Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Gerard
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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Gerard » 27 Sep 2009 18:07

if say the choice is between loosing Arunachal or getting Delhi Nuked.


Why could China accept destruction of most of Shanghai for Arunachal?

The ability of China to cause 10 times more destruction does not imply the readiness to accept ten times less destruction.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ShauryaT » 27 Sep 2009 18:10

Gerard wrote:
if say the choice is between loosing Arunachal or getting Delhi Nuked.


Why could China accept destruction of most of Shanghai for Arunachal?

The ability of China to cause 10 times more destruction does not imply the readiness to accept ten times less destruction.
You can argue to no end on this basis. Exactly my point, based on rationality, a risk of nuclear war is inherently madness. However, humans are known to be prone to this disease. Hence best to match capabilities.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 27 Sep 2009 18:54

ShauryaT wrote:The arguments are there, but some people will get convinced only when they actually experience it :x



No Shaurya - the question was why thermonuclear if deterrence can be achieved by non TN warheads.

Of course there is some conditionality here. If India could get away with testing - I am sure the option of testing would be exercised. So there is fear of testing.

People have asked - why is there fear of testing? At least three points have to be countered in reply to why India might be afraid of testing

1) The cost of sanctions and international censure are currently thought to be greater than the risk of nuclear war - especially now that India already has a fission based deterrent

2) India testing would set and example to every nation that wants to test - especially if India got away lightly- and this would be in contravention of India's "principled stand" that India has maintained for decades

3) When India already has proven fission based capability to make over one hundred weapons. what is the need for risking a lot of economic goodies for upgrading that fission based deterrent to a thermonuclear deterrent?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sivab » 27 Sep 2009 19:36

shiv wrote:I will repost my list and highlight the two data that came from this forum in red with a clarification Links for others except PKI statements for which the links are knwon to me and have already been posted on this forum

*summary of the information so far*
    A 45 kt device was lowered into one of the shafts at Pokhran (link)
    That shaft remained undamaged (Link)
    The A Frame and winch remained intact (Link)
    There was no crater (Link)
    There was a 25 meter crater(Link)
    The yield of the fission device was 25kt and not 15 kt as claimed by RC -claim by Arun_S in red based on alleged email from Santhanam
    The yield of the thermonuclear device not more than 60% of its designed yield.(link)
    The thermonuclear device yielded 25kt+2kt fusion (Link)
    There was a 20-25 kt yield in the TN test (Link)
    One report speaks of weaponization 15 kt fusion devices (link)
    Calculations by experts on here show that 17 kt was the yield of S1 -claim by Arun_S
    PK Iyengar thought the yield was 40kt
    He said maybe 10% fusion burn
    He also mentioned that 400 grams of LiD had been consumed


Didn't see this in your list

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?262027

With respect to the fission bomb, which gave more than 20 KT for sure, the DRDO’s instruments worked perfectly.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Satya_anveshi » 27 Sep 2009 19:41

at this rate....we should also go thru..."why does India need nuclear bums anyway?"

It is safest to assume that if a nation can be deterred to avoid testing lest sanctions can be applied or just log kya kahenge after we see total destruction, then that nation cannot hope to retaliate using nukes.

For example: If Pak nukes India, then a case can/will be made saying how can India stoop to the level of Pak and kill hundreds of thousands of people. Lets bring international pressure, let's try to bring the same damage by other means and yet not be called the users of nuke power on a smaller nation with less military power than India.

It is all downhill only.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby NRao » 27 Sep 2009 19:41

This is really cool, a lot more people posting.

vaman wrote:I don't see any politics in the issue


While that is true, the issue can be politicized?

I think "politics" is a very valid component of strategic deterrence, but a) the current discussion does go beyond that - at least for the time being, and b) at some point in time, when push really comes to shove, they all have to unite behind some common policy WRT "deterrence". Even the lost and tired CPI.

Raj Malhotra wrote:This whole thing is orchesterated by MMS + NSA to rip off BJP chaddi and tell USA to get off!


Understand the BJP part, what is tell USA to get off"?

I add - S1 was meant to 1000kt and was a fizzile.


Such a large test device would have produced a much, much larger crater than the one Santhanam claimed @ 72 meter (and latest 70 meters - close enough).

Gagan wrote:If India has mastered the TN, with computer simulations shouldn't it be possible to extrapolate and scale?


Needs proofing - a test - is the counter argument.

Dipak wrote:S1 - (TN) successful -- Not weaponized -- Why continue story, just weaponize and be done with it!

But just harping on 'capability' for 11 years but not weaponizing and inducting formally, is itself proof enough that TN test was not successful. Repeated claims of success and capability do not cut it.


weaponization should be under the deterrence doctrine team, nothing to do with RC/BARC/DRDO.

Based on what B Karnad has published/email, it seems that RC has assured them that India can weaponize a TN. Which means that the team that is busy with deterrence has accepted his assurances (not asked for tests) or asked for tests and teh political wing has either declined the offer or postponed it.

RC cannot force the issue of deploying a TN.

What Santhanam is saying is that NEEDS a TN - as a weapon - to deter China (in specific). Santhanam is playing the cheif os scicom and the chief of deterrence team (which he may be qualified to do - as he seems to be both a scicom + RAW). And since his contention is TN does not exist, he wants to start from there. IF S1 had succeeded he would have forced the issue of making it a weapon and at some time mating it with a viable missile (not that in his last article he brings this (TN + missile) point up too).

If the reason given is TN not needed for deterrent, well what was the need in the first place to conduct a TN test then?


To build a capability.

ShauryaT wrote:His take on how an entire organization with men who have sacrificed other lucrative careers for the nation, could be lying for all these years?


That is not the end of that story. RC seems to managed to fool pretty much everyone else too!!! The US, all members of the NSG.

THAT is true minimum credible deterrence. ROI is really high!!

Besides that all these man-hours for fibbing? Wow. Some BUNCH of people in the GoI had to be in on this too. Possible.

IMHO, the S1 was not a "dud". At worst it provided some data, at best it provided enough data to correct the design, better still it achieved what it was set to do.

kit wrote:India needs thermonuclear weapons because of its smaller stockpile and lesser number of delivery systems vs its principal potential aggressor(s)


May be. I happen to think otherwise. Pakistan is a international problem with deep roots in India. IMHO, the more Pakistan claims and wiggles to the high table, the more other nations have to take notice of it. I believe that Pakistan will kill itself - slowly. On China, I am not worried because China - as she gets bigger in every way - will stand to lose so much that India's smaller nukes will be enough of a threat to her. So, if India calculated in 1990 that dropping a 20 Kt on X city would cause X unit of pain, in another 10 years the same 20 Kt should (IMHO) cause 5X units of pain. (I am not sure if anyone has read some articles in FT on China. One of the things China is very carefully re-cultivating is her "culture" - yes, they have placed value on that too, outside of economic, military, etc. IF that is true, then India can be a greater threat even with her much, much smaller arsenal.)

India is scared of testing again due to reasons imagined or otherwise.


I would think she is less concerned today than 10 years ago, and, India will be even further less concerned IF the country grows (not JUST the economy). But, perhaps the need to test may also die slowly IF others see nukes as a problem?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby kittoo » 27 Sep 2009 20:11

Till when Gurus here expect that our Anti Missile Defence system will be ready and serving major cities? Test trails of Phase 2 are expected in 2011, so can we expect them working till 2017?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Gagan » 27 Sep 2009 20:17

There are two issues here, and we have discussed only one.
1. The status of the Pokharan -2 tests. The success or failure.
2. The current status of India's capabilities. Actual weaponized and deployed weapons as well as rectified designs, if any, of TN / FBF , and further modernized Fission warheads.
Whatever the status of Pok-2 was, if BARC has rectified its TN if any rectification was needed, and is ready to be weaponized, a proofing might be necessary.

The SFC might have based its current deterrent on proven weapons of the 25Kt Fission type, and perhaps it is they who would have refused to accept unproven TN if BARC had tried to deliver them.

Now with the Arihant in the water, there is a need to have a proven TN atop the K-15 and the A-3SL / K-xx in the future, because a 25 Kt is felt to be inadequate.

As regards Sanjay's query as to what are the Agnis carrying, is it possible that the SFC has hedged its bets on having two warheads in a tandem fashion comprising a proven 25Kt fission and a larger yield but unproven warhead.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ShauryaT » 27 Sep 2009 20:43

shiv wrote:No Shaurya - the question was why thermonuclear if deterrence can be achieved by non TN warheads.
It is a flawed assumption that deterrence can be achieved with inferior weapons against an enemy state that outclasses us in terms of quantity and quality. One is only left to plead a higher level of arguments based on rationality. Making this rational argument becomes principled, only if you have a proven and demonstrated capability but reeks of weakness, if there is none or if there is doubt.

People have asked - why is there fear of testing? At least three points have to be countered in reply to why India might be afraid of testing

1) The cost of sanctions and international censure are currently thought to be greater than the risk of nuclear war - especially now that India already has a fission based deterrent
India needs a TN based deterrent today based on the capabilities of its likely opponents. The world made a deal with India accepting her nuclear weapons, within 10 years of our tests. I believe, that the world cannot afford to keep India isolated or even sanctioned in parts and hence, if India plays a half smart game then a set of tests to prove its TN deterrence capabilities, in exchange for tangible benefits to the 3/4 letter treaties that the world seeks to pursue, can be made.
2) India testing would set and example to every nation that wants to test - especially if India got away lightly- and this would be in contravention of India's "principled stand" that India has maintained for decades
A stand which was rooted in hypocrisy, at least the way the world powers see them. It is one thing to maintain a principled stand, once you have a demonstrated power, that has been let go off but reeks of hypocrisy, when you say one thing for years and maybe even believe it but behave exactly like the others in the end. You can argue that we were forced to but then let us not talk about being "principled" et al, for what are these principles worth if they can be bent on demand?

Also, on being an example et al, if one looks closely much of this world, where a nuclear danger is present, the threatened party has been able to counter such a threat, if not through their own weapons then through allies and treaties. Where friends have not helped they have resorted to stealing. So, all the world has to do is look in the mirror and ask, what have they themselves done, notwithstanding the official status of only five states as the legal NWS. I will not go into the technical aspects of not being part of the NPT et al. It is only our national strength and resolve that will allow us to overcome these hurdles.

3) When India already has proven fission based capability to make over one hundred weapons. what is the need for risking a lot of economic goodies for upgrading that fission based deterrent to a thermonuclear deterrent?
[/quote] It were these very same arguments that were made in 1998, against testing by RC and K Subrahamanyam. In the end, they were proven wrong and ended up supporting the tests. The risk that economic goodies would be at risk is there, but IMO it is exaggerated. Deft management can minimize it. A TN weapon is an urgent security need, to deter a determined and desperate set of opponents. These weapons take time to get operational. When a certain set of events happen and India realizes that she needs these weapons to be part of her deterrence strategy, it becomes too much of a high risk to allow for a failure at that point of time. Having a TN weapon arsenal is the difference that will be part of any war gaming scenario. It will be clear in that scenario that we do not have the strength to retaliate, especially with an NFU and a minimum oriented doctrine and a dependence on the good offices of a "rational" enemy.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby John Snow » 27 Sep 2009 20:51

Shivji is going soviet ishstyle of numbers against quality.
NFU and halfbaked bum are mutually contradictory.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby shiv » 27 Sep 2009 21:34

John Snow wrote:Shivji is going soviet ishstyle of numbers against quality.
NFU and halfbaked bum are mutually contradictory.



No Snowgaru. Soviet or not Soviet the "half baked bum" is rhetoric.

Actually the half baked bum is 20 kt but it works.

TN is what is claimed is not working.

Half baked bum or not the Chinese desire to dominate the world is currently dependent on its remaining intact and not being bombed by half baked or full baked bum. If China can be deterred by half baked bum why not? Why waste time and effort on full baked bum which will not deter China any more but will pull us down if we try to bake our bums more?

Like buying ticket to Mysore from Channapatna. If you can get the ticket for Rs 50 why try and pay Rs 100 imagining that the journey will be "more sure". Rs 50 is doing the job no?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Arun_S » 27 Sep 2009 22:03

Late Air Chief Marshal SK Mehra, recounted to me almost an identical description of what happened as stated below. BTW I had quoted that on BRF about 6 years ago.

Babu Bihari wrote:Chidambaram’s dud blows up strategic deterrent

... . . .
The point is: The studied refusal to take on board valid scientific criticism and analysis will surely lead to more idiosyncratic functioning of the kind that Chidambaram represents. Given the fact that Chidambaram has systematically and deliberately refused to sit with Iyengar and clear the giant nuclear mushroom-sized clouds over the efficacy of the device, his throwaway line deserves to be discussed in some detail.
Iyengar told this reporter that so beset was he by doubts of the efficacy of the thermonuclear device that was tested on May 11, 1998 that he dashed off a paper with his arguments on why he thought the device underperformed to then National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra who promised to take it up with Chidambaram and arrange a meeting where it could be sorted out. Subsequently, there was no response from the National Security Adviser. When Iyengar ran into Mishra quite by chance at an event both were attending, Iyengar asked Mishra what the delay was about. Mishra responded, “He (Chidambaram) doesn’t want to meet you. The chemistry (between you two) seems to be wrong.” “What has chemistry got to do with this?” asked Iyengar, and made the point that, “These are technical issues and personal chemistry doesn’t come into it.” Mishra responded: “He (Chidambaram) doesn’t want to meet you.” There the matter rested for some time, and later efforts to broker such a meeting involving Raja Rammana as an intermediary also bore no fruit.


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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby NRao » 27 Sep 2009 22:06

Half baked bum or not the Chinese desire to dominate the world is currently dependent on its remaining intact and not being bombed by half baked or full baked bum. If China can be deterred by half baked bum why not? Why waste time and effort on full baked bum which will not deter China any more but will pull us down if we try to bake our bums more?


Add 123, NSG approval, no CTBT, no NPT.

I am not sure if India has a TN or not, but I am confident that there are plenty of experts out there that know that India has a deterrence. 10 Kt, 15 Kt, 20 Kt or 25 Kt, FBF to 80 Kt. Whatever. Combined these small phatakas have proved to be deterrents.

Deterrents are nearly binary - you either have them or you do not. What is an "inferior" or for that matter a "superior" deterrent? The US is shi**ing in her pants with the thought of a dirty bomb. There is talk of Pakistan blackmailing the US just based on this - what not even a 1 Kt device, weaponized in a briefcase? I do not think people are aware of the investmentS made to prevent this smaller than smaller deterrent from appearing in the US mainland.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ShauryaT » 27 Sep 2009 22:07

NRao wrote:weaponization should be under the deterrence doctrine team, nothing to do with RC/BARC/DRDO.
Can you point to a study of Indian deterrence postures, which accounts for our likely needs and capabilities, including delivery arms and potential targets and scenarios, which also factors the same for our opponents and say, yes this is what approximates to the most likely Indian deterrence capability.

The few coherent ones, I have read by Indian Admirals and Generals and Analysts, seem like they are talking of some place in planet Mars for they do not approximate to what India seems to have.

It would be nice for BARC/DRDO to act as vendors to a set of customers and respond to customer requirements, but I fear that largely, we have a case, where the vendor has promised a certain set of products and the middleman does not allow the customer to get too close to the vendor.


May be. I happen to think otherwise. Pakistan is a international problem with deep roots in India. IMHO, the more Pakistan claims and wiggles to the high table, the more other nations have to take notice of it. I believe that Pakistan will kill itself - slowly.
Lookup the fundamental facts on TSP. TSP is a cancer for India. This cancer has to be treated aggressively. Leaving it for self cure is asking for peril for our own body. While, we were sleeping at the wheels, TSP has upgraded its weapons arsenal, with likely plutonium based weapons. Who knows, they may be working on a TN design too.


On China, I am not worried because Chia - as she gets bigger in every way - will stand to lose so much that India's smaller nukes will be enough of a threat to her. So, if India calculated in 1990 that dropping a 20 Kt on X city would cause X unit of pain, in another 10 years the same 20 Kt should (IMHO) cause 5X units of pain. (I am not sure if anyone has read some articles in FT on China. One of the things China is very carefully re-cultivating is her "culture" - yes, they have placed value on that too, outside of economic, military, etc. IF that is true, then India can be a greater threat even with her much, much smaller arsenal.)
Again, the rationality theory. Are you willing to bank on this for India's security. Even if true, would you rather not have equal or better capability as your opponents?
I would think she is less concerned today than 10 years ago, and, India will be even further less concerned IF the country grows (not JUST the economy). But, perhaps the need to test may also die slowly IF others see nukes as a problem?
They do - for others.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Amber G. » 27 Sep 2009 22:17

Saw in another blog:

A google video (2008) Interview) withe the "father of India's cold fusion" : PKI.
(PKI's website has a few references to cold fusion)

It is rather long (1 hr+) but he talks about " his history with cold fusion, fission and the geopolitical aspects of nuclear energy"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6297541355654871093#

(He also talks about mega-gauss-bombs etc..)

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Arun_S » 27 Sep 2009 22:19

shiv wrote:Calculations by experts on here show that 17 kt was the yield of S1 -claim by Arun_S[/list]


Please substantiate when and where did I claimed that, for you to attribute the above falsity to me?

I know you are very meticulous, deliberate and careful in what you post.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ramana » 27 Sep 2009 22:23

One confusion is to project ones thoughts as that of challengers and get into a a self defeating posture. The whole problem is an inversion problem due to wrong identification. K Subramanyam garu says India should take lessons from Cold War and that cannot be denied. The Cold War was a extential struggle between two Western ideologies between US and SU. KSgaru says that despite the qualitative and quantitative advantages, US was deterred from attacking the SU as they could not be sure that some and even one SU warhead survived and got used. The SU on the otherhand thought that history was on its side and why risk a general nuke war that could jepoardize it. Besides they already had lost quite a few millions in WWII and were suffering demographically. This did not prevent the nuclearization of UK, France and PRC the former two were aligned with US against the SU and the latter was also in similar fashion but hedging against the US.

KS garu thinks that taking the Cold War analogy, that India is like US and PRC-TSP are like SU. This is an inverse logic as not only the TSP-PRC against India, but the US is also indirectly with them through its NPT agenda targetting India while ignoring the PRC-TSP conjointed spread of nuke weapons and technology. Its this joint alliance with tacit support from US that India is facing. And to break the log jam is the strategic challenge for India.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby NRao » 27 Sep 2009 22:25

Again, the rationality theory. Are you willing to bank on this for India's security. Even if true, would you rather not have equal or better capability as your opponents?


I would have just enough to deter. However, this cannot translate into because China has 5 MT, I need to have 5 or more MT. I could have just 0.5 MT and still deter. I just NEED to have just about the right number/mix of nukes to prevent China from behaving in a certain way. That is it. the question with "deterrence" is what do I need to have to prevent something. Prevention is the key.

What you are talking of is IF a nuclear war starts. Yes, then with your scenario India will get creamed - glass parking lot, etc. But then your deterrence clearly failed. And, may be instead of 0.5 Mt, India should have had 0.6 Mt.

In conventional warfare I would love to have a ton more. Yes, If china has an AF with 600 ACs, then I would prefer and strive to have 800 - whatever the number. Some combo of quality and quantity to be better than them.

Superiority is needed in a conventional war, where people are fighting at a very granular level and can make a difference. At a nuclear level you want to prevent a superior force from doing something you do not want them to do. And, you will need just this much - because it is not granular.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Arun_S » 27 Sep 2009 22:27

Gagan wrote:Two things we must remember:
1. The people who are saying that the TN fizzled are from a varied background. They are former nuclear scientists, even BARC heads, RAW men from DRDO, we even had the geologist from the seismic monitoring station chipping in with the yield measured being less than what was claimed. There are also the scientists who did the post shot analysis.

On the other side we have just RC and AK repeating much the same arguments as in that press conference after the 98 tests. BM seems to be the black goose here whose handling of the issue has caused so much heartburn.

To the ordinary reader, the finger of suspicion points to the tests being less than what is being claimed to be, even a failure.

2. What is so special about the 200 or 300KT figure that is being bandied about wrt the TN test? If India has mastered the TN, with computer simulations shouldn't it be possible to extrapolate and scale?
I hope that the 200 KT is not scalability of the kind where the core remains essentially the same and only the tertiary changes.

Here the issue is that the TN has not been mastered, which is more basic.

Now, If the primary of the TN was a FBF, with boosting gas in the core, wouldn't it also give out much the same readings of fusion as the Secondary? Now there is I believe obfuscation (Ashwathaama haati maara gaya) going on when RC says that post shot radiochem analysis found traces of Na and Mn. How do we know this was LiD undergoing fusion from the secondary, and not boosting gas from the FBF primary.

So here there is another cover that the bomb design has. Just as S1 + S2 + S3 were tested simultaneously to mask each others seismic signals, the TN had an FBF primary to 'mask' the fusion of the secondary.

Layers within layers.

You are on the dot.

RC conveniently forgot to consider such trivial aspect of the 1990 vintage 'S1' TN design, .
The FBF primary was no ordinary FBF its fusion yield was ~15-20%, That Na22 and Mn54 signature on its own is meaningless proof of success of Fusion stage.

-------Corrected typo on Manganese symbol ------

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby geeth » 27 Sep 2009 22:29

>>>But just harping on 'capability' for 11 years but not weaponizing and inducting formally, is itself proof enough that TN test was not successful. Repeated claims of success and capability do not cut it.

Dipak,

It can be interpreted in many different ways..for eg.,

1. Assume that TN was a success.

(A) BARC tells we can now make a bum of 200 KT capability. But SFC says : look, you have tested a 45 KT weapon, so don't talk of 200 KT. If you give a 200 KT weapon, then test it and give it.

(B) BARC tells we have tested 45 KT TN device and here is the weaponised TN of 45 KT. SFC says no thank you. Because, what you have tested is a devise and not a weapon. We would prefer the less sophisticated plane vanilla bum of simple fission (or FBF) for that yield - anyway we don't get any advantage on weight for that range of yield. So why go for a sophisticated TN weapon?

(C) BARC tells 45 KT TN device tested is a complete success and we are more than 100% confident about its weaponised form. Though the devise tested was of 'proof of concept' type, we have attached all possible bomb dellivery mechanism to it, and hence it is more or lless in a weaponised state onlee. The scalability is beyond doubt because we have only changed the llead tamper with a thorium / uranium tamper..rest of the things materially and dimensionally are exactly as tested and hence : "Oh hoo darling, pleeeease belive me" to SFC.
SFC, after considerable courtship accepts the argument as well as the 200 KT TN weapon and mounts on the newest mijjile. Why this is possible? because, even Sanjay, who said it is doubtful says it is his doubt and not so sure.

(D) BARC continues its harping about its cappability but, even after 11 years not able to convince the SFC to accept TN in a weaponised form. So RC refuses to resign and threatens to do a Santanam on MMS - MMS budges and allows him to continue till an opportune moment arrives (either to test or chuck out MMS or both)

I can continue endlessly....there is no end to the debate at all.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Arun_S » 27 Sep 2009 22:29

Gerard wrote:
Austin wrote:RC itself has not been consistent with what he said about TN test , immediately after POK 2 he claimed that the device can scale up to 300 kT ( ~ 45 - 300 kT ).



No. The 300kt figure comes from BR web pages.

RC said 200kt. That has not changed.


Really !

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/India/IndiaShakti.html

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Gerard » 27 Sep 2009 22:43




My mistake.
I didn't realize that was the original source for the 300kt claim.

I assumed the figure came from here

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/MISSILES/ ... %20AGNI-II
Shakti-I test at Pokharan-II (PoK-II)
• Boosted fission primary of ~20KT
• Plutonium based boosted primary stage. Li-D secondary
• Reportedly dial-a-yield weapon (0.3/10/250 Kt)

The primary warhead for the Agni family would be a 200-300 Kt fusion weapon based on the Shakti-1 (Pokhran-II) test in 1998. The weapons yield is adjustable from 45-300Kt by changing the amount and quality of tertiary fuel.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby geeth » 27 Sep 2009 22:55

>>>You are on the dot.
>>>RC conveniently forgot to consider such trivial aspect of the 1990 vintage 'S1' TN design, .
The FBF primary was no ordinary FBF its fusion yield was ~15-20%, That Na22 and Mg54 signature on its own is meaningless proof of success of Fusion stage.

One of the posters had mentioned that KS never talked about FBF at all...Did you comment on that? if not what is your take..I mean about the FBF?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ramana » 27 Sep 2009 22:57

A lot of people are falling for rhetoric that its BRF that is assigning the yields etc when its from official sources. And that leads to Homeric positions.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby geeth » 27 Sep 2009 22:58

>>>My mistake.
>>>I didn't realize that was the original source for the 300kt claim.


Here is a mention about 200 KT in the same link..now what is really, "Really!"
The Shakti Test Devices
Identifier Description
Shakti I Two stage thermonuclear device with fusion boosted primary, intended for missile warhead; test design yield 45 kt, with a 200 kt deployed yield

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby geeth » 27 Sep 2009 23:03

>>>A lot of people are falling for rhetoric that its BRF that is assigning the yields etc when its from official sources. And that leads to Homeric positions.

Ramana,

But how can you attribute what FAS says to RC? If you are nitpicking and saying it is not BRF but FAS which had mentioned about 300 KT, then that is not crux of the issue. The issue is that RC is as inconsistent as KS. For that, a quote from FAS (which also mentioned 200 KT in the same article) doesn't help. If BR had taken that figure from FAS, then this inconsistency should have also been looked into.
Last edited by geeth on 27 Sep 2009 23:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby NRao » 27 Sep 2009 23:05

On China, I am not worried because Chia - as she gets bigger in every way - will stand to lose so much that India's smaller nukes will be enough of a threat to her. So, if India calculated in 1990 that dropping a 20 Kt on X city would cause X unit of pain, in another 10 years the same 20 Kt should (IMHO) cause 5X units of pain. (I am not sure if anyone has read some articles in FT on China. One of the things China is very carefully re-cultivating is her "culture" - yes, they have placed value on that too, outside of economic, military, etc. IF that is true, then India can be a greater threat even with her much, much smaller arsenal.)

Again, the rationality theory. Are you willing to bank on this for India's security. Even if true, would you rather not have equal or better capability as your opponents?


Deterrence covers an aspect of security. It does not and cannot provide total security.

On "equal or better capability as our opponent" - yes, in the conventional area.

In the area of deterrence I need not have equal or better nukes - so, it depends in the strategic area.

However, what I am claiming is that with the rise of China - the higher she rises, the less deterrents India needs, only because the cost/risk/pain (with the same number of Indian nukes) would only increase for China. So, IF as an example I were to explode a nuke of 10 Kt over Hong Kong today and the cost is say $100 billion, is another 10-20 years that "cost" - by the very same nuke - would be $500 billion. Now if China tanks, then yes, it could become an issue and THEN I think India would need more and better nukes.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby NRao » 27 Sep 2009 23:13

geeth wrote:>>>A lot of people are falling for rhetoric that its BRF that is assigning the yields etc when its from official sources. And that leads to Homeric positions.

Ramana,

But how can you attribute what FAS says to RC? If you are nitpicking and saying it is not BRF but FAS which had mentioned about 300 KT, then that is not crux of the issue. The issue is that RC is as inconsistent as KS. For that, a quote from FAS (which also mentioned 200 KT in the same article) doesn't help. If BR had taken that figure from FAS, then this inconsistency should have also been looked into.


I did a google search and did not find one example where RC and 300 appeared on a page: exceptions FAS, BR and Keypub. None of these are attributable to RC though.

The search will continue.
Last edited by NRao on 27 Sep 2009 23:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sivab » 27 Sep 2009 23:26

Arun_S wrote:RC conveniently forgot to consider such trivial aspect of the 1990 vintage 'S1' TN design, .
The FBF primary was no ordinary FBF its fusion yield was ~15-20%, That Na22 and Mg54 signature on its own is meaningless proof of success of Fusion stage.


Can you post the source for the bolded part please.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby SaiK » 27 Sep 2009 23:54

But..but.. don't you all agree that SFC is totally dependent on home grown solution to whatever requirements they may have for TNs or Neutrons. Some(or sum) of the posts here gives a feeling that they have more choice.

Once SFC gives requirements (hopefully derived out of capability shown by BARC).. one could derive where things stand. Again, the scope is limited to public discussion and the capability of BARC to test without the world knowing it having been done.

BARC has no limits except babooze funding, to come up with a weapon for SFC. The best what they can give SFC, will be automatically accepted by SFC. That's all they will get.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby dipak » 28 Sep 2009 02:16

India deterrent has been designed keeping in view two potential and immediate adversaries.
Interesting arguments are floating around regarding each of them:

1. China -- Its so big and developed, that it stands to loose too much, forget TN, even ~20kt Fission weapon sufficient deterrent.

2. Pakistan -- Its so small and undeveloped, really no worry for India, forget TN, even ~20kt Fission weapon sufficient deterrent.

Well, our deterrence looks first Universal Deterrent of its kind in the world.
Seems, we have reached a state of Nuclear-Nirvana.
Just show us any country, we have our deterrent ready.
It makes it really simple, regardless of economically developed or un(der)developed nation as adversary - our deterrence weapon remains same.

Is there any adversary which India should worry and think about TN ?
If not, why test TN and build capability at all?
If this was the case, was this not clear to our strategic thinkers before May 1998?

Looks like, its true that "deterrence ke liye kuchh bhi chalega"

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby NRao » 28 Sep 2009 03:16

dipak wrote:1. China -- Its so big and developed, that it stands to loose too much, forget TN, even ~20kt Fission weapon sufficient deterrent.

2. Pakistan -- Its so small and undeveloped, really no worry for India, forget TN, even ~20kt Fission weapon sufficient deterrent.


Unless you are trying to confuse both the Chinese and Pakistanis, you need to note that no one said "forget TN". THAT conclusion is totally wrong.

Is there any adversary which India should worry and think about TN ?
If not, why test TN and build capability at all?
If this was the case, was this not clear to our strategic thinkers before May 1998?


There has been a reset in thinking among some strategists. The missiles have become so accurate that they argue that a bunch of mush smaller N-weapon will suffice (look up MRV (NOT MIRV) in wiki).

The argument for TN seems to be that it is far more better in terms of ROI. Besides that I have not seen much in my surfing.

However, I think/feel/suggest that a LOT of articles (associated with Indian nuclear devices AND missiles) need to be re-written. Withdrawing them first.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Arun_S » 28 Sep 2009 04:43

geeth wrote:>>>A lot of people are falling for rhetoric that its BRF that is assigning the yields etc when its from official sources. And that leads to Homeric positions.

Ramana,

But how can you attribute what FAS says to RC? If you are nitpicking and saying it is not BRF but FAS which had mentioned about 300 KT, then that is not crux of the issue. The issue is that RC is as inconsistent as KS. For that, a quote from FAS (which also mentioned 200 KT in the same article) doesn't help. If BR had taken that figure from FAS, then this inconsistency should have also been looked into.

Thats why I hedged between RC's 200 kt and the 300 kt on FAS.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Gerard » 28 Sep 2009 04:45

And the dial-a-yield claim?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Arun_S » 28 Sep 2009 04:48

sivab wrote:
Arun_S wrote:RC conveniently forgot to consider such trivial aspect of the 1990 vintage 'S1' TN design, .
The FBF primary was no ordinary FBF its fusion yield was ~15-20%, That Na22 and Mg54 signature on its own is meaningless proof of success of Fusion stage.


Can you post the source for the bolded part please.


Sorry, I should have stated it COULD have been an FBF that gives 15-20% fusion yield.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boosted_fission_weapon

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Arun_S » 28 Sep 2009 05:09

Looks like other shoe will fall off in ~ 3 weeks.

Figures will not lie
Ajai Shukla / New Delhi September 28, 2009, 0:43 IST

His denunciation of India’s thermonuclear test on May 11, 1998 (Shakti-I), has generated a furious debate over whether India’s nuclear deterrent is actually credible. But now, his salvoes fired, K Santhanam sits alone in his South Delhi home, sipping Tajik vodka and watching Cartoon Network playing on the TV. He calls this refuge, “the calm in the eye of the storm”.

Santhanam is a slight, grey-haired figure with a puckish sense of humour. His conversation is peppered with repartee and jokes that range from off-colour ‘Santa Singh, Banta Singh’ cracks to sophisticated plays on the English language.

But for now, Santhanam has taken a three-week vow of public silence, to allow the government to appoint a panel of experts to examine the data from Shakti-I. Not a kangaroo court consisting of bureaucrats, he insists, but a blue-ribbon panel of genuine scientists, studying factual data from the tests.

“Liars will figure”, Santhanam twinkles, “but figures will not lie.”

This rumpus is uncharacteristic rebellion from a man who describes himself as “the ultimate insider”.

“I didn’t intend to trigger such a controversy,” Santhanam explains. “But once it began, I decided not to back down. I stuck to the ethics of my profession.”

His career story is the stuff of Kollywood. Born in Madras, and schooled in Tamil, Santhanam got a scholarship to Loyola College, Madras, moving on to a physics honours degree from that city’s prestigious Presidency College. In 1958, he joined the Atomic Energy Establishment, which meant another year at their in-house training school in Trombay.

Scientists traditionally dismiss revolts from renegades of their own community by blackening their credentials. It is difficult to do that to Santhanam after his 15 years at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, where he specialised in radiation hazard control and evaluating nuclear accidents.

Between 1961 and 1963, Santhanam went to the US, under the Atoms for Peace programme, studying nuclear physics at the Arbonne National Laboratory in Lamont, Illinois. A conventional nuclear scientist would have stuck to fission and fusion formulae. Santhanam claims he also mastered cocktails, working part-time as a bartender “to understand the American people”.

He certainly imbibed a healthy respect for the US, which he describes as the 900-pound gorilla in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Last year, an unambiguously pro-establishment Santhanam supported the Indo-US nuclear deal.

In 1973, Santhanam’s unconventional streak took him in a dramatically new direction: He became a nuclear spook!

He describes being called in by R N Kao, the legendary founder of the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), to examine an Indian strategic nightmare: The suspected nuclear nexus between China and Pakistan. Over the next 11 years, says Santhanam, “I unmasked the cooperation between China and Pakistan, providing a comprehensive analysis of A Q Khan’s enrichment programme and his clandestine procurement.”

In 1986, Santhanam joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), where his assignments were apparently related to simulation, war-gaming, and software engineering. But, because of his old relationship with the BARC’s bomb-makers, Santhanam was covertly back-ending India’s nuclear programme. From his DRDO perch, he interacted with the PMO and liaised with the armed forces to prepare the Pokhran test sites for the 1998 tests. His BARC background and his experience with RAW made him perfect for the job.

But that same background, combined with his individualism, led him to question the thermonuclear test when measurements appeared to show it as less earthshaking than predicted. The weight of the establishment has come down on him, but Santhanam is at the battlements.

“(National Security Advisor) Mike Narayanan, who is trying to judge me, has been a cop and a spook all his life. He is totally ignorant about science and technology,” says Santhanam dismissively.

Santhanam’s deepest apprehension is that the global non-proliferation lobby will succeed in “freezing India on the nuclear curve”, preventing fission bomb know-how from being developed into fusion weapon capability.

“An arsenal based on fission weapons is not enough to deter China”, says Santhanam, all humour gone from his face. “A couple of 20-kiloton bombs over Beijing are never, never, never going to bring China to its knees.”

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Babu Bihari » 28 Sep 2009 05:14

Satya_anveshi wrote:at this rate....we should also go thru..."why does India need nuclear bums anyway?"

It is safest to assume that if a nation can be deterred to avoid testing lest sanctions can be applied or just log kya kahenge after we see total destruction, then that nation cannot hope to retaliate using nukes.

For example: If Pak nukes India, then a case can/will be made saying how can India stoop to the level of Pak and kill hundreds of thousands of people. Lets bring international pressure, let's try to bring the same damage by other means and yet not be called the users of nuke power on a smaller nation with less military power than India.

It is all downhill only.


i agree with this. note that how the debate has changed from "yield of TN" to "whether we need a TN?" downhill skiing all the way. i will go further to say that even if our fission bum fizzled with 5-10kt yield, claims would have been made that its sufficient to deter PRC. mirv them, deploy in large numbers and so on.....ramana rightly said - deterrence ke liye kutch bhi chalega

ajay shukla in BS-
not any new info, but some background of KS
'Figures will not lie'

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby negi » 28 Sep 2009 05:24

how the debate has changed from "yield of TN" to "whether we need a TN?"
Couple of things.

This is being discussed in a separate thread, secondly BARC has clearly released a public statement about capability to design a 200Kt TN device so there is no question of any debate here. Having said that in case folks amongst us on BRF are interested in discussing a deterrence doctrine with or without TN then it is a different matter.
Last edited by negi on 28 Sep 2009 05:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby kittoo » 28 Sep 2009 05:25

What is Santhanam sir going to do after three weeks? In both scenarios, whether govt does something or not, he must have planned some course of action.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Arun_S » 28 Sep 2009 05:35

Sanjay wrote:We all learn, interpret and assess what other's produce. With due respect to Bharat Karnad and Brahma Chellaney, they are no more qualified than I am - and less so in the operational use of nuclear weapons - and I do not consider myself an "expert".

With due respect, could you please qualify the criterion for the qualification equal-equal please?


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