion components, could be calculated” is extremely surprising. First, after the TN test, its shaft remained totally undamaged: if the fusion stage had worked, the shaft would have been totally destroyed. Secondly, the A-frame sitting astride the mouth of the shaft, with winches to lower and raise personnel, materials and so on, also remained completely intact. If the fusion stage had worked, the ‘A’ frame would also have been totally destroyed.

As for radioactivity levels, senior BARC radiochemists who undertook radio-assay of fission products in samples similarly drilled at Pokhran-I (of May 1974) told Santhanam that the yield announced to the media was substantially higher than what they had submitted to Dr. Raja Ramanna. Dr. Chidambaram must publicly substantiate any claim that it did not occur in the TN test along with justification data.

Dr. Chidambaram states: “BARC scientists worked out total yield of TN device as 50 +10 kt — consistent with design yield and seismic estimates.” However, he subsequently asserts: “BARC experts established DRDO had under-estimated yield due to faulty seismic instrumentation.” BARC cannot eat the cake and have it too.

The fission bomb yield from the DRDO’s seismic instrumentation was 25 +2 kiloton and left a crater 25 metres in diameter. If the TN device had really worked with a yield of 50 +2 kt, it should have left a crater almost 70 metres in diameter. Instead, all that happened was that sand and mud from the shaft were thrown several metres into the air and then fell back, forming a small depression in the shaft mouth. There was no crater.

This factual analysis reveals India’s decade-long, grim predicament regarding the failed TN bomb and so our Credible Minimum Deterrent (CMD). No country having undertaken only two weapon related tests of which the core TN device failed, can claim to have a CMD. This is corroborated by fact that even after 11 years the TN device has not been weaponised by BARC while the 25 kiloton fission device has been fully weaponised and operationally deployed on multiplate weapon platforms. It would be farcical to use a 3500-km range Agni-3 missile with a 25 kiloton fission warhead as the core of our CMD. Only a 150 – 350 kiloton if not megaton TN bomb can do so which we do not have.

(K. Santhanam was Project Leader, Pokhran-II. He worked as a physicist at BARC for 15 years. Later he was Chief Adviser (Technologies) in DRDO for 14 years and was then also Director General, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Ashok Parthasarathi, the co-author of this article, was S&T Adviser to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and deeply involved in Pokhran-I, of May.)


To test or not to test
K. Santhanam and Ashok Parthasarathi join the scientists’ debate

WE respond to R. Ramachandran’s article, “Why There is No Case for Further Nuclear Tests” (The Hindu, September 25, 2009). His main points are: “technical information published by the Department of Atomic Energy does not show Pokhran-II (P-2) was unsuccessful”; (b) an assertion: there are compelling arguments against need for resuming (thermonuclear (H-bomb) device testing). Even if it was so i.e. even if the thermonuclear test was a failure (c) “the DAE employed different techniques to estimate test yields (i.e. power outputs); (d) yield values from other five tests “are stated to be”! (by BARC) consistent with its original estimate of 60 kilotonnes (a bomb’s output equal to 60,000 tonnes of TNT) for the two main tests on May 11, 1998, i.e. a 45-kt (thermonuclear or TN) device and a 15 kt A-bomb exploded simultaneously. Of these, post-shot Radio-Chemical Method (RCM) (of device yield measurement) considered most accurate; (e) both A-bomb “trigger” and main H-bomb produce a type of nuclear particles called Neutrons.

However, H-bomb devices, produce more Neutrons than A-bombs. This leads to considerably larger amounts of two artificially created radio-isotopes — Manganese 54 and Sodium 22 — being produced by the TN device than the A-bomb. This higher ratio of Manganese 54: Sodium22 in the H-bomb explosion does provide an “idea” of the A–vs – H-bomb/device yields (no numbers at all; only “an idea” of relative yield magnitudes); and this is supposed to be nuclear “physics”!).

The writer’s justification: “The absolute values and scale of this higher ratio, (in TN device case) withheld for “obvious” sensitivity reasons, but qualitative difference in levels is evident”. The writer’s source: a BARC Newsletter article (July 1999). It is not a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

(f) His last technical “scoring-point” is a “desperate explanation” of why and how, while the “pure” A-bomb of the BARC-claimed yield of only 15 kt – when its collaborator in P-2 – DRDO, and our top scientific institutions, as also numerous top nuclear weapons laboratories worldwide, have rated it at much higher 20-25 kt, produced a crater 25 meters in diameter — which the BARC dishonestly-claimed yield of only 15 kt could never have produced — the BARC–claimed -to-be-“successful” -H-bomb-of-45 kt, – thrice as powerful – even at BARC de-rated 15 kt yield pure ‘A’ bomb – produced no crater at all when a genuine 45 kt TN device, even common sense tell us, should have produced a gigantic crater. He says “at some low enough TN device emplacements, i.e. deep enough shafts, there would (only be) upheaval within the shaft) but no material... There would be no crater”!

Here is our response. As regards Mr Ramachandran’s regurgitation of the BARC argument that it used different techniques in yield estimation, he was not personally involved in the tests. Mr Santhanam was one of the four key scientists directing P-2 from day 1. So, he can only say “45 kt fusion device and 15 kt fission bomb “are stated to be” (by BARC) “consistent with original estimates”. On what basis can he say this when those estimates are highly classified?

As for post-shot RCM being “most accurate” (for nuclear explosions yield (power) estimation), former BARC Director’s Radiochemistry Division (RCD) told us: “I measured yield of (P-I) (1974) using Mass Spectrometry (MS) method. A microgram of plutonium was separated from sample taken near core of device, and its isotopic composition — which does not change with various transformations caused by nuclear tests — measured.

The MS technique considered internationally the most accurate and reliable method for yield estimation even more accurate than RCM (which the writer tomtoms about, without knowing about nuclear weapon yield measurement). The MSM is far less sensitive to major weakness of the RCM. That’s why Dr Ramanna, former BARC Director, former AEC Chairman, and Mission Director P-1, insisted on the MS method for (P-1) yield estimation in 1974. If the MS method was used in (P-2) also, why exclude it in the BARC’s briefing to Mr Ramachandran?

Using S.B. Manohar’s article (BARC Newsletter, July 9, 1999) on RCM to determine TN device yield lacks credibility as it is an inhouse publication.As for the BARC argument, the TN device produced “copious amounts” of Sodium-22 and Manganese-54 isotopes “characteristic of fusion reactions”, in the absence of exact numbers, it is an unsubstantiated assertion. A “fizzled” TN device also produces “copious amounts” of these isotopes.

Moreover, mere presence of isotopes is not a quantitative yield measure. It can at best be a qualitative indicator. This obfuscation becomes worse when the writer said, “…it does provide an idea of the comparative (i.e. H-bomb vis-a-vis A-bomb) yields”! As a scientist, he ought to know that precise quantified statements are core of science and scientific credibility. Using an imprecise phrase like “copious amounts” begs the question.

“The classified exact plutonium mass in the core of the (P-1) device may not have been known to the RC Division of BARC after P-1. However, RC measurements in RCD’s report indicated yield are significantly lower than Ramanna’s and Chidambaram’s claim. So, RCD’s report on yield of (P-1) was frozen by Ramanna and Chidambaram and consigned to the archives”!

The writer then moves to our statement that had TN test really worked, the 120-meter deep shaft at the bottom of which the TN device was emplaced, would have been totally destroyed and its deepest portions even vapourised. There would, in addition, have been enormous surface damage to even massive 2-tonne and 8-meter high tripod “A-frame” astride the shaft’s mouth. This “A-Frame” has a complex set of winches and pullies connected at their bottom to a lift-like “container” to lower and raise personnel, equipment and materials to and from the bottom of the shaft when the TN device is being assembled would have been shattered.

Both were totally intact after the TN device test. Mr Ramachandran has ignored this damning evidence that the TN device failed! He moves to the issue of cratering, using the BARC’s arguments on geological and TN device-related factors preventing crater formation by 45 kt yield TN device. Based on 25 metre diameter crater formed by 20-25 kt “pure” A-bomb (which BARC rates at only 15 kt yield), the DRDO calculated a 60-70 meter diameter crater should have been formed by the latter fully confirmed by the ARC. Thus, one needs a cogent response from Mr Ramachandran why and how such a phenomenon is supposed to have occurred.

The super hi-tech ARC, independent of both BARC and DRDO with a 365 x 24 x 7 operated very large seismic array, 10-15 per cent more sensitive and accurate than DRDO’s, measured all the seismic signals from all P-2 tests. Their calculations, far more sophisticated than BARC’s, indicated a TN device yield at only 20 kt max.

Mr Ramachandran then moves to the article by former DRDO chief and strategic affairs analyst, V.S. Arunachalam and K. Subramanian, respectively (The Hindu, September 21). They say, even a 25 kt A-bomb’s damage on enemy city targets with large populations would be ‘unacceptable’ to any adversary and so such A- bombs would be enough for us to deter even China having 200 deployed H- bombs of 3.3-5 megatons yields each.

Surprisingly, though they argued for decades that H-bombs were central to our Credible Minimum Deterrent (CMD), they suddenly say A-bombs (which cannot yield more than 80 kt max) are enough. Why? Sour grapes following the TN device failure and no weaponisation for the last 11 years! China would be totally undeterred by our piffling A-bomb “arsenal” of yields.

We reiterate our view, fully shared by the overwhelming majority of our nuclear scientists, strategic analysts and, above all, our military, that a sole A-bomb arsenal is grossly inadequate to be a CMD against China; only TN bombs can do so. Otherwise, why did four Prime Ministers (including Mr Vajpayee and his NSA Mr Brajesh Mishra) direct the top of BARC-DRDO leadership — Mr Kalam, Mr Chidambaram, Mr Santhanam and Mr Kakodkar — that one Pokhran-II test at least must be a TN device?

The current “controversy” over the failure of the sole H-bomb test of P-2 is the only case of the long history of DAE, BARC being “highly economic with truth” and using such “economy” to protect themselves from public criticism of major failures in various programmes and projects. The failures have been screened from public gaze on unwarranted and secrecy grounds.

Worse, the DAE has tried to hide facts from successive governments, Parliament and the people, causing damage to our nuclear programme and national security. The Prime Minister and the Union Cabinet must help stop this. The nation waits with bated breath if they can or will.


P K Iyengar

The recent controversy that has erupted regarding the 1998 Shakti or Pokhran-II tests, after the statement of Dr. K. Santhanam about their yield, has once again brought into focus the need for further nuclear tests in order to have a credible nuclear deterrent. The issue gains fresh stimulus because of the expectation that the new US Administration will get the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) ratified by the US Congress, and put pressure on India to sign it. The pressure may be more difficult to withstand this time, compared to 2000, because of expectations and complications arising from Indo-US Nuclear Deal.

There may be political arguments both for and against signing the CTBT, and for maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent. But, once we have decided on a policy of nuclear deterrence, which will require weaponisation, then, scientifically, we have no option but to continue testing. It is the scientific case that I wish to make here.

To refresh people’s memories: three nuclear devices were detonated simultaneously on May 11, 1998: a pure fission device, a thermonuclear device, and a sub-kiloton fission device. The pure fission device was similar to the Pokhran-I device, and was reported to have a yield of 15 kt. A typical thermonuclear device has two parts: a ‘boosted-fission’ trigger, and the actual thermonuclear part, comprising LiD fuel. The fission trigger is an atom bomb that produces enough radiation pressure to make the ‘hydrogen bomb’ ignite. In addition, one can use a spark-plug; this spark-plug is just some fissile material like plutonium (Pu) placed around the fusion core which, when it fissions, heats the core and aids the fusion process. The first hydrogen explosion, Mike, carried out by the US in 1952, had a spark-plug. It is very likely that the thermonuclear device of 1998 also had a spark-plug.

Therefore, the total yield of the thermonuclear device is the sum of the fission yield from the boosted-fission, the fission yield from the spark-plug, and the actual fusion yield from the LiD. The latter proceeds by the Li first being converted to tritium by absorbing a neutron arising from the fissions, and this tritium then fusing with the deuterium (D) to form helium (He).

Now, if one goes by the number for the total nuclear yield put out by the Department of Atomic Energy following the 1998 nuclear tests, the thermonuclear device alone was around 50 kilotons. To know how successful the fusion was, we must know how much of this came from the boosted-fission and spark-plug, which are fission reactions, and how much from the actual fusion of tritium to form helium. In earlier designs the booster has been designed for as much as 45 kt yield, so if we take the booster yield as even 30 kt, a reasonable assumption, then the fusion yield must have been 20 kt. One can then calculate that the amount of LiD that must have burnt to achieve this yield would be 400 grams or only around 500 ml. This is small volume, and typically one puts in a lot more of the fusion material in the core — in kilograms.

Therefore, if only 400 gm burnt, then the fraction the total fuel that burnt must have been small — perhaps as little as 20 per cent. Clearly, this is not a very efficient thermonuclear device. Now, the unburned LiD fuel would still have been converted to tritium by the capture of neutrons. If most of this tritium did not ‘burn’, i.e. fuse to form helium, then a lot of tritium should have been detected in the soil samples from the test site. This is what seems to have happened, even though it is not confirmed.

The new revelation by Dr. Santhanam is that the actual total yield of the thermonuclear device (i.e. the boosted-fission part plus the fusion part) was only 60 per cent of the design value (of 50 kt), i.e., around 30 kt. This is also consistent with the yield values obtained from seismic data according to international sources. If we accept Dr. Santhanam’s number, coming as it does from one of the core members of the Pokhran-II tests, then the situation is even more serious. This suggests that the thermonuclear burn may have been marginal or may not even have occurred at all. This has very serious implications for our weaponisation programme and deterrence philosophy, and certainly invites much closer, detailed, technical scrutiny. Of course, none of these numbers are very accurate, but 10 kt more or less, in one direction or the other, will not materially alter these conclusions.

It is true that the subsequent drilling operations and radioactive measurements have shown the presence of fission fragments and isotopes produced by fast neutrons. But these fast neutrons could have come from, the fission as well as the fusion. Further, the booster itself has tritium which would have contributed to the activity generated by fast neutrons. Therefore presence of these isotopes cannot unequivocally confirm that the fusion secondary has really worked. Attempts have also been made to derive the fusion yield from a radiochemical analysis of the isotopes.

However, the methodology employed in the radiochemical analysis, is complex. Approximations made in integrating the flux distribution, extent of the cavity, and a statistical variation in the samples taken by drilling, introduce large error. Nobody can vouch for the geometry of the cavity or their debris. BARC scientists have themselves indicated an error of 40 per cent on their number of 50 kt. Under this circumstance, this radiochemical method is not absolute proof for the yield of the explosion.

Conduct more tests

Because of these considerations, I have held the view that we should repeat this experiment, especially the thermonuclear part, to have full confidence that the secondary has been ignited and not simply triggered. In a fusion device the burn, if properly ignited, is continuous in the volume of the secondary and therefore the efficiency of the fusion system should be higher. Since that is not well established, logically and scientifically it is better to conduct more such tests to establish the results and to achieve greater efficiency.

When we go from testing a device to weaponising it, there will be a lot of changes in the hardware configuration, because it has to match with the delivery system – either a missile or an independent bomb. Weaponisation also means certifying to the user the yield and reliability. More gravely, we must be able to convince not just ourselves but the entire world that we have mastered the thermonuclear weapon, and are fully capable of deploying it.

If there is any uncertainty in their minds regarding the efficacy of our nuclear deterrent, the entire concept of deterrence fails. This assumes even greater importance since we have declared a ‘no first use’ policy. It is unscientific to embark on a long programme of weaponisation, and develop elaborate plans for maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent, all based on just one, low yield, thermonuclear test. When we do not do this for the Agni or Prithvi missiles, or even the Nano car!, why would we want to take this risk for nuclear weapons?

I am sure that the BARC scientists themselves, like their DRDO counterparts, would prefer to take a more conservative approach and test further to refine their designs and their capabilities. This is the scientific way. It would be wrong for the government to pressure the scientists to put a premature end to nuclear tests, for political expediency.

On top of all these uncertainties, we have the political pressure for India to sign the NPT, the CTBT, and the FMCT. Whatever the Government may claim, it is unlikely that a future government can ignore the assurances given by the present Government, or afford to withdraw from these treaties, after establishing the very capital-intensive nuclear power programme, with foreign investment. It therefore requires a systematic and deeper study to plan a long-term strategy, keeping in mind that the number of countries with nuclear weapons is only likely to go up, and the weapon powers are unlikely to agree for universal nuclear disarmament.

Arguments for CTBT

Technical arguments for signing the CTBT often run as follows: we have confirmed the validity of our computer simulations using data from Pokhran-I and Pokhran-II. These computer codes can therefore be used to design nuclear weapons. If any further changes are made to these computer codes, we can revalidate them using sub-critical tests that are not barred by the CTBT. Therefore it is OK to sign the CTBT.

First, it should be remembered that of the total of six tests, five were fission devices, and only one was a fusion device. The physics of fission and fusion devices, and hence the computer codes used to model them, are very different. Therefore, for the fusion device, we really have only one test, that too of doubtful success, with which to check the computer simulation.

One is an alarmingly small number. In any case fusion (and, for that matter, fission) devices are extremely complex systems with a large number of variable parameters. It is unwise to benchmark a computer simulation of a full-scale explosion using data from just one test. Sub-critical tests are no substitute for full-scale tests, especially when we talk of weaponising. This is all the more so, because of the disastrous consequences of even one failure. Therefore, if we want to weaponise we cannot depend on computer simulations alone: we have no option but to test further.

I would like to emphasise that thermonuclear devices are better for weaponisation and deployment, because they are compact, light, use less sensitive material, and offer better safety features. For example, a boosted-fission thermonuclear device can be as light as 200 kg, compared to a pure-fission device that can weigh as much as 800 kg for the same yield.

It is for this reason that most of America’s nuclear weapons are fusion weapons. Therefore my focus here has been on the inadequacy of just one thermonuclear test, of low yield, for weaponisation. If the Americans are pressuring us to sign the CTBT, it is precisely for the reasons stated above: one could thus freeze India as a non-weapon country.

Credible deterrent

Given the earlier doubts on the yield raised by many experts, and now by Dr. Santhanam,

given the need to evolve an efficient thermonuclear device with a large burn percentage, given the necessity of hardware changes that are needed to match with the delivery system, and given the need to convince the world and particularly potential enemies that we have mastered all aspects of the thermonuclear weapons and have a credible nuclear deterrent, it is a scientific imperative that we should test not just once but repeatedly.

To blind oneself to this imperative could be disastrous. We would do well to remember what the famous American physicist, Richard Feynman, said in the report on the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” Nor can the world.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Feb 2017 00:00

The above pieces are further backed by the following individuals, each with enough credibility of their own in their respective works.

On Thermonuclear Weapon Capability and its Implications for Credible Minimum Deterrence
Statement by Deeply Concerned Senior Scientists
Saturday 26 December 2009

Soon after the Pokhran-II tests on May 11 1998, the scientists of the two organisations concerned, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO), had jointly evaluated the success of the two tests—the fission device (A-bomb) and the fusion device (H-bomb). While the former device performed perfectly including creating a crater of the expected size, the fusion device failed on many counts—very low yield, no crater etc. International monitoring centres also recorded low intensity of shock waves, resulting in low yield estimates—estimates that were more in consonance with the DRDO numbers. This was discussed among the BARC and DRDO scientists involved—and resulted in a dispute between them. A detailed report submitted by DRDO to the government fully corroborated its original assessment viz. that, while the fission device worked successfully as expected, the fusion device did not. The recent revealation by Dr K. Santhanam, who was in charge of all of DRDO’s activities at the site, testify to this. By all accounts—geological, radio-chemical as well as seismic—it is now quite clear that the fusion device yielded a very low value of explosive power. The articles by K. Santhanam and Prof Ashok Parthasarathi in The Hindu (September 17, 2009) and P.K. Iyenger in Outlook (October 26, 2009) go into considerable technical detail and present a credible case, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the H-bomb tested on May 11, 1998 failed.

These findings are extremely serious for the security of the nation, particularly in the context of our pronouncement of being a nuclear weapon power, along with our enunciated doctrine of ‘no first use’ and our ‘unilateral voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing’. They strike at the root of our weaponisation capability and compromise our strategy of Credible Minimum Nuclear Deterrence.

Soon after the Pokhran-II Tests, the then government almost succumbed to Western pressure to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) backing off only at the last moment due to an outcry in the country against doing so. The refusal of the US Senate to ratify the CTBT then released the pressure on the government. The renewed pressure from President Obama on us in recent months to sign the CTBT is causing the issue of our signing the CTBT to be raised again. We strongly urge the present government to remain firm in its opposition to our doing so, as the Prime Minister has publicly assured the nation more than once in recent months.

Obama has actually gone further than trying to secure universal adherence to the CTBT, and secured a UN Security Council Resolution urging such adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) also. Not signing the highly discriminatory NPT has been an article of faith of all our governments—irrespective of hues—since the Treaty was drawn up in 1968. The present government, we strongly urge again, should continue that policy steadfastly, despite whatever threats and blandish-ments are applied to it. Even the slightest succumbing would convert our ‘voluntary moratorium’ into an involuntary, permanent cessation of nuclear weapon testing and so forever deny us our legitimate place in the great powers’ league.

The international political and diplomatic aspects as set out in the previous para apart, the grave situation we are in regarding our Thermonuclear (H-bomb) capability, it demands resolute, speedy and comprehensive corrective action. We are well aware of the nature, sources and scales of nuclear threats the nation faces. To meet that threat effectively, an in-depth analysis of our real capabilities in terms of: Command and Control Systems, Nuclear Weapon Delivery Systems and the types, character and numbers of nuclear weapons needing to constitute our nuclear arsenal and the keeping of that arsenal up-to-date, is essential—indeed acutely pressing. To address these issues and take well informed, competent and speedy decisions instead of depending entirely on the existing bureaucracy, administrative, military and scientific, it is essential to have the involvement, on a continuing basis, of a wide variety of opinions and assessments from scientists, strategic analysts and defence and diplomatic personnel with a deep understanding of the many complex issues involved, including the technologies needed to be developed, and the minimum time-scale in which this can be achieved. While secrecy is crucial, an open mind and willingness to learn are equally important.

We, therefore, strongly urge the government to immediately set up a High Level, Independent, Broad-Based Panel of Experts to define and monitor the implementation, on a continuing basis, of an effective course of action, in the realm of thermo-nuclear weapons, so central to our national security. All of us have worked on different aspects of this problem with a sound understanding of the harsh ground realities and the immense magnitude of what is at stake. It is now for the government to Take the Call—and without losing a minute more—as its counterparts in our adversaries have and are continuing to do so.

Signatories to the Statement

1. Dr P.K. Iyengar, former Chairman Atomic Energy Commission, Director BARC and a key architect of the Pokhran-I nuclear test of May 18, 1974 and internationally acknowledged as India’s top nuclear weapons expert; (2) Prof Ashok Parthasarathi, former Science Adviser to Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for many years and Secretary of many major Scientific Departments of Government of India; (3) Dr A.N. Prasad, former Director, BARC and Member (R&D) of the Atomic Energy Commission, a former Senior Adviser to the IAEA, Vienna for many years on nuclear safeguards, and a key member of India’s orginal weapons grade plutonium exrtraction technology development since inception in 1960 and a former Commissioner of UN MOVIC (UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) for disarming Iraq of Weapons of Mass Destruction; (4) K. Santhanam, Chief Adviser (Technologies), DRDO and Project Coordinator of Pokhran-II Series of Nuclear Weapon Tests; (5) Dr A. Gopalakrishnan, one of the key Technology Directors of our Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV) project for several years, which developed the indiogenous nuclear submarine Arihant and former Chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Boad; (6) Dr C.K. Mathews, former Head, Radio Chemistry Division, BARC and Director Chemistry Group, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam; (7) Dr Jaipal Mittal, Raja Ramana Fellow and former Director, Chemistry Group, BARC; (8) Dr A.D. Damodaran, former Director, Special Materials Plant, Nuclear Fuel Complex and former Director, Regional Research Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram; (9) Dr S.R. Valluri, former Director, National Aerospace Laboratory and first Director General of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the organisation specially set up to design and develop the Light Combat Aircraft—Tejas; (10) Rear Admiral J.J. Baxi, former Director, Weapons and Electronics Systems Organisation, Ministry of Defence and Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Electronics Ltd.; (11) Dr K.S. Jayaraman, formerly Nuclear Physics Division, BARC, Science Correspondent of the PTI for many years, Science Correspondent for South Asia for the leading international journal Nature and President, Indian Science Writers’ Association.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby sudeepj » 19 Feb 2017 00:26

These articles are well known and rehashed several times. That there is some doubt about the yields of the tests and the extent of their success is known. But while a particular design may need to be reworked because of test results, what is clear is that a conservative TU type design is relatively insensitive to minor changes. It follows that deterrence is intact, because a conservative design and the means to deliver a heavy conservative design is well within reach of Indian scientists. That war fighters would like to test such a design before actually using it politically (the only real use..) is also appreciated.

Here is an example of a conservative design. Likely weighs around 2 tonnes (throw weight of DF3A) and is deliverable by air and missile.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_No._6

Also note the throw weight of Pak focused missiles vs the longer range ones pointed at Chin.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby Amber G. » 20 Feb 2017 13:47

ShauryaT wrote:Posting the primary articles, I have that places credible doubt on the S1 TN test. All have been posted before, apologies for the long post.
<snip>

ShauryaT Thanks - Yes I have seen these pieces but some may have not so thanks for documenting it here..Perhaps no one is going to change anyone's beliefs but I may put some of my perspective ***strictly speaking as physicist and what I think is correct in objective matter)..

But before we do that, I will request:

- 1) Please provide (edit) the links so that it is good document for reference.
-2) *For me most important* - Select one (or two at the most) points which you think are most important. I would like those to be technical article and the document contains the math/physics/data - preferably from a source which no one can doubt.

(For example xyz worked in nuclear physics and (s)he says that the data is wrong will not cut it - If one is going to give data about radioactive fragments and their composition (which BTW can WITHOUT any doubt prove/disprove if fusion took place or not).. there are several other absolutely reliable methods (gamma ray spectrometry etc). If you have any data there please do present it with link(s).. I think I have sufficient background in physics to know if the data is fake or real -- one can not make up all that easily as Shantanam suggests)... There was lot of talk about "other shoe will fall" or there will be more data will be presented etc.. but to MY KNOWLEDGE nothing even close came out -- (and I have corresponded with PKI and few others and not details came out)


For me strangest thing is kind of part you bolded -- eg RP Feynman's quote (about "nature can not be fooled") - The famous quote is the LAST line after the appendix (masterpiece of physics/math/technical arguments) goes through whole data of space shuttle engines. their testing methods etc).. It is quite silly for someone to use the quote without giving *ANY* valid physics based argument.(( my student gets a zero if (s)he just quotes famous scientists without showing any work or solution)
Worse is that these kind of arguments are innuendoes .. as if the GOI and *all* other scientist want to lie and forge the data.

May be I have not seen something yet, so will wait it you can please post some real data..

Thanks in advance..

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 21 Feb 2017 05:36

Amber G. wrote:- 1) Please provide (edit) the links so that it is good document for reference.
-2) *For me most important* - Select one (or two at the most) points which you think are most important. I would like those to be technical article and the document contains the math/physics/data - preferably from a source which no one can doubt.


Amber G: Who can argue against having all the data to make the most accurate judgment but unfortunately much of the data is classified. Even something as basic as the designed yield of the devices in question has not been released. What you have in the public domain is data released or leaked. We do not have a case of perfect or adequate data. What we do have is credible doubt on the data elements that have been released/leaked.

In fact, if one goes through Santhanam's pieces, what he has done is put doubt on only the data elements that were already there in some way in the public domain. He has been careful not to release additional pieces, such as Corrtex, which he was responsible for. He has also had the design data with him being one of the key people responsible. Indeed one of the asks was to do a confidential assessment of the data by independent teams, a request denied.

I do not think, we will ever see the level of public data you desire to see, to make your own assessment. However, there are other ways to determine if S1 did succeed. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and from all known indicators the main stay of our deterrence remains fission and BF weapons, and not based on the two stage TN device tested.

I did not do the highlight, maybe ramana added, as he does many times.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 21 Feb 2017 06:54

ShauryaT wrote:Amber G: Who can argue against having all the data to make the most accurate judgement but unfortunately much of the data is classified.

Shaurya - to cut a long story short, all the articles you posted, which have all been posted earlier on this thread, and all of which exist in my own personal archives were written without relevant data.

I repeat - what you want to believe is what you want to believe. Nothing has changed from 1998 except that
1. There is reluctant acceptance that there is some sort of deterrent available
2. Non Indian technical papers (I am ashamed that I have to say this but this is the state of the Indian mind) now available that support every single assertion made by Chidambaram and co. casting further doubt on the doubters doubts

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Re: Deterrence

Postby Amber G. » 21 Feb 2017 12:06

Shaurya: I did not intend to "argue" for or against complete data.. I just wanted to see if there is anything new which I have not seen before. And wanted *in your opinion* what is the most important reason to have doubt. (And see if there is any data to justify the doubt)

From your post and shivji additional remarks -- it seems that all have been posted here in these threads.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ShauryaT » 21 Feb 2017 19:55

Shiv ji: My first choice is NOT to rely on non Indian interpretive analysis of Indian events, nuclear or otherwise with some very few exceptions. I know there are many who used such non Indian sources to cast doubt on S1, but I was not one of them. Please do document the technical papers casting doubt on the doubters doubts, at your convenience. It will complete the cycle here and we can all move on with our respectively held views, until new information comes along that compels one of us to change our views. Agree that some sort of deterrence is in place. Thanks.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby sudeepj » 21 Feb 2017 23:16

Every account of weaponeers suggests that once the key idea, radiation implosion was arrived at, the process of designing the weapon was one of careful design and iterative simulation. Oppenheimer in his explanation of earlier opposition to the 'super' (as the H-bomb was then called) calls the idea of radiation implosion and staging 'technically sweet', as in very doable. Before the idea of radiation implosion, it appeared to be a far fetched goal. Every account says, that while the design took only a few weeks, the simulations to verify/refine the design took months.

It follows, that any power that has a supply of fission triggers, tritium, deuterium, lithium-6 etc. and reasonable computers should be able to design a big bang. In accounts of weapons designers doing their first designs, its clear that while the designs themselves took a short amount of time, verifying those designs using simulations took a lot longer, using human 'computers' (computresses mostly) and lots of simplifying assumptions. Therefore the urgency that is shown by the P5 in stopping even simple fission weapons. There is no BIG SECRET! (rather, the big secret, 'radiation implosion' is out in the open). These facts, and the scale of the Indian weapons program (U235 enrichment twice the size needed for the sub fleet, SSBNs, triad etc.) constitute a form of deterrence regardless of the size of yield in PokII. Also consider, that having these (counterforce) weapons on the mainland only invites a decapitating attack, as these can be first use weapons (destroy the leaders of the state and the personnel manning these weapons and hope for the best). Therefore, there is no point testing them before the SSBNs are in place and on deterrent patrols.

If the use of these weapons is political, antagonist powers (Chin, Pak) know that the change from a recessed deterrence to a full fledged deterrence is short. I would like to think that if these powers demonstrate an intent to 'create facts on the ground', that the transition from recessed to full fledged will be taken in short order.

This does leave us vulnerable to an out of the blue attack, or a political situation that develops extremely rapidly. But this is a possibility that planners will take into account. There is no reason for an out of the blue attack from Chin, and Pak does not have the capability.

Currently it appears that we have a weaponized deterrent against Pak and a partially recessed deterrent against Chin. If Chin threatens us, for instance by large scale exercises in Tibet, or arbitrary laws in the open ocean (their recent posture of passing a law banning foreign submarines in the SCS area) we should object strongly and move towards a full demonstration followed by deploying the weapons.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 22 Feb 2017 07:54

ShauryaT wrote:. Please do document the technical papers casting doubt on the doubters doubts,

I already did. The Gsponer pdfs corroborate everything that Chidambaram said from the value of computer simulations, to keeping yields low to prevent damage of monitoring equipment. If the monitoring equipment is to survive the shafts must survive.

Unfortunately the doubters have raised a lot of non issues or insinuations without the data. One of the things you mentioned was craterology - which is part science part mumbo-jumbo. Without older test data it is all mumbo-jumbo. All this has been discussed in the past.

If a particular area of the earth - say Nevada or Lop Nor or Pokhran has 20-30 tests conducted and each test yield is validated by various means and the exact depth of the shaft is known, and also the composition of local rock and soil - then based on this information it is possible to make a crater assessment for that specific area. Even then its accuracy would be suspect because of a large number of confounding factors. That means that a crater in Nevada can be assessed based on previous data of dozens of tests conducted at Nevada. You cannot take Nevada test and crater data and extrapolate it to Pokhran or Lop Nor except by fudging and guessology. You cannot have any assessment of Pokhran craterology without a series of 10 or more well documented previous tests at various depths and an intimate knowledge of local rock. A 50 meter diameter crater from a device at 100 meters means that a minimum of 550,000 tons of rock was moved (using simple high school physics calculation) - actually it is much more. This is not a small explosion. If the depth was greater than 100 meters or there was rock instead of sand for a variable depth the difference in crater size could be off by a factor of 10 or more. In fact megaton yield tests in the US conducted sufficiently deep have resulted in no craters - so by using craterology we get "zero yield'. The first thing I would do is to ignore craterology.

One might ask - "If craterology is suspect, why did "eminent" scientists use it to diss the tests?" The answer to that is that the use of craterology itself makes the words of those eminent scientists suspect. This also should give you an insight into the world of science and how imprecise approximations can be used to pull the wool over unsuspecting eyes. This brings us to the original argument. If Chidambaram/Sikka are accused of puling the wool over unsuspecting and innocent eyes, that accusation can equally well be levelled at Santhanam and co. Like politics it then becomes a question of whether you support Panneerselvam or Palaniswamy.

The reason why Chidambaram/Sikka et al have not been dismissed outright by the community of scientists worldwide was because what they said was credible based on known scientific facts and data. What Santhanam and co said was plausible but not provable. It was not utter nonsense - but was not supportable given the data released and arguments made. It was an insinuation. Why they chose to do it is a different issue.
Last edited by shiv on 22 Feb 2017 15:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby shiv » 22 Feb 2017 08:26

sudeepj wrote:move towards a full demonstration followed by deploying the weapons.

I have repeatedly disagreed with the idea of "moving towards demonstration" of either yield or design.

I have always felt that deterrence has no connection with either yield or design of bomb. The ability to produce a working bomb is a danger signal. Missile capability makes that danger signal stronger. It is only "lack of confidence in design/function" that would require repeated demonstrations.

If we have no confidence in our designs maybe we would ask for more "demonstrations". But this is only 50% of the story

The other 50% is - Do the Chinese and Pakis think our bombs work? Deterrence is based only on this. Pakistanis respond with modification of their own nuclear doctrine based on the assumption that Indian nukes actually work. Now if China thought that Indian nukes are duds - surely they would tell Pakistan that Indians nukes are duds and the Chinese would not worry about Agnis. (Why the Chinese and Pakis may find our deterrent credible is an interesting topic worth discussing separately)

If the Chinese and Pakis think our nukes work - any "demonstration of capability" is only because we feel nervous and unsure and we Indians want to reassure ourselves. Not because deterrence is not working. It is entirely possible for us to worry and imagine that our deterrence is not working but the people who need to be deterred are deterred. Only the latter fact counts as being of any significance.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby sudeepj » 22 Feb 2017 21:56

shiv wrote:
sudeepj wrote:move towards a full demonstration followed by deploying the weapons.

I have repeatedly disagreed with the idea of "moving towards demonstration" of either yield or design.

I have always felt that deterrence has no connection with either yield or design of bomb. The ability to produce a working bomb is a danger signal. Missile capability makes that danger signal stronger. It is only "lack of confidence in design/function" that would require repeated demonstrations.

If we have no confidence in our designs maybe we would ask for more "demonstrations". But this is only 50% of the story

The other 50% is - Do the Chinese and Pakis think our bombs work? Deterrence is based only on this. Pakistanis respond with modification of their own nuclear doctrine based on the assumption that Indian nukes actually work. Now if China thought that Indian nukes are duds - surely they would tell Pakistan that Indians nukes are duds and the Chinese would not worry about Agnis. (Why the Chinese and Pakis may find our deterrent credible is an interesting topic worth discussing separately)

If the Chinese and Pakis think our nukes work - any "demonstration of capability" is only because we feel nervous and unsure and we Indians want to reassure ourselves. Not because deterrence is not working. It is entirely possible for us to worry and imagine that our deterrence is not working but the people who need to be deterred are deterred. Only the latter fact counts as being of any significance.


I agree with you on technical counts, weaponeers know what is possible and probable. But consider the impact on public. 4Gen wars are fought in the public information domain. If you can scare a population into thinking that you have a MT weapon that is vastly superior to anything they have (even though in reality its not), to keep the morale of own population up, and to deter the hostile population, a demonstration may become necessary. Imagine the screeching of 24x7 news anchors magnified a thousand times by fb/twitter/reddit etc. all claiming how all of major Indian cities will be vaporized by vastly more powerful weapons than we can hit back with and how it can tie down the hands of any Indian govt. Or provide justification to a weak or compromised govt. for making betrayals that could never be justified, if Indian weapons capability was considered as strong as that with adversaries.

Therefore, if India faces threats, such as:
1. A submarine or warship is attacked in international waters.
2. Large scale exercises in the Tibetan plateau.
3. Large scale terror attacks in large Indian cities.

We should go ahead and demonstrate. Or at least, make it known that we have this option, so opponents are deterred from such acts. On the other hand, a MT weapon in the hands of an islamist state is a truly scary phenomenon and that must be considered too.

*I am tempted to end here with Pakistan delenda est.. and the sooner the better as the costs of managing different scenarios only goes up from here.

Singha
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Re: Deterrence

Postby Singha » 22 Feb 2017 23:47

We have an arsenal bigger than Israel and acting like north korea is the best we can think of?

Testing a few 1mt devices with a very public k4 and a5 test the same week is need of hour. Let the dynamic duo yap all they want thereafter.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby sudeepj » 23 Feb 2017 00:30

Singha wrote:We have an arsenal bigger than Israel and acting like north korea is the best we can think of?

Testing a few 1mt devices with a very public k4 and a5 test the same week is need of hour. Let the dynamic duo yap all they want thereafter.


But consider this.. Pak also has access to similar tech. capability as us through Chin. They have tritium, lithium 6 etc. If radiation implosion indeed is the only 'secret', then such a weapon will also be within reach of Pak and they will certainly respond. Managing KT Pak weapons is a nightmare, managing MT Pak weapons will be even more difficult.

MT weapons are qualitatively different from KT weapons. While a megacity will likely recover from a KT strike within a few months or an year or two, an MT strike and the resulting fallout means there may be no one alive any more in that megacity. These are truly genocidal weapons.

Therefore testing for testings sake does not make sense to me. It needs to be coupled to a strategy and an endgame. To me, MT testing only makes sense if there is a serious threat to India.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby Gagan » 23 Feb 2017 01:00

China is determined to match Pakistan and India tech for tech, and numbers for equivalent numbers as much as they can.

India needs to similarly match the Chinese in every way and then outdo them.
That means numbers, yields, MIRVed systems, Missile Ranges.
Economy wise, they have a roughly 2 decade lead, we are now starting to close the gap.
But in 2 decades, this gap will be much narrower, and the tech and military gap needs to be be eliminated or be in India's favour.

No one is going to sanction India even if India carries out a few N tests. No one has the cajones.
Everyone is scared of 1. China's unpeaceful rise, 2. Radical Islam.
The world needs a powerful stabilizing india.

Full yield demo is needed for this. All doubts need to be laid to rest.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby sudeepj » 23 Feb 2017 01:12

If Pak has KT weapons, we can still take them on once we have a BMD system in place. India can absorb a one off KT weapon that leaks through the BMD. MT is a completely different ballgame and no country can absorb an MT weapon. It completely rules out any armed conflict.

If we do an MT test, it must be coupled to a compellance strategy and goal against Pak (or Chin). It simply does not make sense to do a test only for the sake of doing a test. Historical record shows, that we have been unable to deter Pak sponsored terrorism from behind KT weapons. If follows that it will be much more difficult to deter a Pak hiding behind MT weapons.

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Re: Deterrence

Postby ramana » 23 Feb 2017 01:16

In the early years it was the US that was the major obstacle to Indian nuke plans. 1960s diplomacy is replete with US pressures.

They could not overtly come and say don't do go nuclear.
They went the covert way by way of NPT, CTBT and other four letter treaties to stop India. T
hey also did hostile action against Indian scientists.
None of this stopped India. It only slowed it down.

Meantime the US looked away as China proliferated weapons and missiles in mid 1980s.
Now after 2008 financial meltdown US has lost all means to stop China from its proliferation strategy.

For China, proliferating to TSP is low cost strategy of containing India.
So far they have not shunned from handing over any weapons.
If India announces TN, tomorrow China will hand over TSP TN weapons.

The North Korean WMD tests also provide plausible deniability for Chinese transfers.

China can do all this as it knows India will not do tit for tat in order to please US which is sitting over this proliferation mafia.
US is ready to issue sanctions on India but not on China.

We need to break this log jam.

The K4 NOTAM has been issued but no test as MEA secy is visiting China.

India has repeatedly sacrificed its strategic bishops for pawns.


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