Fissile Materials in South Asia and the Implications of the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal

Zia Mian, A. H. Nayyar, R. Rajaraman, M. V. Ramana, "Fissile Materials in South Asia and the Implications of the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal," Science & Global Security, 14, no. 2-3, (2006): 117-143.
The July 2005 U.S.-India joint statement represents a fundamental transformation of U.S.-India relations and at the same time a challenge to the disarmament and non-proliferation regimes. There is concern that the March 2006 separation plan proposed by India for demarcating its military and civilian nuclear facilities may allow a potentially rapid expansion of its capacity for fissile material production for weapons. In this analysis, we have assessed fissile material production capabilities in India and how they might change as a result of the U.S.-India deal. We look at current stockpiles of fissile materials in India and Pakistan and estimate the changing capacity for future fissile material production as India progressively places some of its heavy water reactors under safeguards. We assess India's uranium resource constraints and the additional weapons grade plutonium production in its unsafeguarded heavy water power reactors that would be made possible by imports of uranium allowed by the deal. We also estimate the weapons plutonium production from India's fast breeder reactor that is under construction and is to be unsafeguarded.

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