The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

China helps Pakistan build nuclear reactors, despite radical Islamist groups operating in the country

exclamation-Smflag-pakistanTerror-Plagued Pakistan Just Turned On Another Nuclear Reactor, Daily Caller ANDREW FOLLETT, Energy and Science Reporter  , 18 Oct 16  

Pakistan’s fourth nuclear power plant began providing electricity to citizens Sunday with some help from China, despite concerns about radical Islamist groups operating in the country.

Engineers began final testing of the new 340 megawatt reactor at the Chashma Nuclear Power Plant, which is expected to reach its full capacity in December with the help of China. Local Pakistani Islamic radical groups and the Islamic State have expressed interest in stealing nuclear material from the country’s reactors to build a dirty bomb.

Pakistan has a small nuclear power program, capable of only generating 725 megawatts of electric power, but is building numerous new reactors with financial and technical assistance from China. The country invested about $860 million into its new reactor, with $350 million provided by China, according to a report by the World Nuclear Association……..

October 19, 2016 Posted by | Pakistan, safety | Leave a comment

Pakistan may be building a new uranium enrichment complex

Satellite Images Appear to Show Construction of New Nuclear Site in Pakistan.  Amid the frenzy surrounding North Korea’s recent nuclear test, a new analysis suggests that Pakistan may also be beefing up its stockpiles of atomic weapons.
A report posted to 38 North on Thursday estimates that North Korea could be in possession of roughly 20 atomic bombs by the end of the year. Its [DPRK] ability to field an ICBM fitted with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States is still a long way off – perhaps 5 to 10 years, but likely doable if the program is unconstrained,” the report reads.

But as the global community reacts to Pyongyang, an analysis from IHS Jane’s reveals that Pakistan may also be increasing its nuclear stockpiles, building a new uranium enrichment complex.  “The area of interest is approximately 1.2 hectares and is located within the secure area of the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), in the southwestern part of the complex,” the analysis states.

“Roughly rectangular in shape and approximately 140 x 80 meters, the new structure is surrounded by scrubland and trees that provide an additional measure of security on the ground,” IHS Jane reports.

The report is based on satellite surveillance of the site, located in the town of Kahuta, roughly 30 kilometers east of Islamabad. “It is sited within an established centrifuge facility, has strong security and shows some of the structural features of a possible new uranium enrichment facility. This makes it a strong candidate for a new centrifuge facility,” said Karl Dewey, an analyst with IHS Jane’s, according to the Indian Express.

If true, this development could cause problems for Pakistan’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
It is difficult to see how these actions are consistent with the principles of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a group of responsible nuclear exporters which Pakistan is seeking to join,” Ian Stewart, head of Project Alpha at King’s College London, told the Indian Express.

Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test in 1998 and is believed to be in possession of roughly 120 nuclear weapons. The country relies on three commercial nuclear power plants and plans to construct 32 additional plants by 2050.

October 15, 2016 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The consequences of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan

What happens if India and Pakistan both fire nuclear warheads at each other?

If India and Pakistan detonated 100 nuclear warheads, over 21 million people will die immediately, and half the world’s ozone layer would be destroyed, September 29, 2016 – By Abheet Singh Sethi, 30 Sept 16 

If India and Pakistan fought a war detonating 100 nuclear warheads (around half of their combined arsenal), each equivalent to a 15-kiloton Hiroshima bomb, more than 21 million people will be directly killed, about half the world’s protective ozone layer would be destroyed, and a “nuclear winter” would cripple monsoons and agriculture worldwide.


As the Indian Army considers armed options, and a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP urges a nuclear attack, even as the Pakistan Defence Minister threatens to “annihilate” India in return, the following projections, made by researchers from three US universities in 2007, are a reminder of the costs of nuclear war.

According to the study by researchers from Rutgers University, University of Colorado-Boulder and University of California, Los Angeles, about 21 million people – half the death toll of World War II – would perish within the first week from blast effects, burns and acute radiation in India and Pakistan.

This death toll would be 2,221 times the number of civilians and security forces killed by terrorists in India over nine years to 2015, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of South Asia Terrorism Portal data.

Another two billion people worldwide would face risks of severe starvation due to the climatic effects of the nuclear-weapon use in the subcontinent, according to a 2013 assessment by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, a global federation of physicians. Continue reading

October 1, 2016 Posted by | climate change, India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Tensions escalate on sub-continent, as Pakistan threatens India with nuclear bombing

Pakistan threatens to DESTROY India with nuclear bomb as atomic enemies edge to the brink of war Tensions have risen dramatically between the nuclear-armed neighbours BY SARA KAMOUNI 30th September 2016, 

October 1, 2016 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US tells Pakistan that its nuclear threats to India are not acceptable

Nuclear threat not acceptable, US tells Pakistan,  VARGHESE K. GEORGE, 1 Oct 16  The United States has conveyed to Pakistan that nuclear threats are not acceptable, a senior State Department official who did not want to be named, said. The message was conveyed to Pakistan after its defence minister said twice in the span of a week that his country could use tactical nuclear weapons against India.

“We made that clear to them. Repeatedly,” the official said when asked whether the U.S has conveyed to Pakistan that no nuclear capable country is expected to threaten anyone with the use of nukes. “We haven’t kept the devices that we have just as showpieces. But if our safety is threatened, we will annihilate them (India),” the defence minister of Pakistan had said.

 “It is very concerning, it is a serious thing,” the U.S official said, adding that the U.S has been urging both countries to “pull back and deescalate.” “At the same time we have made it very clear that what happened in the Indian arm base (Uri) is an act of cross border terrorism,” the official added.

The U.S is concerned about the safety of Pakistani nuclear weapons otherwise also, the official said. “The safety of these weapons is always a concern for us. So we are always monitoring it, regardless of what they said on this particular occasion,” he said.

October 1, 2016 Posted by | Pakistan, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India and Pakistan both looking to an alliance with Russia

Nuclear War: Pakistan, China, Russia Vs India, America Nuclear Warheads USA Morning News 1 Oct 16 “……… Nuclear Warhead Assessment

So if it comes down to an all-out nuclear war between the US-India on one side and China-Russia-Pakistan on the other, here is an assessment of which side is likely to have an upper hand in the war:

  • It has been estimated that China, India, and Pakistan all possess ballistic missile, cruise missile, and sea-based nuclear weapons.
  • Even though China, Russia, and the U.S. possess nuclear weaponry, according to the NPT, they have been banned from building and maintaining such weapons in perpetuity.
  • China has 260 approximate warheads, Russia has roughly 7300 and Pakistan has 120.
  • The USA is lagging slightly behind Russia with 7100 warheads and India currently has 110.

Hence, with Russia currently ahead than all the rest in the nuclear race, both India and Pakistan are looking to Russia to build an alliance with.

October 1, 2016 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

CIA reveals that Pakistan is selling nuclear materials to North Korea

Pakistan selling nuclear materials to North Korea – CIA’s explosive revelation; US informs India, Zee News, September 6, 2016 New Delhi: America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has apprised India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) that Pakistan is supplying nuclear material to North Korea.

According to reports, Pakistan has been sending nuclear materials to North Korea through sea route.

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) supplied Monel and Enconel (nuclear substances) to Pyongyang in clear violation of United Nations sanctions…….

September 7, 2016 Posted by | Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

USA pushes India and Pakistan to join nuclear testy ban treaty



Is this because USA wants nuclear disarmament, or because USA wants to sell nuclear materials to the sub continent?

US urges India and Pakistan to sign and ratify nuclear test ban treaty Washington has welcomed text-relevantPakistan’s recent proposal to India for a bilateral agreement on nuclear weapons test ban, IBT  By  August 24, 2016 The US has asked arch-rivals India and Pakistan to set aside their differences and sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Welcoming Pakistan’s recent proposal to India for a bilateral agreement on nuclear weapons test ban, Washington has urged the two countries to hold talks.

Mark Toner, the State Department deputy spokesperson, said: “We welcome this high-level dialogue between India and Pakistan, encourage both countries to engage in the dialogue and exercise restraint aimed at improving strategic stability.”……..

On Tuesday (23 August), Pakistan announced a fresh move to seek support for its NSGmembership bid. Syed Tariq Fatemi, special assistant to the prime minister on foreign affairs, embarked on a visit to Belarus and Kazakhstan to win their backing, The Hindu reported.

While India was kept out, Pakistan’s membership was not discussed during the plenary meeting of the NSG in Seoul in June. Although it has China on its side, it failed to get the backing of the US.

August 27, 2016 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Britain’s Hinkley fiasco should give Pakistan pause to reconsider its nuclear power plans

It would make sense therefore not to invest in projects that are destined to be overtaken by superior alternatives. The funds going into nuclear power stations would be better spent on making use of wind and solar power for which Pakistan has substantial potential.

No one can predict what the energy scene would look like in 2050, when all of the planned nuclear power stations are to become operational. What is clear is that they won’t remain competitive as new technologies come along to elbow out some of the old ones.

flag-pakistanA case for reviewing nuclear power plants August 18, 2016 by   Last month, something interesting and unusual happened in Britain that should give a pause to Islamabad as it walks in a certain direction without thinking what lies in store. Continue reading

August 19, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, Pakistan, politics | Leave a comment

India and Pakistan communicate with each other on nuclear facilities

diplomacy-not-bombsPakistan, India exchange information on nuclear facilities   ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India on Sunday exchanged lists of their nuclear facilities on Sunday, a requirement every January 1 under an accord in which they promised not to attack each other’s nuclear installations.

“The governments of Pakistan and India today exchanged lists of their respective nuclear installations and facilities in accordance with Article II of the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks Against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between Pakistan and India of December 31, 1988,” a Foreign Office statement said.

Zaheer A. Janjua, Director of the India Desk in Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over the list to an officer of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad at the Foreign Office at 11:00am PST, the statement said.

India handed over their list to Muhammad Khalid Jamali, First Secretary of the Pakistan High Commission at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi at 11:30am IST, it added. The statement did not give any details of which installations and facilities are mentioned in the lists. The list usually includes civilian nuclear power plants and gives the exact location of each such installation.

Top foreign ministry officials from Pakistan, led by Foreign Secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan will meet Indian officials on January 17 and 18 in New Delhi for talks on Kashmir and other issues. Railway officials are also slated to meet in New Delhi on January 5 and 6 to discuss reopening a rail link between Munabao and Khokhrapar, which was terminated after a 1965 war between the two countries.

July 2, 2016 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

India’s nuclear lobbying

Viewpoint: India’s nuclear lobbying and an increasingly isolated Pakistan, BBC News, By Ahmed RashidLahore 14 June 2016

India’s American-backed bid to join the prestigious Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has once again isolated Pakistan in South Asia.

Pakistan is increasingly finding itself friendless in the region as Iran, Afghanistan and India all find fault with Pakistan’s inability to end terrorism on its soil and in particular to bring the Afghan Taliban to the table for peace talks, as Islamabad promised to do nearly two years ago.

The 48-nation NSG, which sets global rules for international trade in nuclear energy technology, has become the latest diplomatic battleground between India and Pakistan. It is due to hold a crucial meeting this month. The Pakistani military Toshiba Westinghouseis angry that after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent trip to Washington, the US has been furiously lobbying all member countries to give India a seat at the NSG table.

Pakistan then asked for the same, but its proliferation record is not as good as India’s and it clearly would not succeed. Instead, it has asked China to veto the Indian bid which it is likely to do. However, smaller countries are angry with the US, who they accuse of browbeating them, and complain that neither India nor Pakistan can become members until they sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) which is an essential requirement.

President Obama is going against his own policy of nuclear restraint and disarmament by offering to make India – but not Pakistan – a member of the NSG, when the US has also tied up plans to sell India six nuclear power plants……..

June 15, 2016 Posted by | India, marketing, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Pakistan wants to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group

marketig-nukesPakistan tells U.S. it qualifies for nuclear suppliers club W ISLAMABAD | BY KAY JOHNSON 17 May 16 Pakistan’s foreign secretary on Tuesday told a U.S. envoy his country has the “credentials” to join a club of nuclear trading nations, signalling Islamabad may apply alongside India and force a showdown in the consensus-based group next month.
Such a move would drag the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) into the long-running tension between India and Pakistan, nuclear-armed neighbours who have fought three wars since being split amid violence at the end British colonial rule in 1947.

Diplomats last year quietly launched a new push to induct India into the NSG – a 48-nation club dedicated to curbing nuclear arms proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that could foster nuclear weapons development.

“Pakistan expressed confidence in its credentials to become full member of the export control regimes, particularly Nuclear Suppliers Group,” the Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman said in a tweet.

The comment followed talks on Tuesday in Islamabad between Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Rose Gottemoeller.

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad declined to comment.

Membership of the NSG would increase India’s international clout and provide a vested interest in curbing the world’s most dangerous regional arms race, but the prospects are fraught.

The campaign for India membership is seen as carrying the risk of antagonising Pakistan as well as its ally China, which could veto any India application.

China could also insist as a condition of India’s membership that Pakistan also be allowed to join, a potential hard sell because of Islamabad’s development of new tactical nuclear weapons.

A further complication is that neither India nor Pakistan has signed the nuclear Non-Profileration Treaty, generally seen as a prerequisite to NSG membership.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group is expected to hold its next meeting in June.The NSG was created in response to India’s testing its first nuclear weapon in 1974. (Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Alison Williams)

May 18, 2016 Posted by | Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

Retired Pakistani diplomat recalls shady nuclear deals

corruptionPakistan veteran recalls shopping trips to nuclear grey markets,  THE HINDU,  KALLOL BHATTACHERJEE , 10 Apr 16 Retired diplomat Jamsheed Marker talks about “meeting characters, genuine and shady, in tiny cafes tucked away in obscure villages deep in the beautiful Swiss and German countryside”.

One of Pakistan’s best-known diplomats has given an unprecedented account of how his country clandestinely built its nuclear arsenal using its diplomatic network in Europe.

In Cover Point: Impressions of Leadership in Pakistan, an autobiographical account of Pakistan’s politicians, retired diplomat Jamsheed Marker, 94, says: “This exercise involved a bit of James Bond stuff, and I remember Ikram and myself meeting characters, genuine and shady, in tiny cafes tucked away in obscure villages deep in the beautiful Swiss and German countryside.”

Mr. Marker served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany between 1980 and 1982, when the meetings took place, which led to Pakistan acquiring sensitive technology from European firms for its nuclear weapons programme.

“The Embassy had a Procurement Department [the nomenclature really fooled nobody] headed by a most able officer of Minister rank named Ikram Khan, who was seconded from our nuclear establishment headed by Dr A.Q. Khan. Ikram was a superb officer, knowledgeable, low-key and efficient, and went about his sensitive job with the combination of initiative and discretion that were its primary requirements,” writes Mr. Marker , revealing how Pakistan sourced technology for its nuclear programme from western markets.

Mr. Marker’s disclosure sheds light on a wide array of willing partners from among firms in Europe which were willing to partner Pakistan’s quest for nuclear weapons, for a price. Mr. Marker, who worked directly under the supervision of General Zia-ul-Haq, played a peripheral role as the “Procurement Department” operated under a cloak of secrecy.

Mr. Marker, served for three decades in various important embassies of Pakistan, but reached the most successful phase of his career with his back-to-back appointments as Pakistani Ambassador to Bonn, Paris and Washington DC during the tenure of Gen Zia (1977-1988). Mr. Marker said that he admired the way Gen Zia (who became civilian President in 1985) diverted the West’s attention while going all out for giving Pakistan its nuclear weapon. “I maintain a mild, amused contempt for the enthusiasm with which western industrial enterprises, in their pecuniary pursuits, conspired with us to evade their own governments’ law prohibiting all nuclear transfers to Pakistan,” he writes in what is the first account from one of Gen. Zia’s key diplomats on the modus operandi adopted to build the nuclear bomb in Pakistan.

Mr. Marker says the U.S. spy services were aware of Pakistan’s determination to go nuclear and were unable to prevent Gen. Zia.

April 11, 2016 Posted by | history, Pakistan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear competition between India and Pakistan is now a global threat

Nuclear Winter on a Planetary Scale: The Biggest Threat to Mankind Virtually No One Is Talking About, ALTERNET, By Dilip Hiro / TomDispatch April 8, 2016  A war between India and Pakistan could produce human suffering the likes of which the world has never seen before…….


Alarmingly, the nuclear competition between India and Pakistan has now entered a spine-chilling phase. That danger stems from Islamabad’s decision to deploy low-yield tactical nuclear arms at its forward operating military bases along its entire frontier with India to deter possible aggression by tank-led invading forces. Most ominously, the decision to fire such a nuclear-armed missile with a range of 35 to 60 miles is to rest with local commanders. This is a perilous departure from the universal practice of investing such authority in the highest official of the nation. Such a situation has no parallel in the Washington-Moscow nuclear arms race of the Cold War era.

When it comes to Pakistan’s strategic nuclear weapons, their parts are stored in different locations to be assembled only upon an order from the country’s leader. By contrast, tactical nukes are pre-assembled at a nuclear facility and shipped to a forward base for instant use. In addition to the perils inherent in this policy, such weapons would be vulnerable to misuse by a rogue base commander or theft by one of the many militant groups in the country.

In the nuclear standoff between the two neighbors, the stakes are constantly rising as Aizaz Chaudhry, the highest bureaucrat in Pakistan’s foreign ministry, recently made clear. The deployment of tactical nukes, he explained, was meant to act as a form of “deterrence,” given India’s “Cold Start” military doctrine — a reputed contingency plan aimed at punishing Pakistan in a major way for any unacceptable provocations like a mass-casualty terrorist strike against India.

New Delhi refuses to acknowledge the existence of Cold Start. Its denials are hollow. As early as 2004, it was discussing this doctrine, which involved the formation of eight division-size Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs).  These were to consist of infantry, artillery, armor, and air support, and each would be able to operate independently on the battlefield. In the case of major terrorist attacks by any Pakistan-based group, these IBGs would evidently respond by rapidly penetrating Pakistani territory at unexpected points along the border and advancing no more than 30 miles inland, disrupting military command and control networks while endeavoring to stay away from locations likely to trigger nuclear retaliation. In other words, India has long been planning to respond to major terror attacks with a swift and devastating conventional military action that would inflict only limited damage and so — in a best-case scenario — deny Pakistan justification for a nuclear response.

Islamabad, in turn, has been planning ways to deter the Indians from implementing a Cold-Start-style blitzkrieg on their territory. After much internal debate, its top officials opted for tactical nukes. In 2011, the Pakistanis tested one successfully. Since then, according to Rajesh Rajagopalan, the New Delhi-based co-author of Nuclear South Asia: Keywords and Concepts, Pakistan seems to have been assembling four to five of these annually.

All of this has been happening in the context of populations that view each other unfavorably. ……….

India’s Two Secret Nuclear Sites

On the nuclear front in India, there was more to come. Last December, an investigation by the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity revealed that the Indian government was investing $100 million to build a top secret nuclear city spread over 13 square miles near the village of Challakere, 160 miles north of the southern city of Mysore. When completed, possibly as early as 2017, it will be “the subcontinent’s largest military-run complex of nuclear centrifuges, atomic-research laboratories, and weapons- and aircraft-testing facilities.” Among the project’s aims is to expand the government’s nuclear research, to produce fuel for the country’s nuclear reactors, and to help power its expanding fleet of nuclear submarines. It will be protected by a ring of garrisons, making the site a virtual military facility.

Another secret project, the Indian Rare Materials Plant, near Mysore is already in operation. It is a new nuclear enrichment complex that is feeding the country’s nuclear weapons programs, while laying the foundation for an ambitious project to create an arsenal of hydrogen (thermonuclear) bombs.

The overarching aim of these projects is to give India an extra stockpile of enriched uranium fuel that could be used in such future bombs. As a military site, the project at Challakere will not be open to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency or by Washington, since India’s 2008 nuclear agreement with the U.S. excludes access to military-related facilities. These enterprises are directed by the office of the prime minister, who is charged with overseeing all atomic energy projects. India’s Atomic Energy Act and its Official Secrets Act place everything connected to the country’s nuclear program under wraps. In the past, those who tried to obtain a fuller picture of the Indian arsenal and the facilities that feed it have been bludgeoned to silence.

Little wonder then that a senior White House official was recently quoted as saying, “Even for us, details of the Indian program are always sketchy and hard facts thin on the ground.” He added, “Mysore is being constantly monitored, and we are constantly monitoring progress in Challakere.” However, according to Gary Samore, a former Obama administration coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction, “India intends to build thermonuclear weapons as part of its strategic deterrent against China. It is unclear, when India will realize this goal of a larger and more powerful arsenal, but they will.”

Once manufactured, there is nothing to stop India from deploying such weapons against Pakistan. “India is now developing very big bombs, hydrogen bombs that are city-busters,” said Pervez Hoodbhoy, a leading Pakistani nuclear and national security analyst. “It is not interested in… nuclear weapons for use on the battlefield; it is developing nuclear weapons for eliminating population centers.”

In other words, as the Kashmir dispute continues to fester, inducing periodic terrorist attacks on India and fueling the competition between New Delhi and Islamabad to outpace each other in the variety and size of their nuclear arsenals, the peril to South Asia in particular and the world at large only grows.

 Dilip Hiro, a TomDispatch regular, has written 34 books, including After Empire: The Birth of a Multipolar World. His latest book is A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Middle East.

April 8, 2016 Posted by | India, Pakistan, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

John Kerry asked Pakistan to reduce nuclear arsenal

Kerry asks Pak to reduce nuclear arsenal, Business Standard, 1 Mar 16  Citing the example of the US and Russia which are working to further reduce their nuclear arsenals, Secretary of State John Kerry asked Pakistan to understand this reality and review its nuclear policy

Press Trust of India  |  Washington March 1, 2016 The US has pressed Pakistan to reduce its growing nuclear arsenal but Islamabad has refused to accept any curbs on it saying America must show “greater understanding” of its security concerns in South Asia. Citing the example of the US and Russia which are working to further reduce their nuclear arsenals, Secretary of State John Kerry asked Pakistan to understand this reality and review its nuclear policy.
The nuclear issue was discussed during security talks held here yesterday as part of the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue.

“I think, it is important for Pakistan to really process that reality and put that front and centre in its policy,” Kerry said in an apparent reference to the reports that Pakistan has the fastest growing stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world.

His remarks come ahead of this month’s Nuclear Security Summit to be hosted here by President Barack Obamathat would be attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif……..

March 2, 2016 Posted by | Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment