India Nuclear News and Discussion - June 9th

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 23150
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Postby SSridhar » 25 Jun 2007 18:12

NRao wrote:
SSridhar wrote:Does anybody know this gentleman and his antecedents, K. Sreedhar Rao ?


From this:

[quote]
Bangalore International Centre: K. Sreedhar Rao, retired member, National Security Advisory Board speaks on “Indo-U.S. civil nuclear cooperation agreementâ€

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50765
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby ramana » 25 Jun 2007 19:14

The US strategy is to fast track FMCO date without verification and Indian acceptance before the 123 gets ratified as part of Hyde Conditions. That way all the non-civilian reactors are moot.

So point, set and match to them while GOI dekhte he rah gaye while spinning Chankian dreams.

Need to walk out of the agreement right now. Cant negotiate with perfidious other.

John Snow
BRFite
Posts: 1941
Joined: 03 Feb 2006 00:44

Postby John Snow » 25 Jun 2007 19:39

Cant help but quote again


" Keep at a safe distance"

added later

Please recall that right after POK 2 . There was Russian expert who said (in 1998) Indian bum count was over and above 750 off all kinds...

abhischekcc
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4278
Joined: 12 Jul 1999 11:31
Location: If I can’t move the gods, I’ll stir up hell
Contact:

Postby abhischekcc » 25 Jun 2007 19:49

Its not just enough to walk out of the deal, we need to be clear that there are going to be repurcussions to the breakdown.

Unkil will not be pleased with the breakdown. Remember that the talks really gathered momentum after the comprehensive thrashing we gave to the pakis in Kargil. How are these two related?

Well simply put, Unkil used pakistan intrusion to create the image of an imminent nuclear holocaust in the sub-continent. The intention was to use intense international (read: US led) pressure to get India to give up tis nuclear facilities.

However, the astute leadership of Shri Vajpayee saw that India didn;t cross the LOC/border, and India was hailed as a responsible nuclear power. This was contrary to the US plans. So, they figured, what they couldn't win on the battlefield, they could negotiate by promising India the moon, mars and venus.

That's where the negotiations on the IUCNA started. The US has never given up the goal of CRE. This deal is simply another method of waging NPA war on us.

---------------------

As I said ewarlier, there will be a bitter breakdown of relations between India and the US if this deal breaks down. India must make sure that the US realizes that we can and will make them suffer if the deal does not go our way. Like inviting Vietnamese or Iranian students on a nuclear study exchange programme. Or giving heavy water to the Iranians. Or best of all, providing the Prithvi missiles to Vietnam. This will screw both Unkil and Aunty (China).

Raju

Postby Raju » 25 Jun 2007 20:11

abhischekcc wrote:As I said ewarlier, there will be a bitter breakdown of relations between India and the US if this deal breaks down. India must make sure that the US realizes that we can and will make them suffer if the deal does not go our way. Like inviting Vietnamese or Iranian students on a nuclear study exchange programme. Or giving heavy water to the Iranians. Or best of all, providing the Prithvi missiles to Vietnam. This will screw both Unkil and Aunty (China).


All this is a question of leadership. We do not have leadership with guts to carry this out.

Also the leadership must strongly be connected to the roots and have a mass base, with little to no interests at stake in US or any other western country. Only such a grassroots leader will make any difference in this country.

Rye
BRFite
Posts: 1183
Joined: 05 Aug 2001 11:31

Postby Rye » 25 Jun 2007 20:22

If India signs up for an unverifiable FMCT, as the US is pushing and has stated in the hyde act, then it is the fault of those in the Indian negotiating team. An unverifiable FMCT puts the screws only on NNWS states and allows the NWS to continue building their fissile material without fear of verification.

ShibaPJ
BRFite
Posts: 146
Joined: 20 Oct 2005 21:21

Postby ShibaPJ » 25 Jun 2007 20:33

Folks,
What is so disspointing is to see people involved with Indian strategic planning/ thinking circle have sold out or are trying in that direction (like this K. Sreedhar Rao chap). India was very much aware of efforts on FMCT during J18 negotiations. That a proper strategy was not factored in, and now HA provisions are now being tomtomed by the so-called experts is a matter of grave concern. MMS has always been suspect (right from his days of cash-strapping indigenous operations) & the PMO has been involved in dirty mud-slinging from the beginning. But this latest round of strategic thinking subversion within looks very, very bad.

Seriously, a breakdown or atleast cold-freezing of the Indo-US discussion and stamping out of the bloody traitors from the establishment look the most urgent priorities of the day.

Satya_anveshi
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3528
Joined: 08 Jan 2007 02:37

Postby Satya_anveshi » 25 Jun 2007 20:54

This dude (Shreedhar Rao) is making a case for his next promotion and following the footsteps of Man maino singh.

Raju

Postby Raju » 25 Jun 2007 20:55

Must be aiming for Carnegie Mellon and went into 'please massa' mode.

CRamS
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6161
Joined: 07 Oct 2006 20:54
Contact:

Postby CRamS » 25 Jun 2007 21:10

abhischekcc wrote:As I said ewarlier, there will be a bitter breakdown of relations between India and the US if this deal breaks down. India must make sure that the US realizes that we can and will make them suffer if the deal does not go our way. Like inviting Vietnamese or Iranian students on a nuclear study exchange programme. Or giving heavy water to the Iranians. Or best of all, providing the Prithvi missiles to Vietnam. This will screw both Unkil and Aunty (China).


I strongly diagree. No point being overtly antagonistic towards Unkil. He can screw us big time both using his resources within India and outside which he commands will do his bidding in a heartbeat. Its better to give the 'deal' a cold burial and move and exploit other avenues with Unkil to mutual benefit.

Raju

Postby Raju » 25 Jun 2007 21:14

CRamS wrote:Its better to give the 'deal' a cold burial and move and exploit other avenues with Unkil to mutual benefit.


He will not allow a 'cold burial' unless we have a knife to his neck and then a nuanced retreat can occur. Ofcourse then defence spending will have to be taken up by a few notches because unkil will ratchet up terrorism via Pakistan immidiately thereafter. If China wants to join the fun then they too can use the moment to screw us. We don't have the leadership who can quickly weed out the internal trash and get things moving. We need another Indira Gandhi.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16052
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Postby NRao » 25 Jun 2007 21:22

With Uncle facing all sorts of problems - worldwide - India will have breathing space.

Besides, there are other items in this 'strategic partnership'.

No matter what, the key is "equal partnership".

I do not think there is much to fear if this deal goes down.

Raju

Postby Raju » 25 Jun 2007 21:29

We must have the capability to increase that problem quotient. We need to control certain variables of instability and more importantly be unafraid to exercise them. The leadership question is moot.

John Snow
BRFite
Posts: 1941
Joined: 03 Feb 2006 00:44

Postby John Snow » 25 Jun 2007 21:38

Fear is only a perception, Jo dharega woh marega.

If NokO can deal with Unkil, waht is Bharat afraid of? yes in the short term there will some inconvieniences

Ananth
BRFite
Posts: 345
Joined: 16 Mar 2002 12:31

Postby Ananth » 25 Jun 2007 21:51

The current pressure tactics of unkil will only run as long as he is capable of sustaining the drama. Note it is GoI's position that FMCT w/o verification is moot. I also believe there is some statement regarding that in parliament. As India clearly said, we would definitely like to work towards FMCT and we will. If there is proper verification component that allows intrsuive inspection into every country's disregarding its nuclear weapon status India will definitely work towards such a goal.

I think FMCT is NPT of this generation. No verification leads to a similar barrier between haves and have nots. Moreover, lots of convincing needs to be done wrt Russia and China, inspite of what they utter in public. For FMCT Dilli door ast

pradeepe
BRFite
Posts: 741
Joined: 27 Aug 2006 20:46
Location: Our culture is different and we cannot live together - who said that?

Postby pradeepe » 25 Jun 2007 21:54

ramana wrote:The US strategy is to fast track FMCO date without verification and Indian acceptance before the 123 gets ratified as part of Hyde Conditions. That way all the non-civilian reactors are moot.

So point, set and match to them while GOI dekhte he rah gaye while spinning Chankian dreams.

Need to walk out of the agreement right now. Cant negotiate with perfidious other.


If its FMCO w/o verification, Can India declare current Pu stocks of say 2 tons or 5 tons? The non-civilian reactors can then start being very efficient or in-efficient.

Gerard
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7533
Joined: 15 Nov 1999 12:31

Postby Gerard » 25 Jun 2007 22:12

How about declaring an intent to sign in say, five years ?


kobeyashi
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 9
Joined: 20 Jun 2007 13:50
Location: Yinglaend

Postby kobeyashi » 26 Jun 2007 02:43



Err... :-?
Water Transport Workers'' Federation of India General Secretary T Narendra Rao said that even if there was a small radiation from the US Navy super carrier, the entire Chennai city and its surrounding areas would be affected.

SaiK
BRF Oldie
Posts: 36081
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
Location: NowHere

Postby SaiK » 26 Jun 2007 02:53



++ even as Port Trust authorities dismissed their apprehension as "unfounded and unwarranted".

that radiation affecting chennaites is indeed fantastic fun!

btw, all this carrier moves is to impress us to buy the carrier capable F-18s (super hornets).

period. they want business.. and plus plus stuff (CRE to begin dependencies and further enjoy a massive market).

bala
BRFite
Posts: 639
Joined: 02 Sep 1999 11:31
Location: Office Lounge

Postby bala » 26 Jun 2007 03:42

Looks like a certainty...

US warship to dock at Chennai

Defence Minister A K Antony saying that the visit of the warship was part of efforts to expand defence cooperation "with important nations".

Sanjay M
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4892
Joined: 02 Nov 2005 14:57

Postby Sanjay M » 26 Jun 2007 04:02

Intestinal tapeworms found in the guts of sharks have been shown to absorb heavy metals:

http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070625/ ... 625-1.html

I'm wondering if this could lead to further discoveries on enzymatic absorption/retention of heavy metals, which could perhaps be applied to uranium sequestration/filtration.

SaiK
BRF Oldie
Posts: 36081
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
Location: NowHere

Postby SaiK » 26 Jun 2007 04:39

it didn't say anything about actinides or other radioactive ones!?

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5220
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

Postby ShauryaT » 26 Jun 2007 05:32

Gerard wrote:How about declaring an intent to sign in say, five years ?
Unkil, ain't biting on that one. Oldest game the Indians have played...our intentions are good but we will not act now....we will sit....sit....sit...sit....till the next treaty for cessation of production of new nuclear weapons has come into effect in 2012....while we were busy producing fissile maal.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16052
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Postby NRao » 26 Jun 2007 05:59

FM coming out of the other ear?

My fear is that this GoI will use this (fissile material) as an excuse to hurry the 123 signing.

Tilak
BRFite
Posts: 733
Joined: 31 Jul 2005 20:19
Location: Old Lal Masjid @BRFATA (*Renovation*)

Postby Tilak » 26 Jun 2007 06:14

bala wrote:Looks like a certainty...

US warship to dock at Chennai

Defence Minister A K Antony saying that the visit of the warship was part of efforts to expand defence cooperation "with important nations".


We have the impending IPI talks, Nuclear Deal is on life-support. To top it the proverbial "Narad" sends the Nimitz which is due to be deployed in the Persian Gulf [the 3rd]. Got to love the timing.. Unkil ki Jai Ho !! 8)

ShauryaT
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5220
Joined: 31 Oct 2005 06:06

Postby ShauryaT » 26 Jun 2007 06:19

Tilak wrote:We have the impending IPI talks, Nuclear Deal is on life-support. To top it the proverbial "Narad" sends the Nimitz which is due to be deployed in the Persian Gulf [the 3rd]. Got to love the timing.. Unkil ki Jai Ho !! 8)
Wow, so it really is the 3rd and not a replacement. If true, something is up....Buy some energy stocks.

vsudhir
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2173
Joined: 19 Jan 2006 03:44
Location: Dark side of the moon

Postby vsudhir » 26 Jun 2007 06:25

FDI floodgates to open in July (TOI)

Poorly written piece (expected from TOI).

But this piece caught my attn. Not clear if its linked with the 123 deal...

NEW DELHI: In a month from now, a host of sectors are expected to be opened up for greater foreign investment and that includes areas as diverse as mining for titanium - hitherto reserved for atomic energy use - to select segments of retail trading, aviation and oil refining.


Besides, sources said, the government was also considering a proposal to put titanium mined from aluminate in the list of sectors governed under the mining law and remove the restriction for use in atomic energy. In addition, foreign players are expected to be allowed to set up wholly-owned subsidiaries in India for mining of titanium, a dual-use mineral which has limited relevance in atomic energy.


Well?

John Snow
BRFite
Posts: 1941
Joined: 03 Feb 2006 00:44

Postby John Snow » 26 Jun 2007 07:30

GOI is working like BCCI, PMO Babus are playing for dawood Bhai.

this 123 J18 all seem to be like Hit wickets by team of Manmohan singh ji
and coach Sonia pulling the strings from behind

vnadendla
BRFite
Posts: 132
Joined: 09 Mar 2006 00:40
Location: USA

FMCT & Tarapur

Postby vnadendla » 26 Jun 2007 09:02

If India gets pushed into FMCT it should include Tarapur spent fuel as its fissile material.

vera_k
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2924
Joined: 20 Nov 2006 13:45

Re: FMCT & Tarapur

Postby vera_k » 26 Jun 2007 10:20

vnadendla wrote:If India gets pushed into FMCT it should include Tarapur spent fuel as its fissile material.


The American proposal for the FMCT disallows reprocessing, so spent fuel alone won't be useful.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 50765
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Postby ramana » 26 Jun 2007 10:34

Be realistic what will GOI do with spent fuel?What they need is to run the reactor grade stuff thru the FBR to clean it up.

From what I can see time is of the essence. Need time to clean up stock. On the other hand Mehta gives annual augmentation stock of WgPu. And the stockpile at 648kg which he says is good for 100 weapons. This is a low ball number as it works out to 6kg/weapon i.e Nagasaki standard. WOP says upto 2 to 8 kg was used for POKII.
The need of the hour is how many needed? And do they have time to clean up the material in meantime.

The scientist is not correct. The only thing that comes out ears is ear wax.

ashkrishna
BRFite
Posts: 132
Joined: 03 Feb 2007 01:53
Contact:

Postby ashkrishna » 26 Jun 2007 11:01

N-deal's not an arms control agreement: India

Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington, DC
June 26, 2007 10:00 IST

Stressing that the India-United States civil nuclear deal is not an arms control agreement or a trade off for New Delhi's strategic programme, a top Indian negotiator said there are not too many gaps in coming to the final understanding and that the two countries are closing it.

"Basically, I do not think there are many problems in the gaps. The issue is how you take broad political principles and make them into legal language," Indian High Commissioner to Singapore S Jaishankar said at the Carnegie Endowment Conference International Non-proliferation Conference in Washington.

"The translation of the March 2006 and the July 2005 understandings into the 123-Agreement (An agreement for cooperation as a prerequisite for nuclear deals between the US and any other nation), it is really easier said than done because you are working on a legal document with a worst-case contingency approach.

"You have to find very exacting, very rigorous language to reflect that. And that is where the challenge lies," Jaishankar, a top member of the negotiating team, said.

The Indian envoy was participating in a panel discussion on 'Forging Non-Proliferation Consensus after Indo-US Civil Nuclear Cooperation'.

The top Indian envoy may be officially participating at the Carnegie Conference but privately he is said to be carrying on the dialogue on the 123-Agreement meeting in the sidelines with senior officials of the Bush Administration dealing with the issue.

Jaishankar made it clear that New Delhi was looking for a clean and straightforward exemption to the Nuclear Suppliers' Group guidelines on enrichment and reprocessing."Our understanding with the US is that we will work with it not to transfer enrichment or reprocessing technologies to states that don't have, the operative part is don't have. We have been reprocessing since 1964 and we have been enriching for at least about ten years," Jaishankar said.

So, we will not fall in our eyes into a category of states that these technologies would not be available as per the current international consensus in the making, he added.

The Indian diplomat stressed, that everything India was willing to do was to be covered by the July 18 statement.

"There is no commitment outside that statement. We frankly don't envisage anything outside that statement," he said.
"There is a certain restraint on the part of India -- minimum deterrent and no first use are the part of that restraint," he said, adding India's commitment to Article 6 cannot be doubted.

"One of the reasons we did not sign the NPT was that Article 6 was not strong enough. We are officially committed to a world free of nuclear weapons," Jaishankar said.

"To confuse the strategic restraint as it sort of evolved during the course of the last administration -- is really mixing apples with oranges," he said.
"With regards to full scope safeguards, as far as we are concerned we have an understanding with the administration," Jaishankar remarked making the point that Bush Administration has indeed consulted the US Congress, its allies and members of the NSG.

Jaishankar argued that India does not deny that there is a consensus on the issue of non-proliferation.

"We are in a position to contribute to that consensus," Jaishankar said going on to make the point that the evolving issues have to be seen in a larger political context.

India cannot be expected to be a partner and a target at the same time. India brings value to the consensus at a time when it is under serious test," he said adding it would appear that while there are many elements that constitute a consensus, there are also aspects on which the international community is still significantly divided.

The top diplomat argued that the US-India civilian nuclear deal is a significant departure from orthodoxy and is critical to see what was within and without of the agreed framework.

"The understanding focuses exclusively on civilian nuclear energy cooperation. On the Indian side, there is no expectation that the agreement would contribute to its weapons programme. We must be equally clear that this is not an arms control agreement," he said.

Suggestions have been made that US negotiators could have demanded tougher conditions including a moratorium on fissile material production. In that situation, there would have been no agreement, he added.
Making clear that India's strategic programme was clearly outside the purview of the Indo-US understanding, he said, "Any attempt to intrude into that domain or determine externally what India regards as its national prerogative would obviously undermine the basis of the agreement."
Jaishankar asked the gathering to do not let orthodoxy and intellectual rigidity undermine a path breaking initiative of such great potential. "Appreciate the contribution that India can make to the revival of global nuclear industry and create a climate for more confident and predictable nuclear trade with India," the top Indian envoy said.

http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/jun/26ndeal.htm

SSridhar
Forum Moderator
Posts: 23150
Joined: 05 May 2001 11:31
Location: Chennai

Postby SSridhar » 26 Jun 2007 13:01

Kakkaji wrote:Nuclear talks go under cover

K.P. NAYAR
There are fresh anxieties in New Delhi about the nuclear deal following a decision by the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva on the mandate of a newly-appointed coordinator to speed up negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT).

India is committed, under the original July 18, 2005, joint statement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George W. Bush, to working with the Americans on an FMCT.

I fail to understand this "anxiety" business. I hope it is clear that the US cannot bite off both ends at the same time. The FMCT negotiations cannot go anywhere unless and until the Indo-US nuclear deal is struck. If there is an "entry into force" clause as in NPT, so be it. Let's send Ms. Arundhati Ghose once again to Geneva.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16052
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Postby NRao » 26 Jun 2007 14:11

Jaishankar's topic was:

"Forging Nonproliferation Consensus after U.S.-Indian Civil Nuclear Cooperation",

interesting that he is talking about pre-Cooperation (which begs the qeustion, wat cooperation).

Our understanding with the US is that we will work with it not to transfer enrichment or reprocessing technologies to states that don't have, the operative part is don't have


We are in a position to contribute to that consensus


These two (and a few more) have been AK's statements. Nice to see them, now let us 'codify' them.

The most interesting one?

"With regards to full scope safeguards, as far as we are concerned we have an understanding with the administration," Jaishankar remarked making the point that Bush Administration has indeed consulted the US Congress, its allies and members of the NSG.


So, still there is a fracture in these bodies and the Bush Admin will need some political capital to push any 123 thru'.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16052
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Postby NRao » 26 Jun 2007 14:21


vnadendla
BRFite
Posts: 132
Joined: 09 Mar 2006 00:40
Location: USA

Re: FMCT & Tarapur

Postby vnadendla » 26 Jun 2007 15:57

vera_k wrote:
vnadendla wrote:If India gets pushed into FMCT it should include Tarapur spent fuel as its fissile material.


The American proposal for the FMCT disallows reprocessing, so spent fuel alone won't be useful.

I mean they should reprocess before FMCT comes into force. We should play American game instead of acting spoiler. We should have the max FM before Cutoff. Ignore all niceties. And our support for treaty will keep them quiet meanwhile

Gerard
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7533
Joined: 15 Nov 1999 12:31

Postby Gerard » 26 Jun 2007 16:19

India cannot be expected to be a partner and a target at the same time. India brings value to the consensus at a time when it is under serious test


Jaishankar quoting BC ?

Philip
BRF Oldie
Posts: 19641
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: India

Postby Philip » 26 Jun 2007 19:00

New bombs?Where does the nuke deal leave us with any optios as far as this is concerned?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

How to build a greener H-bomb
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 26/06/2007

Super-lasers could help to develop Britain's next generation of nuclear weapons, reports Roger Highfield

The steel skeleton of a building the shape of a teardrop rears high above the barbed wire that surrounds the sprawling site where Britain maintains its home-grown nuclear weapons.


Cloud of destruction: the first H-bomb is tested in the Pacific in 1952
I last stepped inside the security gates, past the guard dogs and armed police, almost a decade ago.

Then, grizzled boffins from the glory days of nuclear weapons testing were fretting about how to attract young blood to work on H-bombs.

It looked like an industry in decline. Last week, I was invited back to see how the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston, Berkshire, could - if the Government chooses - design and build the next generation of British nukes.

The 750-acre site still felt like the set from Dr Strangelove; most buildings date from the 1950s and 1960s.

advertisement
But that steel skeleton on the western perimeter, soon to become a £180 million laser facility called Orion, tells a different story. It is part of a £1 billion, three-year refurbishment programme that will run until 2008, with the same again to be spent on running costs.

The workforce is being expanded from 4,300 to almost 5,000 - and it is getting younger, too; from an average age of 43 four years ago, to 39 today.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996, which ruled that Britain could no longer carry out nuclear testing in the Nevada desert, seemed to signal the end of the development of nuclear weapons technology.

Not so, according to Dr Brian Bowsher, Aldermaston's director of research and applied science. Using supercomputers, bomb makers are able to detonate virtual 3D nuclear explosions using complex mathematical modelling, data from non-nuclear laboratory tests, information gathered from the 45 British nuclear tests between 1952 and 1992, and the ultra-high temperatures and pressures which will be generated by Orion's lasers.

He was less forthcoming about what goes on inside a nuke, but the old guard I met years ago had provided me with the basics. If you open a Trident warhead you see a sphere of high explosive; when this is detonated, focused shock waves compress an inner shell of plutonium for a millionth of a second or so. When critical mass is achieved, the nuclear chain reaction is kick-started, aided by a squirt of neutrons.

Experiments into exactly what happens in this primary part of Trident are being carried out at Aldermaston. High explosive implodes hollow shells of heavy metals - not the plutonium found in the real thing - in bomb chambers.

All that can be heard from the nearby road is the warning siren: air gaps in the chambers' double walls muffle the explosions, as powerful flashes of X-rays reveal how the materials flow, mix and deform in these "hydrodynamic" tests.

But for Trident to be a true H-bomb, its primary weapon stage must be used as a fuse for a secondary stage utilising lithium deuteride fusion fuel. The result is Armageddon. This part of the weapon is currently being studied using AWE's Helen laser.

Its two green beams focus one million million watts of power on tiny targets to study the squirt of plasma, radiation and shock waves, and how they interact. I witnessed Helen firing last week. The laser blast proved an anticlimax, without so much as a pop. The science is anticlimatic too: Helen can achieve the pressures within a nuclear blast, but not the temperatures.

By 2011 Helen will be replaced by Orion, which is 1,000 times more powerful. When it is fired, a millimetre-sized target will be bombarded with laser light from 10 angles. Almost simultaneously, two other laser beams will fire shorter pulses, heating the sample to up to 10 million degrees, and compressing it to 100 times the density of water.

The action will take place behind five-foot thick concrete walls to shield staff from the pulses of gamma radiation.

Next door, a £70 million building called Gemini is under construction. By 2009, it will house 1,400 scientists and engineers who will use the latest computer visualisation methods to work on nuclear warheads.

Jonathan Brown, Aldermaston's director of infrastructure, said that a new hydrodynamic test facility was also planned, along with refurbished plutonium and uranium handling facilities. And, on a separate 225-acre site, at Burghfield, seven miles east, AWE is to build more plants, including one to assemble and disassemble warheads.

AWE has also invested in a £20 million Cray XT3 "Redwood" supercomputer, which provides the power of six billion people doing 7,000 calculations a second. With it, virtual nuclear weapons can be endlessly detonated to test and hone designs.

But all this investment to what end? The official line is that studies at Orion will keep the current stockpile of 200 ageing Trident warheads in service.

These have already been carried by submarines for 15 years and, although 40 are to be decommissioned this year alone, Trident is expected to remain our nuclear deterrent into the 2020s.

However, Dr Bowsher said that Orion could stay in operation until 2036, suggesting that it will also be used to develop a new warhead - perhaps one that is safer, easier to construct, or more able to cope with being knocked about. Or, perhaps, a more flexible warhead where the size of the bang can be varied at the turn of a dial.

The Aldermaston folk are happy to discuss anything but this. Instead, we were shown an interminable safety video that tells you what to do in the event of a "criticality alert". A leaflet sent to locals last week declares that in more than 50 years, "AWE has never had a radiation or other emergency that has affected the public".

(A half-truth that ignores the unease triggered by years of incidents and leaks).

They bang on about the environment too. Along with recycling plutonium and highly enriched uranium from old warheads, carcinogenic materials in Trident now have to be replaced to meet new safety standards, said David Glue, an AWE director. The use of bicycles, buses and car sharing among staff is encouraged, along with rainwater harvesting and recycling building materials.

After bidding the Dr Strangeloves goodbye, I was struck by the surreal picture emerging in Aldermaston; one of enthusiastic young boffins who want to build a weapon of mass destruction that is kinder to our planet: a green nuke.

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 63647
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Postby Singha » 26 Jun 2007 20:08

http://www.hindu.com/2007/06/26/stories ... 661300.htm

(see photo in link above)

CHENNAI: The natural uranium crunch that hit India’s indigenously-built Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and brought down their capacity factor will ease with the commissioning on Monday, for trial run, a mill at Turamdih in Jharkhand for processing natural uranium ore. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, inaugurated the mill. He opened an open-cast mine at Banduhurang for production of natural uranium ore. Besides, he laid the foundation for constructing an underground mine at Mohuldih for excavating uranium ore. The mill and the mine have been built by the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), a public sector undertaking of the Department of Atomic Energy.

According to Ramendra Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, UCIL, the mill at Turamdih could process 3,000 tonnes of natural uranium ore a day. The existing mill at Jaduguda, also in Jharkhand, processed 2,190 tonnes a day. Thus, the two mills could together process about 5,200 tonnes of uranium ore a day. It would take a month for the operations at the mill at Turamdih to stabilise. “We have a centralised control room and drum filters in place of belt filters at Turamdih. So recovery of uranium ore will be better,â€


Return to “Nuclear Issues Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests