The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Explaining the India-China conflict

June 21, 2020 Posted by | China, India, politics international | Leave a comment

India will follow with nuclear weapons testing, if USA resumes testing

If the Donald Trump Resumes U.S. Nuclear Weapons Testing, India Will Follow, Hasan Ehtisham, The National Interest•June 13, 2020    

On May 15, according to media reports, the Trump administration conducted serious discussions on whether or not to break the informal ban to carry out a nuclear test explosion. Washington’s intent to resume nuclear testing threatens to elevate already grown strategic tensions with China, Russia, and others. Some analysts comprehended that this is a proper course to influence Russia and China to support Washington’s plan for trilateral talks related to nuclear arms controls and disarmament issues. ……

The head of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), Lassina Zerbo, has presaged that any attempt by the United States to recommence nuclear testing would have serious ramifications for global peace and security. While mentioning CTBTO’s close relationship with the U.S. National Laboratories, Zerbo categorically precluded the notion of any requirement for nuclear testing. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian has also shown “grave concerns about the report.” He urged the Trump administration to meet its “due obligations and honour its commitment by upholding the purpose and objective of the CTBT.” During the contemporary strategic competition of major powers, an uncertain situation has emerged about any sort of political gains for Washington against Moscow or Shanghai with a nuclear test. The most plausible consequence of a nuclear explosion by the United States at this point will facilitate other countries to resume nuclear testing. Washington will be criticized by other nuclear weapons states for violating the nuclear test moratorium practiced since 1998 by all countries, except North Korea.

Robert Rosner
, a professor of physics at the University of Chicago, has evaluated that after the United States others will also resume nuclear testing and “the crucial question is: Who are the others?” In the South Asian strategic scenario, India will be that other country. India, one of the world’s fastest developing nuclear weapons states, has long been waiting for such a mistake, particularly from the United States, so that it could revoke the pledge of nuclear non-testing. It has been unable to do so just because it aspires to become part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and other global regimes. Once the United States resumes nuclear testing, India will find it easier to further demonstrate its nuclear weapon capability.

This latest paradigm shift by the United States allows India to conduct more nuclear testing to assess the design of its thermonuclear weapon which it claimed to have detonated on May 11, 1998, in the Operation Shakti-1. Numerous international experts believe that the results of the thermonuclear test were highly inflated and doubt that the device successfully ignited the second fusion stage of the explosion. The scientist community who coordinated the Operation Shakti-1 in 1998 has concluded that the test was a failure, as the yield of the fusion device never produced the desired results.

Nuclear pundits in India have already materialized a comprehensive and robust nuclear facility to meet any kind of eventuality that could provide India with an opportunity to carry out further nuclear tests. For instance, in 2012, India’s secret nuclear city at Challakere, Karnataka was revealed by independent researchers. Experts have shown apprehensions that the facility will be a major complex of nuclear centrifuges under military control, along with atomic research laboratories, weapons and aircraft testing sites. Once it starts functioning, the facility would enable India to modernize its existing nuclear warheads and the nuclear fuel from domestic reserves will be used for a thermonuclear weapon. India is also working on a uranium enrichment plant from which it will be able to produce about twice as much weapons-grade uranium as New Delhi will need for its operational nuclear weapon programme. That significant excess of the enriched uranium would be used for the development of thermonuclear weapons.

India has already done the necessary homework to manipulate any step the United States may take in the near future. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signaled the capacity to conduct more nuke tests at short notice. If India alters the status of its moratorium on nuclear testing, then it would not only upset the deterrence balance but most significantly it would start a fresh nuclear arms race in South Asia. Under the pretext of growing Indo-US strategic relations in the region, the U.S. is offering a free ride to India to enhance the nuclear capability by resuming nuclear testing. It is strategically prudent for the U.S. national interest to uphold its commitments regarding the unilateral pledge of nuclear non-testing while ratifying the CTBT. The United States should also press India to continue its moratorium on nuclear weapons testing which was the primary prerequisite for the U.S.-India nuclear deal of 2008. It will reinforce the global standards against nuclear testing and encourage regional stability.

Hasan Ehtisham is the M. Phil Scholar of Defence and Strategic Studies at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan.

June 14, 2020 Posted by | India, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear power plants in the path of oncoming Cyclone Nisarga

June 4, 2020 Posted by | climate change, India | Leave a comment

Climate: Cyclone Amphan disaster in India, Bangladesh

May 22, 2020 Posted by | climate change, India | Leave a comment

Nuclear war between India and Pakistan very unlikely

May 17, 2020 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hundreds of foreign companies procuring nuclear materials for India and Pakistan

May 1, 2020 Posted by | India, Pakistan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

India’s dangerous nuclear triad

April 11, 2020 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China is Willing to Negotiate on Nuclear Arms, But Not on Trump’s Terms

China is Willing to Negotiate on Nuclear Arms, But Not on Trump’s Terms, Defense One, BY GREGORY KULACKI, 30 Mar 20

 President Trump announced to the world in a March 5 tweet that he would propose “a bold new trilateral arms control initiative with China and Russia.” China immediately rejected the idea the very next day. It would be wrong, however, to infer that Chinese leaders are opposed to nuclear arms control. They are not. They are just not interested in what Trump appears to be offering.

There are good reasons for China to suspect Trump’s motives. He used China as a scapegoat when withdrawing from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, for example, and he may be using this vague new  initiative to justify allowing the New START Treaty to expire. China was not a party to either agreement. Walking away from treaties with Russia and blaming China for it is unlikely to encourage Chinese leaders to come to the negotiating table.

Trump premised his announcement of this new initiative with a questionable claim that China will “double the size of its nuclear stockpile” before the end of the decade. That sounds ominous, but in fact China has only about 300 warheads and barely enough plutonium to get to 600. Meanwhile, the United States and Russia each possess more than 6,000 warheads. Any new agreement based on parity among the three states would require steep U.S. and Russian cuts even if China did indeed double its arsenal.

China certainly would welcome major U.S. and Russian reductions. But there is no sign either nation is willing to make them. On the contrary, Trump and President Putin have announced ambitious nuclear modernization programs that dwarf China’s. Since neither of the two countries are planning to reduce their arsenals, it is difficult for Chinese leaders to understand what Trump wants to discuss. Neither the president nor his aides have provided a tentative agenda or cited desired outcomes.

Despite Trump’s apparent failure to engage China, if he or his successor wants to bring China to the negotiating table, there is a path to follow. Below are four steps the United States can take to convince Chinese leaders to negotiate on nuclear arms.

Step 1. Pursue International, not Multilateral, Negotiations

There is a marked difference between international and multilateral negotiations, and it matters to China……..

Step 2. Accept Mutual Vulnerability

Accepting mutual vulnerability sounds defeatist. But all it means is that no one can win a nuclear arms race. The United States cannot prevent China from being able to retaliate and deliver some number of nuclear weapons if the United States should ever choose to use nuclear weapons first during a war……

Step 3. Take No-First-Use Seriously

China is serious about not using its nuclear weapons first in an armed conflict. In a statement after its first nuclear test in 1964, the Chinese government declared it will “never at any time and under any circumstances be the first to use nuclear weapons.”…

Step 4. Discuss Limits on Missile Defense

When the United States and the Soviet Union finally realized that no one could win a nuclear arms race, they decided to talk. Negotiators quickly discovered that limiting offense was impossible without limiting defense as well, since an effective way to counter defenses is to build more offensive weapons…..


March 31, 2020 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

Westinghouse nuclear reactors – a very poor deal for India

  Pushing the wrong energy buttons,, M.V. Ramana,   Suvrat Raju, MARCH 03, 2020 

The idea of India importing nuclear reactors is a zombie one with serious concerns about their cost and safety

For more than a decade, no major meeting between an Indian Prime Minister and a U.S. President has passed without a ritual reference to India’s promise made in 2008 to purchase American nuclear reactors. This was the case in the latest joint statement issued during U.S. President Donald Trump’s first official two-day visit to India (February 24-25), which stated that “Prime Minister Modi and President Trump encouraged the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and Westinghouse Electric Company to finalize the techno-commercial offer for the construction of six nuclear reactors in India at the earliest date”.

Red flags in the U.S. deal

Because of serious concerns about cost and safety, the two organisations should have been told to abandon, not finalise, the proposal.

Indeed, it has been clear for years that electricity from American reactors would be more expensive than competing sources of energy. Moreover, nuclear reactors can undergo serious accidents, as shown by the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Westinghouse has insisted on a prior assurance that India would not hold it responsible for the consequences of a nuclear disaster, which is effectively an admission that it is unable to guarantee the safety of its reactors.

The main beneficiaries from India’s import of reactors would be Westinghouse and India’s atomic energy establishment that is struggling to retain its relevance given the rapid growth of renewables. But Mr. Trump has reasons to press for the sale too. His re-election campaign for the U.S. presidential election in November, centrally involves the revival of U.S. manufacturing and he has been lobbied by several nuclear reactor vendors, including Westinghouse, reportedly to “highlight the role U.S. nuclear developers can play in providing power to other countries”. Finally, he also has a conflict-of-interest, thanks to his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, who accompanied him during the India visit.

In 2018, the Kushner family’s real-estate business was bailed out by a Canadian company that invested at least $1.1-billion in a highly unprofitable building in New York. Earlier that year, Brookfield Business Partners, a subsidiary of that Canadian company, acquired Westinghouse Electric Company. It violates all norms of propriety for Mr. Kushner to be anywhere near a multi-billion dollar sale that would profit Brookfield enormously.

What renewables can offer

Analysts estimate that each of the two AP1000 units being constructed in the U.S. state of Georgia may cost about $13.8 billion. At these rates, the six reactors being offered to India by Westinghouse would cost almost ₹6 lakh crore. If India purchases these reactors, the economic burden will fall upon consumers and taxpayers. In 2013, we estimated that even after reducing these prices by 30%, to account for lower construction costs in India, the first year tariff for electricity would be about ₹25 per unit. On the other hand, recent solar energy bids in India are around ₹3 per unit. Lazard, the Wall Street firm, estimates that wind and solar energy costs have declined by around 70% to 90% in just the last 10 years and may decline further in the future.

How safe?

Nuclear power can also impose long-term costs. Large areas continue to be contaminated with radioactive materials from the 1986 Chernobyl accident and thousands of square kilometres remain closed off for human inhabitation. Nearly a decade after the 2011 disaster, the Fukushima prefecture retains radioactive hotspots and the cost of clean-up has been variously estimated to range from $200-billion to over $600-billion.

The Fukushima accident was partly caused by weaknesses in the General Electric company’s Mark I nuclear reactor design. But that company paid nothing towards clean-up costs, or as compensation to the victims, due to an indemnity clause in Japanese law. Westinghouse wants a similar arrangement with India. Although the Indian liability law is heavily skewed towards manufacturers, it still does not completely indemnify them. So nuclear vendors have tried to chip away at the law. Instead of resisting foreign suppliers, the Indian government has tacitly supported this process.

Starting with the Tarapur 1 and 2 reactors, in Maharashtra, India’s experiences with imported reactors have been poor. The Kudankulam 1 and 2 reactors, in Tamil Nadu, the only ones to have been imported and commissioned in the last decade, have been repeatedly shut down. In 2018-19, these reactors produced just 32% and 38%, respectively, of the electricity they were designed to produce. These difficulties are illustrative of the dismal history of India’s nuclear establishment. In spite of its tall claims, the fraction of electricity generated by nuclear power in India has remained stagnant at about 3% for decades.

The idea of importing nuclear reactors is a “zombie idea” that, from a rational viewpoint, should have been dead long ago. In fact an earlier plan to install AP1000s in Mithi Virdi, Gujarat was cancelled because of strong local opposition. In 2018, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani declared that the reactors “will never come up” in Gujarat. The Prime Minister should take a cue from his own State and make a similar announcement for the rest of the country.

March 7, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, ENERGY, India, Legal, politics international, safety | Leave a comment

India retains its nuclear weapons no-first-use policy

No change in India’s nuclear doctrine: MEA, PTI NEW DELHI, MARCH 04, 2020 “There has been no change in India’s nuclear doctrine,” Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said in the Lok Sabha

There has been no change in India’s nuclear doctrine, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on March 4.

Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said India is committed to maintaining credible minimum deterrence and the policy of no-first use of nuclear weapons.

There has been no change in India’s nuclear doctrine,” he said.

India has a declared nuclear no-first-use policy under which a country cannot use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare unless first attacked by nuclear weapons.

March 5, 2020 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA desperately pushing the fantasy of Small Nuclear Reactors to India

March 2, 2020 Posted by | India, marketing, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Trump’s toxic nuclear sales pitch to India- undermining India’s nuclear liability law

March 2, 2020 Posted by | India, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Communist Party of India (CPI (M) oppose purchase of U.S nuclear, with Jared Kushner’s vested interest

February 25, 2020 Posted by | India, marketing, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Trump to visit India as salesman for Westinghouse nuclear reactors

February 22, 2020 Posted by | India, marketing, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Large U.S. nuclear delegation to India to con Indians into buying Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

February 20, 2020 Posted by | India, marketing, USA | Leave a comment