India Nuclear News and Discussion - June 9th

Raju

Postby Raju » 18 Jun 2007 22:00

Vishal Thapar isn't the only one to report it, this news has come on other news sources like DNA also.

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Postby ashkrishna » 18 Jun 2007 22:05

when sir?

and did u read this piece

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1104131

India, Iran to discuss IPI pipeline next month: Deora
PTI
Monday, June 18, 2007 16:26 IST





SRINAGAR: An Iranian delegation will visit India next month in a bid to finalise an agreement on the over 7-billion dollar pipeline to bring gas from the fuel-rich nation to India and Pakistan.

"Only two weeks back, the secretary (ministry of petroleum) was in Tehran and after one month, they (Iranian officials) would be coming to meet us," Petroleum Minister Murli Deora told on Monday.

Discussions were on with Iran and Pakistan on prices and how the pipeline would be brought to India, he said, adding major issues have been sorted out while pending issues like transportation fees and alignment would be worked out soon.

Read latest news at DNA
The issue was also discussed with Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz during his visit to India recently, he said.

"The prime minister himself has said this will be a pipeline for peace and progress. The process is continuing and very soon we will be launching the pipeline," he said.
He, however, said no time frame can be set for such a massive project involving 7-8 billion dollars investment. The 2,300-km long pipeline will initially carry around 60 million cubic meters of gas per day, split equally between India and Pakistan.

Petroleum Secretary M S Srinivasan had said on June 11 the three sides were likely to sign an agreement by July-end. India-Pakistan official level talks by month-end or early July will be followed by a ministerial dialogue to seal issues on transportation tariff and transit fee payable to Islamabad for allowing passage of the pipeline to India.

After resolving the two issues, the three countries will sign a Framework Agreement for the project, he had said.

Raju

Postby Raju » 18 Jun 2007 22:11

Josy Joseph got this before Vishal Thapar.

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1103986

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Postby sivab » 18 Jun 2007 22:16

Raju: Govt. has clarified that there is no such directive. So why are you posting it again?

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Postby ashkrishna » 18 Jun 2007 22:16

this one's on BR front page...

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=8812

No move to cap missile range....i wonder what sources these guys get their news from. i have several distinguished journalists in my own family and yet they dont have access to the sources that these newbie amateurs have.

Raju

Postby Raju » 18 Jun 2007 22:22

"Requirements of the center" could mean any damn thing boss. That is just a cover-up statement and not a denial. Babus exist to trap gullibles in such semantics.

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Postby Satya_anveshi » 19 Jun 2007 01:16

[url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Nuke_deal_may_not_be_finalised_this_year/articleshow/2132301.cms[/url] 'Nuke deal may not be finalised this year'
[/url]

"I cannot say it can be positively done this year. We are trying," foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee said in an interview to The Straits Times of Singapore.

He was clear that while "some advancements have been made... there are certain areas which have to be sorted out." Indian and US officials will have an opportunity for an informal round of talks in Washington next week, coinciding with a visit by senior Indian officials.


I see this as a hint for conveying a packup from negotiations. All these different noises from different people are to confuse the enemy or ourselves.

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Postby ramana » 19 Jun 2007 01:31

Zeenews in Gujarati had some info about the nuke deal yesterday. Some thing about scientists etc and showed old footage.

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Postby Gerard » 19 Jun 2007 06:03

xpost

House Backs Nuclear Fuel Bank
Countries seeking to purchase from the reserve would have to meet IAEA safeguards and refrain from operating uranium enrichment or spent-fuel reprocessing facilities.

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Postby vnadendla » 19 Jun 2007 20:03

Gerard wrote:xpost

House Backs Nuclear Fuel Bank
Countries seeking to purchase from the reserve would have to meet IAEA safeguards and refrain from operating uranium enrichment or spent-fuel reprocessing facilities.


In future if Thorium takes off and India is excluded from alphabet soup (USC,NPT,NSG***) India can setup its own fuel bank and cultivate friendships. A difficult proposition for soup nazis

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Postby SaiK » 20 Jun 2007 01:29


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Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2007 02:16

Similar title but by G. Parthasarathy in Pioneer, 20 June 2007

Now, the long haul

Heavens won't fall if the India-US civilian nuclear deal is delayed

On August 8, 1963 India's Ambassador to the United States, BK Nehru, and the US Assistant Secretary of State, Philips Talbot, signed a landmark agreement under which America agreed to provide two nuclear reactors for a power plant at Tarapur, near Mumbai.

The agreement stipulated that the US would sell "all requirements of the Government of India for enriched uranium" for the two nuclear power reactors. It also specified that when any spent fuel requires reprocessing, "such reprocessing may be performed in Indian facilities upon a joint determination by the parties" (India and the US). Such "joint determination" was required only for confirmation that the facilities in which the spent fuel was being reprocessed could be safeguarded by the IAEA. Under the agreement, which in international law had the sanctity of a treaty, the US pledged to supply enriched uranium for the power plant till 1993.

Following India's nuclear explosion of July 1974, the US constituted a "Nuclear Suppliers Group" (NSG) to mount pressure on India and others, to make nuclear cooperation contingent on the recipient country accepting the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). With the election of the Democratic Party contender Jimmy Carter as President in 1976, a group of crusaders against India's nuclear programme, whom former US Ambassador Robert Blackwill referred to as the "Ayatollahs of non-proliferation" descended on Washington DC.

The message of these "Ayatollahs" to the Administration, think tanks and Congress was that India must be forced to "cap, roll back and eliminate" its nuclear weapons programme as it constituted a threat to global peace and security. The "Ayatollahs of non-proliferation", however, turned a blind eye to Israel's nuclear weapons programme and the clandestine transfer of nuclear weapons designs and knowhow from China to Pakistan. Israel was a "holy cow" and China too powerful to take on!


If President Carter tried and failed to coerce India to accept adherence to the NPT through the backdoor by denying fuel for the Tarapur power plant, President Bill Clinton's "Ayatollahs" failed to force India to "cap, roll back and eliminate" its nuclear weapons programme through measures like the CTBT and FMCT.

It would be disastrous for any Indian Government to forget what transpired when the US unilaterally halted supplies of fuel and spares for the Tarapur power plant and refused to allow us to reprocess the spent fuel, by declining to participate in the stipulated "Joint Determination". It was with great difficulty that we ensured fuel supply for the Tarapur Plant by negotiating arrangements with France, China and Russia .

Any future agreement on nuclear cooperation with the US must, therefore, be based on two essential factors. First, any such agreement should contain provisions for reserve stocks being made available for the life-time of the reactors we import from the US, including provisions to import fuel from sources other than the US. Second, there should be no ambiguity in our unfettered rights to reprocess spent fuel.

The India-US joint statement of July 18, 2005, and the "Separation Plan" agreed to during the visit of President George W Bush to India in March 2006, provide a framework for the resumption of cooperation between India and the US on civilian nuclear energy. They also constitute a road map to end India's nuclear isolation by the removal of sanctions it now faces on civilian nuclear energy cooperation from 45 countries, including major nuclear suppliers like Russia, France, Canada and the UK.

There is, however, a difference in approach to this agreement between President Bush on the one hand and the US Congress, heavily influenced by the "Ayatollahs of non-proliferation," on the other. While President Bush regards the agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation as a building block for better relations with India, the US Congress perceives it as an instrument to pressurise India to cap its nuclear weapons programme and eschew further nuclear testing. Within the Bush Administration, a number of officials share the Congressional perspective.

We are now approaching the period of reckoning. In his statements in Parliament on the Agreements of July 2005 and March 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the US would support India to develop a "strategic reserve of nuclear fuel to guard against any disruption of supply over the lifetime of Indian reactors". This would have to be written into any bilateral agreement with the US. No reactors should be imported from the US till such alternate arrangements are in place.

The Prime Minister has averred that the "Separation Plan" will have no adverse impact on our strategic programme. A detailed action plan needs to be formulated to ensure that if India signs a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty we have more than adequate stocks of weapons-grade unsafeguarded material. We should also make it clear that given China's nuclear transfers to Pakistan, we would not accede to any FMCT with discriminatory provisions.

The US Congress has tried to force Indian acceptance of the CTBT through the backdoor by the inclusion of provisions in the Hyde Act to end civilian nuclear cooperation and require a return of nuclear materials in the event of India testing nuclear weapons. We may not have any plans for nuclear testing in the near future. But, with the US developing a new "Reliable Replacement (Nuclear) Warhead" a Pandora's Box may well be opened leading to China and other powers deciding to test new warheads. Why should India be left behind?

The road ahead in negotiating a nuclear cooperation agreement with the US is going to be difficult. But we should not hesitate to negotiate, while standing firm on our requirements of guaranteed fuel supplies, reprocessing of spent fuel, the integrity of our strategic programme and our commitment to our indigenous fast breeder programme. It would be a significant gain if we succeed. But it will not be a tragedy if we don't.

We would do well to remember the virtues of patience. The US-China Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement was concluded by the Reagan Administration on April 30, 1984. It took 14 years before the US Congress finally cleared this Agreement on March 19, 1998.
-- The writer is a former Indian Ambassador


Good summary. Wonder if it is ment for the three person committee setup to look into this.

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Postby Vivek_A » 20 Jun 2007 02:36

Ayatollahs of non-proliferation


This is a BR term. It was a term reserved for John Bolton. The State department guys were the NP jihadis and bolton was their ayatollah.

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Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2007 03:12

I think Indian need to test should not be linked to any breakout by the P-5 but as a stand alone event driven by strategic inputs. The P-5 with all their computers might not need any test to confirm their effectiveness and they have sharing agreements as part of the CTBT run-up.

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Postby NRao » 20 Jun 2007 04:46

Wot, no GNEP for P-5? No joining the main stream for P-5? They want to miss ALL the fun?

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Postby svinayak » 20 Jun 2007 08:03

On what condition should India employ first use policy?

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Postby ShauryaT » 20 Jun 2007 08:08

Acharya wrote:On what condition should India employ first use policy?
Only against Pakistan ! Call their fricking bluff...

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Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2007 09:51

Acharya wrote:On what condition should India employ first use policy?


This is an important question. I dont think NFU breakout is warranted when India is confronted by a single power viz, TSP, PRC or even US. However when there is a concerted action by an alliance formal or informal then the NFU pledge should be reviewed to prevent a recurrence of Talikota. If you note I did not say Panipat for thrice it happened but the way of life was not wiped out. However one Talikota was enough to plunge South India into chaos and allowed the spread of Deccan Sultanates, Mughal and eventually Colonial rule whcih enveloped all of Hindusthan.

I agree only an SDRE would think like this. But it has to be stated.

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Postby bala » 20 Jun 2007 10:57

We see the US passing all kinds of protective nuclear laws, Hyde was passed now we have Nuclear fuel bank protection passing the House.

With the US-India nuclear deal impasse, I think it is appropriate for India to announce a revocation of the voluntary moratorium on nuclear test and explicitly state that nuclear testing is being contemplated because others (read US,China) are trying to improve their nuclear weapon systems.

Second announce that the number of civilian reactors is being reduced. Nuclear uranium powered reactors are not going to solve the power crisis and hence India is rethinking the thermal option and its own thorium powered reactors.

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Postby Prem » 20 Jun 2007 11:08

Most likely our antagonists are going to use TSP as a front instead of going hostile in open. Not onlee we need to deny TSP cover but also must gather enough fire power to punish the covert players detrimental to their survival .
TSP is the weakest link and revoking NFU against TSP will make them think thrice . Before we annouce this , keep 7-800 big fat boys ready to be used at short notice. They will test our guts before amending their behaviour. :twisted:

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Postby ShibaPJ » 20 Jun 2007 20:37

Some home truths & insight into the energy requirements and energy mix for India in the coming decades.. Debunks J18 contribution to energy requirements snake oil being peddled.

Sometime back, there was talk of Gas Hydrates being the other revolutionary technology to address future energy needs. Is there any work on it being done in India :?:

India needs long-term energy planning: study

India needs to pursue an integrated approach to energy planning as high economic growth equalling or exceeding eight per cent would create much larger demand for energy in the next few decades, a study has said.

The study titled 'A National Energy Map for India: Technology Vision 2030' by The Energy Research Institute (TERI) estimates alternative trajectories of energy requirements and examines the likely fuel mix for the country under various resource and technological constraints during 200131.

It said pressure on the three conventional energy forms coal, oil and gas will continue to remain high in India in the next few decades even if the contribution of hydro, nuclear, and renewable energy increases significantly.

Although the contribution of hydro, nuclear and renewable energy forms together may increase by about six times in the next three decades, these sources can at most contribute to a mere 4.5 per cent of the total energy requirements, it said.

From the viewpoint of energy security and the need to reduce its dependence on imports of energy fuels, the country needs to undertake all possible options on the demand and supply side, which have implications on energy security as well as foreign exchange outflows, the study said.

It said India's high dependence on oil import indicated the economy's vulnerability to oil supply disruptions emanating from external factors such as wars and political instability and adverse impacts of sudden oil prices.

With the likely growth in energy demands, it is clear that the maximum annual production potential of all the conventional energy forms will be fully exploited by 2016 and the country would need to increase its imports of coal, oil, and gas in the future, it said.

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Postby Gerard » 21 Jun 2007 02:04


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Postby bala » 21 Jun 2007 10:17

BARC developing alternative fuel

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre said on Tuesday the agency is developing a prototype compact high temperature reactor to produce hydrogen as substitute for fossil fuels.

Director of nuclear reactor engineer division, R K Sinha said the CHTR prototype would be a technology demonstrator for all high temperature nuclear reactors planned for the future.

"The high temperature nuclear reactors are being developed with an objective to provide energy to facilitate combined production of hydrogen, electricity and drinking water," Sinha said.

He said the reject and waste heat in the overall energy scheme would utilize for electricity generation and desalination respectively, thus hydrogen production using nuclear reactors will become cheaper.

The CHTR is mainly a Uranium-233-thorium fuelled reactor using lead-bismuth as coolant and beryllium oxide as moderator.

The reactor, initially being developed to generate 100 kw (thermal) power, will have a core life of around 15 years along with several advanced passive safety features to enable its operation as compact power pack in remote areas not connected to the electrical grid.

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Postby NRao » 21 Jun 2007 18:20

Deccan Chronicle :: June 20, 2007 :: Land in Kadapa goes to UCIL

Hyderabad, June 20: The State cabinet on Wednesday allotted 1,094 acres of land to Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) in Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy’s native Kadapa district for uranium mining. The land which belongs to the government is located in Velpula and Meedhipentla villages and is being allotted to UCIL at Rs 50,000 per acre. UCIL had sought the land after it struck uranium reserves there. There were protests from environmentalists against the proposed uranium mining.

The Cabinet also has okayed selling 1048.65 acres to Jindal South West Aluminium Co Limited to set up a 1.4 tonnes per year alumina refinery project at Sringavarapu Kota mandal in Vizianagaram district. Out this land, 181.98 acres belong to the government and 866.67 acres is assigned land. The rate has been fixed at Rs 2 lakh per acre of dry land and Rs 2.25 lakh per acre of wet land.

The cabinet approved a rehabilitation package for 600 families to be displaced, including shares in the company, a job, a one-time financial grant of Rs 3 lakhs and a house among others. Asked if there were any objections for allotment of land, information and public relations Anam Ramnarayan Reddy said that it was a unanimous decision.

The Cabinet also approved the AP Cotton Seeds (Regulation of supply, distribution, sale and fixation of sale price) ordinance 2007. The ordinance was necessitated as a recent amendment to the Essential Commodities (Amendment Act) had removed cotton seed from the list of essential commodities. The ordinance will ensure quality cotton seed at production, processing, packing levels, ensure fair distribution of cotton seed among farmers, fair price and check on spurious, misbranded, substandard cotton seed and ensure redressel of farmers affected with inferior quality seed.

The Cabinet also decided to frame modalities for setting up mini hydel stations without compromising on irrigation needs. A Group of Ministers after detailed examination had recommended strict conditions for issuing no-objection certificates (NoC) prepared by irrigation department, sale of power, provisions of the Electricity Act 2003 among others. The NoCs will not be issued for construction of mini hydel stations on major rivers like the Krishna, Godavari and Pennar.

It was also decided to issue voters’ photo identity card in 281 Assembly constituencies; the exercise is currently on in the twin cities. The cards will be ready in time for the 2009 Assembly polls. A schedule has been prepared for preparing the ID card for voters from September 15 this year and the preliminary list of voters will be ready by May 2008.

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Postby abhischekcc » 21 Jun 2007 18:57

Satya_anveshi wrote:[url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Nuke_deal_may_not_be_finalised_this_year/articleshow/2132301.cms[/url] 'Nuke deal may not be finalised this year'
[/url]

"I cannot say it can be positively done this year. We are trying," foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee said in an interview to The Straits Times of Singapore.

He was clear that while "some advancements have been made... there are certain areas which have to be sorted out." Indian and US officials will have an opportunity for an informal round of talks in Washington next week, coinciding with a visit by senior Indian officials.


I see this as a hint for conveying a packup from negotiations. All these different noises from different people are to confuse the enemy or ourselves.


Perhaps it is much worse. Perhaps the government itself is divided against itself, with different factions pulling against one another.

Pranab Mukherjee was the defence minister before, and he may in fact be echoing what the 'establishment' is asking him to speak. This may be especially true if you consider that the govt has put a gag order on the Nuke scientists, asking them not to open their mouths in the public.

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Postby vsunder » 21 Jun 2007 21:57

Shiv: In Dec 2005(I think) I e-mailed you a very nice article on the workings of FBR and current research from Scientific American. It was by two people in Fermilab. That article discussed very nicely the fuel cycle. India and Japan were mentioned. Problems with FBR design were also highlighted and also what people are trying to do to overcome these flaws. There were many refs.
The authors were very gung-ho about the potentials of the FBR. I know Arun_S liked very much that article. I dont remember the names of the authors.

Vina: Yes, BR does get read and postors on BR who write articles do get quoted. For example some stuff is even used by CAEP, Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics, the Chinese Los Alamos, based in Chengdu. Now you may think I am kidding, arre bhai, check this summary of POK-2 by them from 2002, its in Mandarin but all the refs are in English, now admins pl. shush no telling the boyz who has the toyz in the article, let Karnail Ajai Shukla reach such heights where CAEP quotes him. Hum to seedha sadha aadmi hai bhai, gaali bhi de do to sun lega:

http://www.caep.cetin.net.cn/nwht/jianbao/2002/0206.htm

Off course CAEP knows very well; it is they who gave the maal to the great unwashed. Ramana note how CAEP deals with the interference issue and Wallace.

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Postby John Snow » 21 Jun 2007 23:26

Sunder garu> It is always a delight (and educational) when you come to post, in BR
Other wise we have to run from pillar to post to get semblance of good tidings that happen in our
Khoj to get even with western Stevens.
Thanks and keep coming

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Postby Vivek_A » 22 Jun 2007 01:09

Take this with a pinch of salt...It's more of the NPA crap by non-prolif ayatollah David Al-Bright

New Photos Show Secret Pakistan Plutonium Plant; Fear of More Weapons Being Made
A satellite photograph obtained by ABC News reveals Pakistan is nearing completion of a third, previously unknown plutonium production reactor, suggesting Pakistan may be planning to expand its nuclear weapons arsenal.

"With large stocks of plutonium, Pakistan can build a new generation of lighter, more powerful weapons that can more easily be launched via missiles and can cause far more damage," said David Albright, the president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), which, along with DigitalGlobe, provided the satellite image to ABC News.

The image, taken on June 3, indicates the new reactor is a replica of a second heavy water reactor, also under construction, at Khushab, approximately 109 miles south of Islamabad, Pakistan's capital.

The third reactor is located a few hundred meters to the north of the second. The original reactor at the site began operations in 1998.

According to Albright, construction of the third reactor has been especially rapid. In the GeoEye image from August 2006, only minimal ground excavation is visible.

The Pakistani Embassy had no immediate comment.

Pakistan's facilities at Khushab are not subject to safeguard inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The existing reactor at Khushab is known to produce plutonium for Pakistan's nuclear weapons program.

Pakistan has not signed the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). It is one of only four states to opt out of the international treaty designed to promote cooperation in achieving nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Cuba, India, Israel are the other three.

Experts estimate Pakistan has already built about 60 nuclear weapons.

Until more is known about the power of these two new reactors, Albright says, it is difficult to estimate the number of weapons that could be built from plutonium harvested from the reactors' spent fuel.

With that caveat, he notes, the number of produced weapons could easily reach at least 10 each year.

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Postby NRao » 22 Jun 2007 01:15

[url=http://ppd.fnal.gov/experiments/e907/raja/energy_amplifier/raja_ea.pdf] Fermi Labs :: April 26, 2007 :: Rajendran Raja :: Accelerator Driven Nuclear Energy- The Thorium Option “Fact finding missionâ€

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Postby ramana » 22 Jun 2007 01:16

Is there a good translation of the CAEP article?

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Postby NRao » 22 Jun 2007 01:22

With large stocks of plutonium, Pakistan can build a new generation of lighter, more powerful weapons that can more easily be launched via missiles and can cause far more damage


Only with the help of Chicom I would imagine.

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Postby ramana » 22 Jun 2007 02:37

The Pu story is psy-ops about arms race in the sub-continent. One more last ditch attempt by the NPAs.

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Postby vsunder » 22 Jun 2007 02:43

Hi Ramana: If you have a good friend who reads Mandarin and off course has the program that correctly transcribes the Mandarin font then please do read it.
The CAEP fellows do not quarrel with any of the BARC claims and also they give a capsulated history of the Indian program, from Bhabha to IG to Narasimha Rao or at least a Chinese version. They have done a very good summary of the Sikka articles in Current Science.
A friend did all this translation for me and was very amused doing it.


Also I have found the Scientific American article(or at least a version) on FBR, its by Hannum, Marsh et al explains how FBR is a solution for "burning" waste.

A version of this article is here:

http://www.nationalcenter.org/NuclearFa ... SA1205.pdf

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Postby mandrake » 22 Jun 2007 02:52

ramana wrote:The Pu story is psy-ops about arms race in the sub-continent. One more last ditch attempt by the NPAs.


How can you be so sure about this? the pic shows a third site isnt it?

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Postby SaiK » 22 Jun 2007 04:53

from GE, i see:-
1. 32° 1'13.23"N, 72°12'27.64"E [existing khushab reactor]
2. 32° 0'31.26"N, 72°10'20.16"E [per the old sat picture of the new reactor].

3rd one?:
31°59'30.42"N, 72°11'41.44"E [looks old though]

:?:

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Postby Rahul Shukla » 22 Jun 2007 05:59

joey wrote:
ramana wrote:The Pu story is psy-ops about arms race in the sub-continent. One more last ditch attempt by the NPAs.

How can you be so sure about this? the pic shows a third site isnt it?

And I am building my own space-shuttle! I have already added 5 sq ft of concrete to the BBQ deck and moved the dog house to facilitate assembly and launch. The world is going to change forever and the yanks are begging me to stop... Be afraid! Be very, very afraid. :roll:

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Postby ramana » 22 Jun 2007 08:51

Is half bright trying to encourage mushy?

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Postby Laks » 22 Jun 2007 13:06

http://www.stratfor.com/products/premiu ... ?id=290807
India: The U.S. Nuclear Deal and Indian ICBMs
June 21, 2007 19 24 GMT


Summary

India reportedly halted development of intercontinental ballistic missiles as a good-faith gesture aimed at facilitating the troubled civilian nuclear deal with the United States, according to an unconfirmed (and as yet not denied) CNN-IBN report June 18. Though the gesture may have appeared magnanimous, intercontinental reach is far down New Delhi's list of priorities.

Analysis

New Delhi appears to have halted -- at least temporarily -- development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), CNN-IBN reported June 18. The halt appears to be an effort to address Washington's discomfort with the proposed U.S.-Indian bilateral civilian nuclear deal. Though the report has not been confirmed, it also has not been denied.

U.S. concerns, however, have nothing at all to do with Indian ICBMs. India has only moderate interest in such a capability, since its most pressing international concerns are hardly at intercontinental distances. As such, India's need for ICBMs -- especially in the near term -- is quite limited.

Pakistan

Ultimately, India is fairly geographically secure. Oceans and mountains constitute the bulk of New Delhi's border. The Himalayas provide a nearly impenetrable barrier to meaningful military confrontation with China. Pakistan, which along with Afghanistan occupies the Hindu Kush to the northwest, is the only real power within India's immediate geographic zone.

The Indo-Pakistani rivalry has been well entrenched since 1948 -- but Indian strategic missiles are well-suited to deal with that threat. Moreover, the nuclear balance between the two has matured to the point that it now injects an element of stability and restraint into the rivalry. An ICBM has almost no relevance to a direct confrontation with Pakistan. The 3,000-kilometer (about 1,800 miles) distance from Bangalore in southern India to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, in northern Pakistan is probably approaching the minimum range of a true ICBM.

Thus, unlike the intercontinental ranges of the U.S.-Russian Cold War rivalry, the Indo-Pakistani rivalry is not a long-distance rivalry. The medium-range Agni II, the longest-range ballistic missile yet deployed by the Indian military, already allows India to cover the entirety of Pakistan from nearly anywhere in India.

China

The Sino-Indian balance, however, is another story. With the Himalayas as a geographic buffer, neither country represents an imminent strategic threat to the other. And neither has much interest in any sort of arms race, since both have far better things to worry about.

This is where the Agni III intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) comes in. A successful test in April followed a serious stumble in 2006, when a failure with the first-stage exhaust nozzle destroyed the test mission in the first minute of flight. It took nearly a year to retool and test a second missile. The Agni III gives New Delhi the ability to target Beijing, though this is not something New Delhi is in any particular hurry to do given the two countries' distracted bilateral relationship.

Beijing, by contrast, already can target all of India with most of its strategic arsenal. With another major power so close by, New Delhi could only consider it prudent to establish a basic counterbalance. Given the state of the two countries' current relations, such a counterbalance could be more than sufficiently accomplished with a small force of Agni III missiles.
Other Motivators for India

This is not to say India does not want an ICBM capability; who would not? But just like anyone else, India has priorities -- with establishing the military capability to obliterate Pakistan ranking near the top. Achieving a basic parity with China also is important. But for the immediate future, the importance of the nuclear deal with Washington ranks far above its desire for intercontinental reach.

While an ICBM is indeed within India's grasp, the nation's missile programs reflect that this is not a top priority. Development of the Surya ICBM has been rumored for more than a decade without tangible results. This is despite continued progress with the indigenous geostationary and polar orbit satellite launch vehicles on which the Surya theoretically is based. (Ultimately, the distinction between a satellite launch vehicle and an ICBM comes down to payload.) What is more, India is poised to become only the sixth country in the world to field a cryogenic upper stage, a particularly complex technology. So if it were a real priority, the Surya would surely be further along.
On the other hand, few things are more important to India right now than maintaining control over its own nuclear fuel cycle (and thus retaining the ability to extract its own weapons-grade plutonium for military purposes). This has been a contentious issue in the nuclear negotiations with the United States. India's defense establishment is extremely wary of the conditions the United States wants to place on India before the civilian nuclear deal can pass, and New Delhi is offering very little leeway on any concessions that would set India back militarily. Before the announcement of the Indian ICBM halt, the Indian Cabinet ratified an amendment June 15 to the International Atomic Energy Agency convention providing for protection of nuclear material from acts of terror and sabotage. This was another key U.S. demand for India (a nonsignatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty) to facilitate the ongoing negotiations.

In essence, the apparent sacrifice of the ICBM program is nothing more than a low-cost way for India to promote itself as a responsible nuclear player deserving of the civilian nuclear agreement with the United States. India can certainly stand to take a missile program essentially already on the back burner off the stove for a little while. But with the continued development of the Agni III IRBM and launches of its geostationary and polar satellite launch vehicles, India will continue to progress in this direction regardless.


Sanatanan
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Postby Sanatanan » 22 Jun 2007 17:28

Laks wrote:India: The U.S. Nuclear Deal and Indian ICBMs
June 21, 2007 19 24 GMT


New Delhi appears to have halted -- at least temporarily -- development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), CNN-IBN reported June 18. The halt appears to be an effort to address Washington's discomfort with the proposed U.S.-Indian bilateral civilian nuclear deal. Though the report has not been confirmed, it also has not been denied. {I believe that at least a half-hearted denial by GOI was posted in BRF a few days ago.}
. . .
The Himalayas provide a nearly impenetrable barrier to meaningful military confrontation with China.
. . .
. . .
With the Himalayas as a geographic buffer, neither country represents an imminent strategic threat to the other.
. . .



The Hindukush did not stop Alexander.
The Himalayas did not prervent the Mongols from invading and overrunning India time and again and at will. India's missing out on the gun powder technology and consequent lack of fire power to defend herself, was a major reason for the success of the invaders. The presence of "locals" to welcome foreign "guests", be it as conquerors or traders, or a combination of both, to settle in-house personal feuds was, is, and will be India's nemesis. The present nuclear deal with the US is more of the same and is deja vu.

NRao
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Postby NRao » 22 Jun 2007 20:21

From thw Tawang article in the Indo-China thread:

For the Chinese, mutually-agreed principles have only a tactical value. They do not hesitate to unilaterally discard any principle if it came in the way of what they perceive as their national interest.


In this respect the US is also a master.

The 123 should be viewed with this in mind and India should treat it as such.


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