Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 02:49

Meanwhile TOI reports.....

Kalam certifies Pokharan II, Santhanam stands his ground
Sachin Parashar, TNN 28 August 2009, 12:55am IST
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NEW DELHI: The claim of K Santhanan, former DRDO scientist who was in-charge of Pokharan II, that the thermonuclear device tested in 1998 was a fizzle detonated a full-scale row on Thursday, with former President A P J Abdul Kalam refuting the statement of his former colleague.

Kalam, who spearheaded India's nuclear programme then, came out in the open asserting that the test was successful. With Santhanam holding his ground and other scientists weighing in with their versions, a vigorous debate raged through the day on whether Pokharan II was indeed as successful as was claimed.

"There was a detailed review, based on the two experimental results: first, the seismic measurement close to the site and, second, radioactive measurement of the material after post-shot drill on the test site. It has been established by the project team that the design yield of the thermonuclear test has been obtained," said Kalam, scientific advisor to the defence ministry when the test took place.

R Chidambaram, who led the team of scientists who conducted the tests, also described Santhanam's claim as absurd.

However, an undeterred Santhanam told TOI on Thursday that the hydrogen bomb test was not more than 50-60% successful in terms of the yield it generated. He was supported by prominent nuclear scientists including P K Iyengar, a player in Pokhran I, who said Santhanam was only stating the truth, but Kalam sought to end the controversy by saying that the desired yield had been obtained.

The dispute is significant from the point of view of whether the country needs to conduct more tests - an option that has become expensive because of the nuclear cooperation deals with the US and other countries and which may disappear altogether if the country acquiesces to the growing pressure for Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Talking to TOI on Wednesday evening, Santhanam had said that the test was a fizzle because the actual yield was much lower than what was claimed. He told TOI on Thursday that the thermonuclear device test was only 50-60% successful.

"I can't recall the exact number but it wasn't more than that. My assessment is based on the report by the programme coordinator and also the instrumentation data," said Santhanam, adding that he would take statements about India having enough deterrence, including the one made by Navy chief Sureesh Mehta on Thursday, with a kiloton (KT) of salt. DRDO was responsible for the instrumentation work in the tests and Santhanam was DRDO's main man in the whole exercise.

While Navy chief Mehta said on Thursday that India had enough nuclear deterrence, Brajesh Mishra, who was NSA in 1998, said that Kalam himself had certified the test result and it "set the record straight".
Santhanam stood his ground though. "I can't stop anybody from taking names. It is his perspective. My observation has a scientific and technological basis to it," he said.

Santhanam again emphasized that India must not sign CTBT as it would hurt its nuclear weapons programme. Santhanam's remarks have sparked off a controversy as many believe that India's nuclear deal with the US is based on the premise that New Delhi will not go for any further testing. "The fact is that no country has succeeded in achieving the target in only its first thermonuclear device test. India needs more tests and for that it has to keep away from CTBT," he said.

A Gopalakrishnan, another senior nuclear scientist, said he backed Santhanam's observations. "You have to first decide whether or not you want a thermonuclear deterrent. If the answer is yes, then you have to have more tests because what we have now is not sufficient. All these reports about managing with computer simulation are baseless," he said.



The crucial thing is the 20 -25 (45-20)kt of fusion. You need that much to ensure that an active tertiary will go off to give the desired all-up yield. RC and his cohort say Na-22 and what not was detected and ergo TN worked and full yield. PKI et al say yes, yes Na-22 etc was detected but that indicates only some fusion occured. And btw 50-60% of 45 kt design total is 22 - 27kt ie 2 to 7 kt fusion. Barely enough for the desired yield. So need to keep option to test.

So if some physics whiz wants to do the numbers and figure out how much a 2 -7 kt fusion gives and add that to the 20kt the total is the TN capability. I think the 7 kt will give about 50kt. and maybe more with innovation. So total of 20+50 = 70 kt. enough to take care of most fellows.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby bahdada » 28 Aug 2009 02:51

Despite having nukes out their collective asses the Soviets still nurtured a lethal chemical and biological program despite a treaty convention. I just hope we aren't limiting ourselves to one dimension in terms of unleashing a strategic deterrent against any potential adversary. And it's not like we're exactly clueless in this field either.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby sivabala » 28 Aug 2009 02:58

bahdada wrote:...I just hope we aren't limiting ourselves to one dimension in terms of unleashing a strategic deterrent against any potential adversary...

Well if you are still living in Khyber durra, India has already signed Chemical weapons conventions and destroyed all the chemical weapons stores. Indeed we are the second country to destroy all the chemical weapons. I dont know when we will sign bioweapon convention.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby sivabala » 28 Aug 2009 03:06

X posting from India china war on tibet thread
SwamyG wrote:CNN IBN reporting a skirmish in Nathu La between Chinese and Indian troops. India army denies it.


If the above is indeed true India can test under the garb of national security. If not tested, we cannot deter China anyway, so strongly deny everything thats happening along the border.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 03:07

One aspect to remember is that for the NPA the NPT is sacrosanct. They cant let anyone crash in. So when less than 200kt is tested they can claim it was fizzile/wizzle etc to preserve their sacred cow. So when India tested its three in one and it wasnt enough to crash into their club their psy-ops started. The fission ones are mere common variety and in the Walmart league. So for the to discredit the TN is expected.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby PratikDas » 28 Aug 2009 03:10

sivabala wrote:X posting from India china war on tibet thread
SwamyG wrote:CNN IBN reporting a skirmish in Nathu La between Chinese and Indian troops. India army denies it.


If the above is indeed true India can test under the garb of national security. If not tested, we cannot deter China anyway, so strongly deny everything thats happening along the border.

That skirmish has not been drummed up enough (yet) to justify an "emergency' nuclear test. It doesn't even show on the cover page of TOI or Hindu.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sanjay M » 28 Aug 2009 03:15

If others could crash through the thermonuclear threshold so easily, they would. It's the technical barrier that's the hardest to overcome. The fact that others haven't attempted what India has is more of a testament to their lack of technical skill, than of their being fooled by P5 skepticism over Indian testing.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 03:24

Sanjay M wrote:If others could crash through the thermonuclear threshold so easily, they would. It's the technical barrier that's the hardest to overcome. The fact that others haven't attempted what India has is more of a testament to their lack of technical skill, than of their being fooled by P5 skepticism over Indian testing.



I think the PRC is using the Noko to check out the Wen Ho codes it got. What is being tested in NoKo is an outsourced diy TN for the rogue states. The first was the trigger: called flop by US. The next is the primary : again called flop by US. Next one will be a combination when required.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sanjay » 28 Aug 2009 03:34

Ramana, let us assume zero TN weapons in India.

Would it be fair to assume a reliable Indian arsenal including the following:

1) 15 kt fission weapons with a mass of 250kg
2) 40-50kt fission weapons with a mass of 500-700kg
3) 40-50kt boosted-fission weapons with a mass of 500kg
4) 100kt+ boosted-fission weapons with a mass of 700-1000kg.

We are of course speculating but wouldn't the above be very much feasible and reliable based on even the worse case estimates of POK-2 ?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sanjay M » 28 Aug 2009 03:34

If this fizzle revelation by the scientist is an attempt to fire a warning shot across the bow of the CTBTers, I would still argue that if his claim is real, then the news should have been shared right after the test when it became known. But if it's a warning shot and his claim is actually a fakeroo designed to ward off the CTBTers, then I would wonder why we'd have to ward them off if our TN-capability actually works?

To me, it stands to reason that the guy's claim of a fizzle must actually be true then.

And this then leads me to wonder why the govt didn't share this fact with the public before. False pride serves no purpose - you can't have a credible deterrent based on capabilities that don't exist. If there had been a fizzle in the first place, as I'm suspecting occurred, then the public had a right to know. The public's right to know was more important than whatever geopolitical shenanigans the govt thought needed to be played.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 03:35

Brahma Chellany writes :
Make Nuke program accountable

BTW he was the one that RC used to confide in about S-1 and Agni warhead and all those nice things for hi to write in Hindustan Times. So for him to write this is quite change. The same thing PKI asked long time ago.

Make nuclear programme accountable


28 Aug 2009, 0252 hrs IST, Brahma Chellaney, ET Bureau


India’s cosseted nuclear programme has been shielded from parliamentary scrutiny and CAG audit. So, it is hard to reliably determine whether the sole thermonuclear test fizzled out quickly or was a success, however, modest. But some facts speak for themselves.

One telling fact is that more than 11 years later, India has not weaponised the thermonuclear technology, even though the test in 1998 was supposed to have catapulted the country into the big-power league.

The thermonuclear test, obviously, was not merely intended as a technology demonstrator. Therefore, it is legitimate to ask: What has been the security benefit for the country from that test? Even more glaring is another fact: More than 35 years after Pokhran I, India stands out as a reluctant and tentative nuclear power, still lacking even a barely minimal deterrent capability against China.

Given the growing military asymmetry with China, a proven and weaponised Indian thermonuclear capability, backed by long-range missiles, is critical to deter the assertive and ambitious northern neighbour. But today, India does not have a single Beijing-reachable missile in deployment.

Had India developed and deployed a minimal but credible nuclear-weapons capability, China would not have dared to mess with India. But the increasing Chinese bellicosity, reflected in rising border incursions and hardening of Beijing’s stance on territorial disputes, suggests China is only getting emboldened against a weaker India.

Consider yet another unpalatable fact: No country has struggled longer to build a minimal deterrent or paid heavier international costs for its nuclear programme than India. The history of India’s nuclear-weapons programme is actually a record of how it helped establish multilateral technology controls. Pokhran I, for example, impelled the secret formation of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). India’s space programme helped give birth to the Missile Technology Control Regime.

Yet, before it has built a credible minimal deterrent, India came full circle when it entered into a civilian nuclear deal with the US and secured an exemption from NSG last year to import high-priced commercial nuclear power reactors and fuel. In doing so, it had to accept non-proliferation conditions that aim to stunt its nuclear-deterrent development.

Through this deal, India is seeking to replicate in the energy sector the very mistake it has made on armaments. Now the world’s largest arms importer, India spends more than $6 billion every year on importing conventional weapons, some of dubious value, while it neglects to build its own armament-production base.
Conventional weapons simply cannot deter a nuclear adversary.


Deterrence against a nuclear foe can only be built on nuclear capability, especially a second-strike capability that can survive the enemy’s first strike to inflict massive retaliation.

More broadly, Indian policymakers have yet to recognise that no nation can be a major power without three attributes: A high level of autonomous and innovative technological capability; a capacity to meet basic defence needs indigenously; and a capability to project power far beyond its borders, especially through intercontinental-range weaponry. India is deficient in all the three areas.

It is not an accident that all the countries armed with intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are permanent members of the UN Security Council. But rather than aim for a technological leap through a crash ICBM programme, India remains interminably stuck in the Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) stage.

Against this background, the latest claim that the 1998 thermonuclear test performed well under par can only further damage the credibility of India’s nuclear posture. The controversy over the thermonuclear test, however, is nothing new. No sooner had the test been conducted than a former head of the Indian nuclear programme, P K Iyengar, questioned official claims of success.

In such a setting — with critics within and outside the country questioning the success of the test — India must be ready to convincingly re-demonstrate its thermonuclear capability, should a propitious international opportunity arise from a nuclear test conducted by another power.

Nuclear deterrence, after all, is like beauty: It lies in the eyes of the beholder. It is not what India’s nuclear establishment claims but what outsiders, especially regional adversaries, believe that constitutes deterrence (or the lack of it).

(Brahma Chellaney is a nuclear and strategic affairs expert)


He will get dismissed as a maximalist.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 03:36

Sanjay wrote:Ramana, let us assume zero TN weapons in India.

Would it be fair to assume a reliable Indian arsenal including the following:

1) 15 kt fission weapons with a mass of 250kg
2) 40-50kt fission weapons with a mass of 500-700kg
3) 40-50kt boosted-fission weapons with a mass of 500kg
4) 100kt+ boosted-fission weapons with a mass of 700-1000kg.

We are of course speculating but wouldn't the above be very much feasible and reliable based on even the worse case estimates of POK-2 ?


Yes. But who are you planning to deter and with fake claims? And whats the fizul maal needed for the above? All seem to be very demanding.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sanjay M » 28 Aug 2009 03:39

India nuclear test 'did not work'
By Sanjoy Majumder
BBC News, Delhi

In a file photo from 1974, a crater is shown in the Thar desert area southwest of New Delhi where India conducted an underground nuclear test. India successfully tested three devices in the same area on Monday May 11,1998. (AP Photo/HO)
India's nuclear tests shocked the world

A retired atomic scientist who was closely associated with India's 1998 nuclear tests has said they were not as successful as was claimed.

K Santhanam said one of the tests - on a hydrogen bomb - had not worked, and that India would have to carry out more tests for a credible nuclear deterrent.

His statement has been dismissed by the government and his former colleagues.

The Indian tests led to similar tests by Pakistan, raising fears of a nuclear conflict between the two countries.

Cover-up?

K Santhanam is a respected Indian atomic scientist who was project director of the 1998 nuclear tests.

He now says that one of the five tests that were carried out, in which a thermonuclear device or hydrogen bomb was detonated, did not perform as well as expected.

He also said that everyone associated with the tests immediately recognised that something had gone wrong.

If his statement is accurate it points to a massive cover-up by India and also confirms what many in the West suspected at the time - that the nuclear devices India tested were not as powerful as had been thought.

India's government has dismissed Mr Santhanam's claim, which has also been disputed by senior officials of the BJP-led government which carried out the tests.

The scientist says that India is coming under pressure to sign up to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, a move he says would be disastrous since he contends that the country does not yet have a credible nuclear deterrent.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sanjay » 28 Aug 2009 03:40

Ramana, I don't understand your comment.

India has invested money into delivery systems. The delivery systems are being deployed albeit slowly. They carry WMD warheads. The military has a requirement for reliability. Therefore the question is - what are they carrying and what yield/mass ratio ?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 03:44

Sanjay M wrote:If this fizzle revelation by the scientist is an attempt to fire a warning shot across the bow of the CTBTers, I would still argue that if his claim is real, then the news should have been shared right after the test when it became known. But if it's a warning shot and his claim is actually a fakeroo designed to ward off the CTBTers, then I would wonder why we'd have to ward them off if our TN-capability actually works?

To me, it stands to reason that the guy's claim of a fizzle must actually be true then.

And this then leads me to wonder why the govt didn't share this fact with the public before. False pride serves no purpose - you can't have a credible deterrent based on capabilities that don't exist. If there had been a fizzle in the first place, as I'm suspecting occurred, then the public had a right to know. The public's right to know was more important than whatever geopolitical shenanigans the govt thought needed to be played.


Good job at reductio de absurdum.

It wasnt false pride but policy exigencies. In May 1998 the G-7 were meeting after the tests and could have imposed more severe sanctions which imight have been more than could be handled. And the morotarium allowed the French and Russians to softplay the issues. And I suspect that there was no alternative or back-up plan. They should have used the 200kt boosted fission on the May13th. There was cognitive dissonance in the test plan which was designed for success. There were no doubts if the tests failed. That is where Brajesh Mishra with his IFS cap should have weighed in. So all is not done with bad intentions. Quite often stuff happens.

Also if you read the vast literature/interviews on S-I they had so many top ideas all in it that its a surprise at its performance. Most of the revelations are from RC onlee.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sanjay M » 28 Aug 2009 03:46

ramana wrote:Brahma Chellany writes :

Make nuclear programme accountable
...

In such a setting — with critics within and outside the country questioning the success of the test — India must be ready to convincingly re-demonstrate its thermonuclear capability, should a propitious international opportunity arise from a nuclear test conducted by another power.

Nuclear deterrence, after all, is like beauty: It lies in the eyes of the beholder. It is not what India’s nuclear establishment claims but what outsiders, especially regional adversaries, believe that constitutes deterrence (or the lack of it).

(Brahma Chellaney is a nuclear and strategic affairs expert)


He will get dismissed as a maximalist.


But all the other powers have been maximalists during their climb. One doesn't climb by being reticent and timid. It's inevitable that some opportunity will arise for India to conduct a test, and it should be ready to exploit the opportunity when the time comes. Otherwise, we'll never get this monkey off our backs. Once it's out of the way, then we can go on, leaving our previous era of weakness behind.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Arun_S » 28 Aug 2009 03:47

negi wrote:We cannot sign CTBT, need to conduct many more tests. But it has political implication and there also economic ramification. Becoz of these we cannot test so we should not sign CTBT.

Kanson that has always been the case and a widely accepted GOI pov. However when some one like Mr. Sanathanam and Pk Iyengar make statements that raise doubts about the GOI's verdict things become tricky.

For instance from india express Aug 10,2000

Just days ago, Iyengar created a stir by demanding a peer review of the Indian nuclear weapons programme. At the end of his lecture responding to a question by The Indian Express whether he was indicating that Pokharan-II tests were a failure, Iyengar said: "I never disagreed with the yields published by the DAE. I agree they are the best people to judge and they have done what they can. But in the intricacy that I showed, how much of fusion energy came out of that, how much of fission energy came out of that, there is a complication. It has got three devices inside: a fission device, a booster device and a thermonuclear part. How you apportioned the yield between these three is something has not been done absolutely correctly or has not been publicly expressed. It's not that a fusion device cannot be partially burning. I can show you American references that it can be a partial burning; it need not be a full burning. Still it produces that energy. So under those circumstances, it is my conviction and the fact that it has to be weaponised requires further testing. So we should not say we don't need any more testing. This is what I challenge. That is not correct. If we have to weaponise, if we have to progress in R&D, then we need the option to test and therefore we should not sign the CTBT."


So it is not the total yield itself which is being questioned but the contribution of the fusion reaction to the final yield.

You must be kidding. In forked tongue speak, I and fellow BRFites were told by worthies that S1 was a FBF and not a TN device. India did not even test a TN device in Shakti series!!! :rotfl:

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby svinayak » 28 Aug 2009 03:49

Sanjay M wrote: If there had been a fizzle in the first place, as I'm suspecting occurred, then the public had a right to know. The public's right to know was more important than whatever geopolitical shenanigans the govt thought needed to be played.

It is a state secret. The state can decide what the public needs to know or not.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sanjay M » 28 Aug 2009 03:51

ramana wrote:Good job at reductio de absurdum.

It wasnt false pride but policy exigencies. In May 1998 the G-7 were meeting after the tests and could have imposed more severe sanctions which imight have been more than could be handled. And the morotarium allowed the French and Russians to softplay the issues. And I suspect that there was no alternative or back-up plan. They should have used the 200kt boosted fission on the May13th. There was cognitive dissonance in the test plan which was designed for success. There were no doubts if the tests failed. That is where Brajesh Mishra with his IFS cap should have weighed in. So all is not done with bad intentions. Quite often stuff happens.

Also if you read the vast literature/interviews on S-I they had so many top ideas all in it that its a surprise at its performance. Most of the revelations are from RC onlee.


So you're only confirming to me that India is a midget in too many ways to be able to support its national security needs.
India had the opportunity to test when the French did, but the Americans were ready with their arm-twisting threats, and Rao quickly caved in. He shouldn't have.
Had we tested right after the French did, then it would have been much easier for us. There was no benefit to waiting at that time.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sanjay M » 28 Aug 2009 03:53

Acharya wrote:It is a state secret. The state can decide what the public needs to know or not.


Given the state's track-record in decision-making and missed opportunities, I think that a higher degree of public transparency is warranted. Otherwise, there's too much of a danger that politicians will allow vital security interests to take a backseat to their desire to get re-elected.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby svinayak » 28 Aug 2009 03:57

Sanjay M wrote: Otherwise, there's too much of a danger that politicians will allow vital security interests to take a backseat to their desire to get re-elected.

Do you think a new test site in Arunachal Pradesh is good idea. Some spot very close to the Chinese border.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby negi » 28 Aug 2009 03:59

Hm.. things are moving fast and it seems heads have started rolling in the GOI as well as the strategic think tank.One can only imagine the shock waves propagated by Shri Santhanam's statements.

So to re-summarize our rather my understanding:

1. POK-II carried out successfully in 1998

2. PK Iyengar ji sought an independent peer review of the yields; however no one comes forward with a rebuttal to the series of papers published by BARC on the yields.

3. GOI starts negotiations with GOTUS on the nuke deal (2005 ?) and finally signs it in 2009 (4 long years) taking the nuclear fraternity into confidence and no one bothers to rake up this issue of fizzle.

4. Now since the change of guard in the GOTUS, something has happened between Feb 2009 and now which compelled Shri Santhanam to make an open statement .

International pressure has been always there after the 1974 explosion and India has not only recovered but sustained decent growth in economy and Industry in past decade despite sanctions; so unless there has been a change in the GOI's stand on NPT and CTBT I don't see why would Shri Santhanam rake up this issue; certainly a person in his field and pedigree won't be rattled by the barking NPAs alone.

The need to test and validate new designs or verify reliability of the stockpile is obvious fizzle or no fizzle , on a similar note our stand on the CTBT and NPT is non negotiable irrespective of the size of our nuclear arsenal ...period.If there has been change or dilution of our stand then Shri Sathanam's outburst is understandable for I don't find any other justification for his comments unless the test indeed was a fizzle.

--edited for typos and restructuring--
Last edited by negi on 28 Aug 2009 04:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Arun_S » 28 Aug 2009 04:03

ramana wrote:And I suspect that there was no alternative or back-up plan. They should have used the 200kt boosted fission on the May13th. There was cognitive dissonance in the test plan which was designed for success. There were no doubts if the tests failed. That is where Brajesh Mishra with his IFS cap should have weighed in.

Precisely. Common sense was missing.
However after rude awakening of 11th May they got some common sense and decided to abort and retrieve the test shot on pit#6, which was identical copy of the S1.

Also if you read the vast literature/interviews on S-I they had so many top ideas all in it that its a surprise at its performance.

Yup, very true. the S1 design is was indeed leading/bleeding edge. Now lets get the patched up design see the light of day.

Most of the revelations are from RC onlee.

Like why waste the #6 device.
BTW fabrication of that secondary was extremely expensive and not wasting it was a very good decision. Retreat and fight another day.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 04:04

Sanjay wrote:Ramana, I don't understand your comment.

India has invested money into delivery systems. The delivery systems are being deployed albeit slowly. They carry WMD warheads. The military has a requirement for reliability. Therefore the question is - what are they carrying and what yield/mass ratio ?



From Chellany's article none of the TN stuff as he says it wasnt weaponised even after 11 years. Actually the Arihant makes all this come to a head for it has to carry stuff mated.
-----------
Negi,
The genesis of current brouhaha is the IDSA classified seminar on Tuesday(8/25/09) which doesnt even show on their events calender. We can only speculate on the topic and most likely it was adherence to CTBT. KS made his remarks and Karnad let the reporters know. And then its history.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby negi » 28 Aug 2009 04:05

Arun_S wrote:You must be kidding. In forked tongue speak, I and fellow BRFites were told by worthies that S1 was a FBF and not a TN device. India did not even test a TN device in Shakti series!!! :rotfl:

Gurudev I merely highlighted what according to IE are the comments made by Shri Iyengar. My last statement was a one line summary of his statement as per my understanding.

Btw who are these worthies ?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sarma » 28 Aug 2009 04:06

Arun_S ji: Silly question. How do we know that the untested S-6 was the same as S-1? Is it based on some inside information you may have or on logical reduction of the available information. Kindly please clarify.

Sarma

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sanjay » 28 Aug 2009 04:07

Ramana, precisely. The question still remains - what warheads are fitted to the missiles ?

We are still at fission and boosted fission weapons and perhaps some attention again has to be paid to the varieties that can be deployed with confidnece.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 04:23

Testing after French would have foreclosed the TN option. Read Chengappa's WOP where Rao gave TN authorization in 1995 and it took 18 months to complete ie is after his term is over.
Most likely it was the one that 13 day govt wanted to test if the Lok Sabha approved its majority.

So Rao delayed testing for greater good.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 04:28

Sanjay wrote:Ramana, precisely. The question still remains - what warheads are fitted to the missiles ?

We are still at fission and boosted fission weapons and perhaps some attention again has to be paid to the varieties that can be deployed with confidnece.


The MOD and the current chief of staffs Adm Mehta have spoken and let it be at that. What all this is about is not credible deterrent but enhanced deterrence.

from Telegraph, 8/28/09

Pokhran stirs N-debate
OUR BUREAU
New Delhi, Aug. 27: Fresh concerns articulated by a former defence research official about the performance of India’s hydrogen bomb tested 11 years ago have bolstered long-simmering arguments that India should keep open its nuclear weapons testing option, analysts said.

K. Santhanam, who was involved in the nuclear weapons tests in Pokhran on May 11 and May 13, 1998, said earlier this week that the thermonuclear device — a hydrogen bomb — tested on May 11 had not delivered its desired yield. In two sets of tests, India had exploded five weapons — a 15-kiloton fission bomb, three sub-kiloton fission bombs, and a 45-kiloton hydrogen bomb.

A team of US researchers had expressed doubts about the yield, indicating that its own analysis of seismic waves had suggested a lower yield. But Indian atomic energy scientists who had designed the weapons maintained that the tests were successful, and indicated that India did not need to test any more weapons, prompting the government to announce a unilateral moratorium.

But Santhanam, now 71, told a not-for-attribution meeting at New Delhi’s Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) — the defence ministry’s think tank — this week that the thermonuclear weapon device had under-performed. During a discussion on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), he said India needed to conduct more tests and added that he was against India signing the CTBT.

Defence analysts said Santhanam appeared to be airing views that he had been articulating for long in closed circles. In an informal chat, he had once described the thermonuclear test as a “bum tickle”.

This assessment of the thermonuclear weapons test is shared by several former scientists from India’s nuclear establishment, said Bharat Karnad, a strategic affairs analyst at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

In his book India’s Nuclear Policy, Karnad has documented concerns about the test among former director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, A.N. Prasad, and the former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, P.K. Iyengar.

Prasad and Iyengar are among scientists who believe there was a problem with the thermonuclear test. Many of these scientists believe the 1998 test was inadequate and more are required.

Karnad’s book mentions a senior DRDO official who some six months after the May 1998 tests recommended resumption of testing to the government because he was convinced that the test of the hydrogen bomb was inadequate for the purposes of developing simulation software and designing performance-capable thermonuclear weapons. The official said he supported the official line on the test moratorium because of “functioning pressures”.

{i]{Is he talking about Brajesh Mishra?}[/i]

Karnad told The Telegraph that the DRDO official was Santhanam, who had earlier spoken to him on a non-attribution basis.

India’s navy chief, who is currently the senior most military commander, said today the armed forces believed they had a credible nuclear deterrent.

“As far as we are concerned, we go by the views of the scientists. They have given us certain capabilities — we are quite happy to go with it,” said Admiral Sureesh Mehta, the chairman, chiefs of staff committee.

“Our policy continues to be that of ‘no first strike’. This presumes that we will have the capability to survive a first strike, for which we maintain a credible deterrence,” he said.

The Indian armed forces were developing capabilities to launch nuclear weapons from land, from air and from the sea (underwater). The unveiling of the country’s first nuclear-capable submarine, the INS Arihant, by the Prime Minister earlier this month is evidence that India has persisted with its effort to develop credible nuclear deterrent and delivery systems.

“I am not particularly aware of what Santhanam has said. But the armed forces have a road map and we are following that,” Mehta said.



An aside. If you step back and look at all the headlines in Google news cache for this subject what strikes you is that KS should have made his case for further testing without saying anything about the POKII test.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Arun_S » 28 Aug 2009 04:33

ramana wrote:The Hindu has contacted RC and has his inputs in the article by Siddharth Vardarajan.


Fizzle Claim refuted



The government on Thursday strongly refuted claims that the 1998 test of a thermonuclear device had been a failure, with Principal Scientific Adviser R. Chidambaram telling The Hindu that those questioning the tests yield had an obligation to back up their charge with scientific evidence.

He was responding to the recent statement by a former defence scientist, K. Santhanam, that “the yield in the thermonuclear device test was much lower than what was claimed.” Mr. Santhanam, who cited only unspecified “seismic measurements and expert opinion from world over,” went on to say that this was the reason India should not sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The stated success of the second generation nuclear device tested on May 11, 1998, was questioned at the time by a number of Western seismologists who said the seismic signatures detected by them were at variance with the claimed yield of 45 kilotons. Although the controversy subsided somewhat once scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre — which designed the weapon — published their scientific evidence, it is likely to be reignited once again since Mr. Santhanam represented the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) team at the Pokhran-II tests and is the first member of that group to echo the arguments of those who say the thermonuclear device failed to work properly.

“If Mr. Santhanam has any scientific data to back up what he has claimed, I am sure BARC scientists would be more than happy to debate it,” said Dr. Chidambaram. “Without that, this kind of statement means nothing.”

In a 2000 article, The May 1998 Pokhran tests: Scientific aspects, republished in 2008 with some updated details, in a French journal, ‘Atoms for Peace,’ Dr. Chidambaram has argued that western seismologists who under-estimated the Pokhran yields did so because they did not take into account the geological structure at the Indian testing range. They also failed to appreciate that India’s weapons designers purposely went for lower yields because the shots had to be fired in existing shafts which could not be dug any deeper for fear of detection. Higher yields, then, would have caused damage to nearby villages and also led to the possible venting of radioactivity.

Dr. Chidambaram wrote that the thermonuclear device tested was “a two-stage device of advanced design, which had a fusion-boosted fission trigger as the first stage and a fusion secondary stage which was compressed by radiation implosion and ignited.” He said the argument that the secondary stage failed to perform is belied by post-shot radioactivity measurements on samples extracted from the test site which showed significant activity of sodium-22 and manganese-54, both by-products of a fusion reaction rather than pure fission. “From a study of this radioactivity and an estimate of the cavity radius, confirmed by drilling operations at positions away from ground zero, the total yield as well as the break-up of the fission and fusion yields could be calculated.” Based on this, he said, BARC scientists worked out a total yield of 50 +/- 10 kt for the thermonuclear device, which was consistent with both the design yield and seismic estimates.

As for the sub-kiloton tests of 0.3 and 0.2 kt of 13 May 1998, which the International Monitoring System for verifying CTBT compliance failed altogether to detect, he said “the threshold limit for seismic detection is much higher in, say a sand medium than in hard rock; the Pokhran geological medium comes somewhere in between” and so it was not surprising these two tests did not show up on the IMS.

“Let someone refute what we have written, then we can look at it,” said Dr. Chidamabaram, adding that he was yet to see a published critique of BARC’s scientific assessment by any laboratory-based scientist abroad.

A former senior official of the erstwhile Vajpayee government confirmed to The  Hindu that there had been differences of opinion between BARC and DRDO scientists after the May 1998 tests, with the latter asserting that some of the weapons tests had not been successful. The internal debate was complicated by the fact that the DRDO experts, including Mr. Santhanam, were not privy to the actual weapon designs, which are highly classified. But the issue was resolved after a high-level meeting chaired by Brajesh Mishra, who was National Security Advisor at the time, in which the BARC experts established that DRDO had underestimated the true yields due to faulty seismic instrumentation. And the radioactivity analysis provided the clincher.

Since 1998, whatever his private reservations might have been, Mr. Santhanam appears to have stuck closely to the official line in his public pronouncements.

On the fifth anniversary of Pokhran-II, for example, he said in an article in Outlook that “the asymmetry with respect to China stands largely removed” thanks to the 1998 tests. Since China was a proven thermonuclear power at the time and India was not, it is hard to reconcile this optimistic assertion with the scientist’s current claim that the thermonuclear device India tested was “a fizzle.”

Similarly, in June 2007, Mr. Santhanam declared on CNN-IBN on a programme about the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal in which this correspondent was also a participant: “After May 1998, there was a clear declaration from India that we don’t have to conduct any more nuclear tests. India should not have any problem legalising this position. But this is subject to the condition that if the international security condition changes, then we should be allowed to test."



I think now there will be clamor to have the radio-chem analysis reviewed. And asking KS to produce data that BARC has is :P .IOW its turning into ego match. And its par for the course for RC. He did the same to PKI when Mehta saab made Mishraji arrange a face to face interview.

Mehra saab = Air Chief Marsahl S.K Mehra.
Mishraji = Brijesh Mishra.
And I was witness to this statement by ACM SK Mehra. He mentioned it to ME.

It is the same R Chidambrum of 1998 vintage, the shine of brash disdain for questioning his "superior birth" is not dulled a bit. ;)
But this time people have seen the shame he tried so hard to hide. Dog's tail will always remain crooked.

ramana wrote:Meanwhile TOI reports.....

Kalam certifies Pokharan II, Santhanam stands his ground
Sachin Parashar, TNN 28 August 2009, 12:55am IST
Print Email Discuss Bookmark/Share Save Comment Text Size: |

NEW DELHI: The claim of K Santhanan, former DRDO scientist who was in-charge of Pokharan II, that the thermonuclear device tested in 1998 was a fizzle detonated a full-scale row on Thursday, with former President A P J Abdul Kalam refuting the statement of his former colleague.

... . . . . However, an undeterred Santhanam told TOI on Thursday that the hydrogen bomb test was not more than 50-60% successful in terms of the yield it generated. He was supported by prominent nuclear scientists including P K Iyengar, a player in Pokhran I, who said Santhanam was only stating the truth, but Kalam sought to end the controversy by saying that the desired yield had been obtained.

The dispute is significant from the point of view of whether the country needs to conduct more tests - an option that has become expensive because of the nuclear cooperation deals with the US and other countries and which may disappear altogether if the country acquiesces to the growing pressure for Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Talking to TOI on Wednesday evening, Santhanam had said that the test was a fizzle because the actual yield was much lower than what was claimed. He told TOI on Thursday that the thermonuclear device test was only 50-60% successful. ... . . .


The crucial thing is the 20 -25 (45-20)kt of fusion. You need that much to ensure that an active tertiary will go off to give the desired all-up yield. RC and his cohort say Na-22 and what not was detected and ergo TN worked and full yield. PKI et al say yes, yes Na-22 etc was detected but that indicates only some fusion occured. And btw 50-60% of 45 kt design total is 22 - 27kt ie 2 to 7 kt fusion. Barely enough for the desired yield. So need to keep option to test.

So if some physics whiz wants to do the numbers and figure out how much a 2 -7 kt fusion gives and add that to the 20kt the total is the TN capability. I think the 7 kt will give about 50kt. and maybe more with innovation. So total of 20+50 = 70 kt. enough to take care of most fellows.

IIRC S1 yield was ~ 32kT;
Boosted Primary ~ 17 kT,
Fusion fuel ~ 3-4 kT
rest 10-12kT from spark plug and tertiary.

The test was a fully loaded test of 200 kt TN. Even if one takes at face value the 45 kT yield claim of Chidambrum, one can see what Chidambrum delivered.

BTW, Indian 100 kT FBF weapon using the Shakti series design would weigh ~ 350kg.
However if substantial modification/enhancement are made since then 150kT yield will weigh ~ 350 kg.

A thermo nuke OTOH will yield 200 kT, use lesser fissile fuel, weigh ~240 kg, and the SRDE missile in Arihant will throw it to useful distance, such that from its petrol area near Maldives it can take out Beijing.

However with the heavier FBF based warheads, one will need PSLV size missile that can carry enough oomph far enough.
And just four A3SL missile tube per Arihant will be useless, will need it to be increased to carry 16 missiles instead.

I say India should not test any more and instead use PSLV for deterrence and increase nuclear submarine fleet 5 times. Any takers??
Surely Chidambrum will see no problem with the above.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby AnimeshP » 28 Aug 2009 04:34

So here is a hypothetical question to all folks here .... What would happen (within India and around the world) if we conducted a nuke test say in 2010 ?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sanjay » 28 Aug 2009 04:36

That is very accurate and that's where the fun starts - what is the credible deterrent built on ?

Again, what Santhanam said is what everyone suspected since 1998. There is one other thing - we are not the ones who have to face the consequences of testing. Remember 1998 ? All of India did not unite behind the GOI. When your own polity is divided, the press and chatterati protesting the tests and nobody sure if the economy could take the consequences, what would anybody have done ?

Now, if India recognizes it, India is much stronger than 1998 and though I hate to say it, the UPA will garner more consensual support for a test than the NDA by virtue of its close ideological proximity with the mainstream media.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Arun_S » 28 Aug 2009 04:40

Sarma wrote:Arun_S ji: Silly question. How do we know that the untested S-6 was the same as S-1? Is it based on some inside information you may have or on logical reduction of the available information. Kindly please clarify.

Sarma

I only paan chewing village bhayyia from Uttar Pardesh. Kabhi paan waly ki jamat say talluk rakhtay thay.
Please dont take me too seriously, else if I tell you the truth I will have to shoot you. The wise ones will know from above.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 04:42

I guess next week this will get politicised and the INC and BJP will slang it out as to how and why the morotarium was announced. And then LKAg will have to tell why he provoked the Pakis with half a bum :mrgreen:

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 04:45

Sanjay wrote:That is very accurate and that's where the fun starts - what is the credible deterrent built on ?

Again, what Santhanam said is what everyone suspected since 1998. There is one other thing - we are not the ones who have to face the consequences of testing. Remember 1998 ? All of India did not unite behind the GOI. When your own polity is divided, the press and chatterati protesting the tests and nobody sure if the economy could take the consequences, what would anybody have done ?

Now, if India recognizes it, India is much stronger than 1998 and though I hate to say it, the UPA will garner more consensual support for a test than the NDA by virtue of its close ideological proximity with the mainstream media.


If MMS tests there will be opposition from JNU johlawalas and prof emertius types along with a few karats and shrieks.
All else will rally behind him. The BJP having tested in 1998 wont be the ones to not support him. The earlier division was due to NDA hogging the success.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Arun_S » 28 Aug 2009 04:47

negi wrote:
Arun_S wrote:You must be kidding. In forked tongue speak, I and fellow BRFites were told by worthies that S1 was a FBF and not a TN device. India did not even test a TN device in Shakti series!!! :rotfl:

Gurudev I merely highlighted what according to IE are the comments made by Shri Iyengar. My last statement was a one line summary of his statement as per my understanding.

Btw who are these worthies ?

Negi saar: No no.... I was not criticizing your post. Regarding worthies: For that pls refer to BRF debate from June to Nov 2008. And some dust carried from unmentionable forum/blog by people who visit the dark place where sun does not shine.

============= Added later ==========
IIRC on BRF it was Katare and his friend from Oregon/Washington and few more including Dr Shiv.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Sanjay » 28 Aug 2009 04:50

Arun don't you think 350kg is a bit light for a reliable Indian FBF weapon ?

BTW - I am very much in favour of more delivery systems and platforms. More = more survive after a first strike.

But seriously -the fact seems to be that none of the Agnis are being tested with anything less than 700kg (2001 A-2 test) so can we not extrapolate accordingly as per what warheads are being fitted ?

Ramana - the NDA also has its pathological haters beyond the Karats.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby ramana » 28 Aug 2009 04:56

ramana wrote:I guess next week this will get politicised and the INC and BJP will slang it out as to how and why the morotarium was announced. And then LKAg will have to tell why he provoked the Pakis with half a bum :mrgreen:


Why wait till next week. here is DNA report....

Jury out on Pokhran II
Seema Guha & Sanjay Singh / DNAFriday, August 28, 2009 0:26 IST

New Delhi: Was Pokhran II a dud? Yes, said K Santhanam, coordinator of the Shakti series of nuclear tests in 1998, on Tuesday. Absolutely not, said the big guns of the establishment on Thursday.

Former president APJ Abdul Kalam, who as director-general of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) spearheaded the nuclear tests in 1998, said the tests were successful. "It has been established by the project team that the design yield of the thermonuclear test has been obtained," said Kalam.

Former national security advisor Brajesh Mishra, too, rubbished Santhanam's views. "Dr Kalam, who was then scientific adviser to the defence ministry, had openly said that the tests were successful. Dr Santhanam was working directly under Dr Kalam. That should set the record straight."

Farooq Abdullah, whose party was then part of the ruling NDA, too added his voice: "The Pokhran tests were successful. I was personally there. There is no need to doubt it." :mrgreen:

After a cabinet meeting on Thursday, home minister P Chidambaram said: "I have seen the statement. I am puzzled. If you are not, then you are a genius." :| He, however, said that he would ascertain the truth. Less than an hour later, an official rebuttal came from navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, who said India's nuclear deterrence capabilities were "proven and capable enough".

Mehta, who heads the committee of the three service chiefs, said: "As far as we are concerned, we go by the views of the scientists. They have given us a certain capability and that is enough to provide deterrence."

But the sceptics will not be silenced. More holes in the government's official line were punched by former Atomic Energy Commission chairman PK Iyengar. "I hold on to my doubts," he said, adding that deeper holes than those dug in Pokhran are needed to test a thermonuclear device. "I do not know exactly how deep the hole was," he said. "It's better that we test again and in deeper holes."

Politically, Santhanam's revelations, carried by Dainik Bhaskar (a sister publication of DNA) on Tuesday, seems to have struck at both the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government during the tests and the current Manmohan Singh administration. = =

The NDA's legacy has been to defy world opinion and go ahead with the nuclear tests within a few months of coming to power. The BJP has maintained that the Congress did not have the guts to go ahead with the tests, even though they came close to it during PV Narasimha Rao's regime; the tests were stalled under pressure from the US.

However, the 'dud tests' theory does not give Congress any crowing rights either. Singh's claim to fame has been the nuclear deal with the US, which made India part of mainstream international nuclear commerce, that too without signing the non-proliferation treaty. Now, by claiming that Pokhran II was imperfect, Santhanam is implicitly calling for additional nuclear tests. The Indo-US nuclear agreement comes with the rider that another nuclear test would lead to its abrogation.

No wonder then, that the DRDO scientist's claim has ruffled all feathers.Brajesh Mishra recalled that Rajagopalan Chidambaram, who was heading the test programme in 1998, had said that the team had conducted only five instead of six tests because they managed to obtain all the requisite data and information.

This is why the Vajpayee government declared a voluntary moratorium on further tests, which has been upheld by the UPA regime as well.
Mishra added that perhaps Santhanam has put forth this view because he does not want India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Many in the Indian scientific establishment are against India giving up the option of further tests and Santhanam's claims will strengthen the hands of all those wanting more tests to perfect the hydrogen bomb.

Analyst Praful Bidwai, who follows the nuclear debate closely, admits that the scientist has a point. "It is clear from a body of work done by independent analysts both here and abroad that India's thermonuclear test fizzled out. Our fission bombs are fine.

The right lesson to learn from this is that the 100 or more fission bombs that India has is enough for a credible minimum deterrent that has been the mantra of both the NDA and Congress government," he said
. 8)


In the next two to three years, India will be under tremendous pressure to sign on the dotted line. Once the CTBT is ratified in the US Congress, in all likelihood next year, every other country will follow suit. India, which maintains that it will not come on board, is unlikely to go against world opinion.

The man at the centre of the controversy, Santhanam remained unfazed. He told Dainik Bhaskar: "It's a closing of the ranks. They want to establish that the claims made in 1998 were true."


QUOTE: It has been established by the project team that the design yield of the thermo-nuclear test has been obtained
--Former president APJ Abdul Kalam

QUOTE: I hold on to my doubts. I do not know exactly how deep the hole (for test) was. It's better that we test again and in deeper holes.
-Former Atomic Energy commission chairman PK Iyengar




One way of seeing is the officials are trying to maintain deterrence credibility while KS and his coterie wants to retain the option to test. And the sub-text is the GOI is facing pressure to sign up to the CTBT. And hence the classified seminar and its leakage.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby Arun_S » 28 Aug 2009 05:01

ramana wrote:from Telegraph, 8/28/09

Pokhran stirs N-debate
OUR BUREAU
New Delhi, Aug. 27: Fresh concerns articulated by a former defence research official about the performance of India’s hydrogen bomb tested 11 years ago have bolstered long-simmering arguments that India should keep open its nuclear weapons testing option, analysts said.

K. Santhanam, who was involved in the nuclear weapons tests in Pokhran on May 11 and May 13, 1998, said earlier this week that the thermonuclear device — a hydrogen bomb — tested on May 11 had not delivered its desired yield. In two sets of tests, India had exploded five weapons — a 15-kiloton fission bomb, three sub-kiloton fission bombs, and a 45-kiloton hydrogen bomb.

... . . . . Defence analysts said Santhanam appeared to be airing views that he had been articulating for long in closed circles. In an informal chat, he had once described the thermonuclear test as a “bum tickle”.

This assessment of the thermonuclear weapons test is shared by several former scientists from India’s nuclear establishment, said Bharat Karnad, a strategic affairs analyst at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.

Interestingly in my earlier meetings with Shri Santhanam, I have also heard similar statements, but he wanted those statement to be non-attributable. But I used that as a hypothesis (a pointer) to dig truth using other sources of data and my own investigation and analysis, and when I arrived at it, I was shocked.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist

Postby negi » 28 Aug 2009 05:02

One way of seeing is the officials are trying to maintain deterrence credibility while KS and his coterie wants to retain the option to test. And the sub-text is the GOI is facing pressure to sign up to the CTBT. And hence the classified seminar and its leakage.


Yep thats my take away from this debate; thanks gurujano...time to undergo de-stress therapy in Nukkadwa and BENIS . :mrgreen:


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