30/01: Seeds of Indian Nuclear Proliferation

by Adnan Gill
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
First published in April, 2006

A country indulges in Nuclear Proliferation in one or two ways, as a donor or as a recipient. As a donor it can export the nuclear technology to other nation -- called ‘Horizontal Proliferation’ -- or it can divert technologies from its Civilian Nuclear Program(s) to its Military Nuclear Program(s) -- called ‘Vertical Proliferation’. India is guilty of indulging in both, Vertical and Horizontal Nuclear Proliferation.

nuke bomb

Horizontal Proliferation occurs when a country exports its indigenous resources (knowledge/items) and/or when it practices ‘Onward Proliferation’. Onward proliferation takes place when a country obtains a controlled item from overseas and retransfers it, or exports a reverse-engineered item without proper authorizations to a proliferant state or to a terrorist group. Proliferant states and smuggling networks use such tactics to avoid export controls in supplier states. Experts like David Albright, President of Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), believe proliferant states target Indian industries; consequently, Indian Onward Proliferation is expected be become a serious problem.

Vertical Nuclear Proliferation occurs when a country diverts knowledge and/or items from its safeguarded programs to its military programs. David Albright in an October 26, 2005 testimony before the US House Committee described the Indian Vertical Proliferation as, “India’s extensive military and civil nuclear programs are often connected, sharing personnel and infrastructure. In addition, some facilities currently have both a military and civilian purpose.” The Indian so-called “peaceful nuclear explosion” (detonated on May 18, 1974) is a prime example of the Vertical Proliferation (see Appendix - C). The fact is also confirmed by an Indian scientist Raja Ramanna who admitted that the radioactive core of India’s first nuclear device was the plutonium diverted from its American-Canadian supplied civilian nuclear reactor (CIRUS).

Since 1949, as a recipient, India has licitly and illicitly received nuclear technology from ‘Nuclear Supplier Group’ (NSG) countries like France, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, United States and Soviet Union/Russia (see Appendix - A). For its part, India effortlessly proliferates the nuclear technology to countries like Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Sudan and South Korea (see Appendix - B).

Exploiting the dual-use nature of civilian nuclear equipments and materials India had been using the cover of civilian programs to produce nuclear weapons. Experts believe, as in the case of 1974 nuclear blast, the plutonium for at least some of India’s nuclear devices tested in 1998 also originated from its American-Canadian supplied civilian nuclear reactor (CIRUS). In a June 15, 1998 Washington Post (p.A23) publication ‘India Cheated’, Victor Gilinsky and Paul Leventhal reported “You wouldn't know it from news reports, but most of the military plutonium stocks India dipped into for its recent nuclear tests came from a research project provided years ago by the United States and Canada. India had promised both countries it would not use this plutonium for bombs.” India boldly violates non-proliferation conventions and brazenly breaks bilateral agreements by transferring nuclear fuels and technology from its so-called civilian nuclear programs to its nuclear weapons programs.

The so-called "Atoms for Peace" CIRUS reactor was built by Canada and run by tons of heavy water supplied by the United States (see Appendix - A). In return for the reactor, India promised both suppliers in writing that the reactor would be reserved for "peaceful purposes" only. But in a display of barefaced defiance and belligerence, India broke its promise by diverting the plutonium from CIRUS to the manufacturing of nuclear weapons that were tested first in 1974 and then in 1998. The fact that neither Canada nor the United States has uttered a peep about India breaching the signed contract with contemptuous boldness is symptomatic of Western complicity in the building and modernization of Indian nuclear weapons arsenal through nuclear proliferation. Since it began operating in late 1950s the CIRUS reactor alone has produced well over 600 pounds plutonium which is enough to build over 50 nuclear weapons.

Strangely, despite Indian disposition to indulge in nuclear proliferation when or as they please, each new generation of American policy makers think that they will be able to gain Indian restraint and acceptance of nuclear controls by being a little more accommodating to them. The Indians long time ago learned of the American weaknesses that stem from a mix of an obsolete Cold War mentality and commercial greed. Hence, they effectively exploit the American weaknesses to build, expand and qualitatively improve their own nuclear arsenal.

Indian perseverance in the acquisition of latest nuclear technology through covert and overt means, and its practice of proliferation of nuclear technology in both vertical and horizontal manners worries peace and non-proliferation experts. In light of unscrupulous and unrestrained Indian proliferation record (see Appendix - B & C), experts openly question Bush Administration’s decision to transfer American nuclear secrets to India which can potentially compromise American national security due to Indian proliferation practices, including the ‘Onward’ proliferation (see Appendix - B). They argue that helping to ramp up India’s ability to import and export controlled nuclear items can neither be in the interests of the United States nor the global non-proliferation efforts.

Since the March 2, 2006 Indo-US Nuclear deal, the Bush Administration and Indian government officials have mounted a deceptive PR blitz in which they tirelessly champion India’s supposedly "impeccable" nonproliferation record. Factually, however, in order to buy into this sugarcoated propaganda, one would have to ignore and discount decades old Indian horizontal and vertical proliferation record (see Appendix - B & C) that started in 1960s when India decided to dip into irradiated Plutonium from its civilian CIRUS plant. Not withstanding the deceptive Indo-Bush Administration propaganda, experts point to mounting evidence of Indian proliferation record (see Appendix - A, B & C). Recently, ISIS unmasked a well-developed, active, and top secret Indian program to outfit its uranium enrichment program and circumvent export control efforts of other countries.

Essentially, the Indo-US Nuclear deal allows India to buy foreign-made nuclear reactors while allowing her to substantially ramp up her ability to produce materials for nuclear weapons. Understandably, the deal was widely criticized even within the Bush-Administration. In 2001, the, American ambassador to India, Robert Blackwill asked Washington to rethink its nuclear policy towards India. But Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, however, wanted a sensible incremental approach to increasing sensitive trade with India. In a 2003 interview Secretary Powell said, "We also have to protect certain red lines that we have with respect to proliferation."

Leading nonproliferation experts of Bush Administration, John D. Rood and Robert G. Joseph tirelessly lobbied for a deal in which India would have agreed to limit production of plutonium and to place all of its electricity-producing reactors under permanent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, which would have been in accordance with the US laws too. But the Bush Administration was so intent on hammering a deal with India that by the time Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Washington, many of the key items on Mr. Rood’s list had been taken off the table. Nuclear specialists in the US government say their concerns about weapons proliferation were overridden in final talks with India.

Secretary Condoleezza Rice is believed to be the force behind the hurriedly concocted and potentially damaging Indo-US Nuclear deal, which will arguably compromise American nuclear secrets vis-à-vis its national security. Reportedly, the deal is a brainchild of Secretary Rice's counselor and longtime colleague Philip Zelikow and (a Bombay-born expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former aide to Blackwill) Ashley Tellis. On April 3, 2006, the Washington Post (p.A01) reported, “Upon Rice's return from Asia, Zelikow began exchanging memos with Tellis, resulting in a 50-page ‘action agenda’ for U.S.-Indian relations completed in mid-May.” While making a case for India, in a memo Tellis argued, US would have to “help New Delhi develop strategic capabilities such that India's nuclear weaponry and associated delivery systems” to deter growing Chinese influence.

Indians were quick to pick on American desperation to conclude a deal. They outfoxed the Americans on negotiation table. The Post quoted a senior American official involved in the negotiation, the “Indians were incredibly greedy that day. They were getting 99 percent of what they asked for and still they pushed for 100." It was as if Bush Administration’s sole goal was to please the Indians at any cost.

The Post also revealed Bush Administration’s maverick strategy of assisting India in developing nuclear weapons. It reported, “the Bush administration originally wanted a pact that would let India continue producing material for six to 10 weapons each year, [but the signed deal] would allow it enough fissile material for as many as 50 annually.”

Sadly, in past too, instead of forcing India to freeze its Vertical Proliferation, the US State Department had been helping India get around the laws by arranging for France and later China to continue the Tarapur radioactive fuel supply. Considering Indian proliferation record (see Appendix - B & C), instead of rewarding India by signing the deal, at a minimum, Bush Administration should have insisted that Indian plutonium covered by "peaceful purposes" agreements be unavailable for nuclear weapons, and that the Tarapur fuel is not reprocessed to extract weapon grade plutonium. Under the 1963 agreement, India was bound to get US approval to reprocess the nuclear fuel. However, in a blatant disregard to the signed agreement, India disputed this and insisted it was free to reprocess the used fuel at any time. Regrettably, the US government as usual bowed to Indian demands fearing an irritant in US-India relations and dispatched the disagreement to the wastebasket of oblivion. Currently, there is enough Tarapur plutonium to manufacture hundreds of unaccounted nuclear weapons.

In March 2006, another ISIS report revealed details of Indian illicit and secret nuclear procurement program. The report effectively busted the myth of so-called ‘indigenous’ Indian nuclear program. The report highlighted the indisputable dependencies of Indian nuclear program on the foreign sources (see Appendix - A). It stated, “India has a long history of illicitly acquiring items for its own unsafeguarded nuclear facilities. Many of India’s nuclear programs have depended on extensive foreign procurement for materials, equipment, and technology. Indian nuclear organizations use a system that hires domestic or foreign non-nuclear companies to acquire items for these nuclear organizations. Such procurement appears to continue for its secret gas centrifuge enrichment plant near Mysore.”

The report also cataloged the deceptive and illicit procurement network established by Indian Department of Atomic Energy. “In an attempt to hide its true purpose from suppliers and others when it started this project in the 1980s… Under the direction of India’s Department of Atomic Energy, Indian Rare Earths (IRE) Ltd. of Mumbai, a public-sector undertaking focused on recovering minerals and processing rare earths, procures sensitive materials and technology for a secret gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant codenamed the ‘Rare Materials Project' (RMP) outside Mysore, India. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) operates the plant and appears to both coordinate procurements for this facility with IRE and pursue procurements for its own divisions through IRE. RMP itself is rarely acknowledged by the Indian government as a gas centrifuge plant.”

An impressive and resolute Indian proliferation record spans over five decades. The Indian nuclear program is developed, nourished and sustained by the Nuclear Supplier Group nations through direct and/or indirect assistance (see Appendix - A). Whenever Indian establishment failed to secure direct and/or indirect assistance from the NSG, it stole the nuclear technology through secret underground nuclear proliferation networks.

Each state that covertly or overtly paddles nuclear technology to India makes mockery of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that entered into force on March 5, 1970. Article III – 2 of NPT states, “Each State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to provide: (a) source or special fissionable material, or (b) equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material, to any non-nuclear-weapon State for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material shall be subject to the safeguards required by this article.”

Even though, India is not a NPT signatory, it has constantly fought to undermine and weaken the NPT and IAEA charters. American and European nearsightedness and compliancy has directly resulted into Indian constancy in pursuing nuclear bomb-making and nuclear proliferation. It is not surprising that the Indians expect the game of proliferation to continue.

Practically every nuclear reactor running or planned in India is either provided and/or built by a foreign country or had been designed from foreign blueprints (see Appendix - A) -- stolen and otherwise. Every ounce for the radioactive cores of Indian nuclear weapons comes from the nuclear reactors that India deceptively, legally or illegally secured from foreign nations.

Pointing to the serious risks posed to the American national security, in his October 26, 2005, testimony before the House Committee on International Relations Hearing on the US-India David Albright warned, “This agreement could pose serious risks to the security of the United States. If fully implemented, it could catapult India into a position as a major supplier of both nuclear and nuclear-related materials, equipment, and technology. With a weak and poorly enforced export control system, [Indians] could become major suppliers to the nuclear weapon programs of adversaries of the United States, in some cases possibly using technology which the United Sates originally provided.” India also has a huge manpower trained in nuclear secrets, which inherently makes it a considerable knowledge transfer risk (see Appendix - B).

Non-proliferation experts insist that India should be sanctioned for its proliferation record. To support their argument, they quote statements of Indian statesmen who admitted that the fears of international sanctions kept the nuclear weapons program in low-gear. The former Indian President Venkataraman said, all "preparations for an underground nuclear test at Pokhran had been completed in 1983 when I was the Defense Minister. It was shelved because of international pressure, and the same thing happened in 1995." Another example cited is of former Indian Prime Minister Gujral, "the Americans got in touch with Mr. (Prime Minister) Rao and for some reasons it was felt expedient to postpone the tests... It was a major decision where all dimensions and aspects had to be calculated. No decision could be taken in a hurry ignoring all the political, economic and international relations dimensions."

When it comes to Nuclear Proliferation India suffers from credibility problems. In a May 13, 1998, testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs then Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth explained how Indian government can not be trusted with its mere assurances. "We were told privately and publicly that India would continue to show restraint in the non-proliferation field, and would do nothing to surprise us… As a direct result of India's decisions and actions, we are now compelled to look again at our approach to India,” said Mr. Inderfurth.

Stung from Indian deceptions, after the 1998 nuclear test at Pokhran, Secretary Inderfurth advised Congress to coarse India in parting ways with its shadowy proliferation practices and encouraged it to become a responsible nation that respects non-proliferation norms. He said, “Instead of highlighting our cooperative efforts with India... we will now need to put much of the cooperative side of our agenda on hold and deal with the consequences of India's actions. We must focus anew on seeking a meaningful Indian commitment to cease from further testing, to join the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty immediately and without qualifications, and to respect other international non-proliferation norms.” Emphasizing the difficulty in trusting India, Secretary Inderfurth also advised the Senate Subcommittee that due to dishonorable Indian practices the US should revaluate its relations with India, “We will need to assess how we will deal with India in accordance with Glenn Amendment and other U.S. laws, which require sanctions far more restrictive than those placed upon Pakistan under the Pressler Amendment… I must caution that India's actions have made [engagements] far more difficult.”

Indian culpability in every step of Nuclear Proliferation cannot be ignored anymore. Instead of rewarding it for proliferating nuclear secrets and technologies to other nations, and to build its nuclear weapons arsenal, IAEA and NSG will have to place sanctions on India to, at minimum, slow down its mad pursuit of becoming a nuclear superpower. On account of Indian hegemonic behavior towards its neighbors and its inherent domestic instability steaming from a society built on racial/communal discriminations, the World Community cannot afford lose nukes from an unreliable and potentially fractured nation, like it almost witnessed when the Soviet Union was fractured.


Foreign Development of Indian Nuclear Program:

Practically every Indian nuclear facility directly or indirectly is designed, based, and/or built with the support of foreign nations. Following are some of most glaring examples of India benefacting from foreign Nuclear Proliferation:

Alwaye, Kerala (1949)
IRE and French entities Societe de Produits Chimique and Banque Marocaine de Credit agreed to construct a facility at Alwaye (Kerala) to extract thorium from monazite sand.

Apsara, Trombay (1956)
With British assistance construction began on India's first reactor, 1 MW Apsara research reactor. Apsara, fueled by (6 kg of fuel rods) enriched uranium from the UK, went critical on 4 August 1957. Dr. H. Bhabha bartered uranium fuel rods, as well technical data for a swimming pool-type research reactor in exchange for the Indian consideration to purchase a British reactor.

Canada-India Reactor, U.S(CIRUS)/Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay (1955)
Canada supplied India a powerful research reactor - 40 MW Canada-India Reactor (CIR).

Nuclear Fuel for CIRUS reactor, Trombay (1956)
India and Canada signed an agreement to supply half of the initial nuclear fuel needed for the CIRUS reactor.

Heavy water for CIRUS reactor, Trombay (1956)
India and United States signed a contract for the US to sell heavy water for the CIRUS reactor. By June 1956, the US provided four shipments of heavy water. One of shipments of 18.9 tons of heavy water was provided without a safeguards mandate.

Plutonium Separation Plant, Trombay (1961)
PM Nehru authorized project Phoenix to build a plant with a capacity of 20 tons of fuel a year. A US company Vitro International supplied India with blueprints to build a PUREX (plutonium-uranium extraction) reprocessing plant. The reprocessing plant was commissioned in mid-1964.

Heavy Water Production Plant, Nangal (1962)
India received its first heavy water production plant from Germany in 1962 and then built additional seven heavy water plants with the help of Soviet Union, France and Switzerland.

CIRUS/BARC, Trombay (1965)
The UK Atomic Energy Authority helped India establish Gauribidnur Seismic Station at BARC, which was used to develop and calibrate fast-slow explosive lenses used in 1974 nuclear device.

French Nuclear Laboratory, Saclay/Paris (1965)
While seeking information on polonium technology used for -- first generation -- neutron initiators for weapons, Bhabha met French scientists at the nuclear laboratory at Saclay, Paris.

Pulsed Fast Reactor, USSR (1969)
In December 1968, three Indian nuclear scientists, including P.K. Iyengar, visited the Soviet Union to study the nuclear research facilities at Dubna.

Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS 1 & 2), Tarapur (1969)
US agreed to give $80 million in credit to India for the supply and construction of two Boiling Water Reactors (BWR) for the Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS). General Electric (GE), started construction of the BWRs in October 1964. The reactors went critical in October 1969.

Technical Assistance, France (1969)
30 Indian nuclear scientists, engineers, and technicians traveled to France for training and subsequent work on the designs for an Indian fast breeder reactor.

Technical Assistance, Spain, Sweden, and France (1970)
Spain, Sweden, and France hosted Indian scientists to train them in advances in uranium ore mining and exploration.

Baroda Heavy Water Plant, Gujarat (1971)
A French consortium (GELPRA) supervises the design, engineering, and import of equipment for a 67.2-ton capacity heavy water plant in Baroda.

Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS), Rajasthan (1974)
Canada agreed to provide India blueprints for its CANDU pressurized heavy water power reactor (PHWR). The blueprints enabled India to build its first reactor of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS). The Canadian Government also funded the project by extending a $37 million loan.

TAPS, Tarapur (1976)
Germany, Spain, Sweden, and other European countries further developed and sustained TAPS BWRs.

Dhruva, Trombay (1977)
USSR agreed to provide India 250 tons of heavy water out of which the first 50 tons without safeguards. First consignment of heavy water for Dhruva reactor arrived on May 28, 1980.

TAPS, Tarapur (1978)
United States arranged Enriched uranium hexafluoride (UF6) fuel for TAPS reactor.

Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR), Kalpakkam (1978)
France assisted India in building the FBTR in Kalpakkam.

TAPS, Tarapur (1980)
US supplied a 19 tons batch of enriched uranium to Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS).

TAPS, Tarapur (1983)
France supplied a 19.5 tons batch of enriched uranium to Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS).

MAPS-I, Madras (1983)
India clandestinely imported over 180 tons of heavy water from China (60 tons), Norway (15 tons), and the Soviet Union (4.7 tons) for MAPS-I reactor. A German exporter and a former Nazi, Alfred Hempel shipped tons of heavy water via Dubai to India.

Uranium Enrichment Plant/Rare Materials Project, Trombay/Mysore (1985)
India clandestinely acquired centrifuge technology from the USSR and built uranium enrichment plants at Trombay and Mysore.

West Germany (1989)
India imported 100 kg of high purity beryllium from West Germany. The supply was enough to provide the neutron reflecting tampers for a dozen or more weapons.

Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), Trombay (1992)
UK exported nuclear and missile technology to India.

Kundankulam 1 & 2, Kundankulam (2002)
In a violation of Nuclear Suppliers Group ban, Russia agreed to construct two VVER-1000MW reactors in Koodankulam (Tamil Nadu). Nearly 300 Russian companies take part in the $1.5 billion project.


Indian Horizontal Nuclear/WMD Proliferation:

India has a distinct record of WMD Proliferation to lot of countries. However proliferation to Iran and Iraq was most blatantly rampant. Although this collaboration can be traced as far back as 1970s, following is a list of most glaring examples of Indian WMD proliferation:

Tehran, Iran (1974)
Following Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s 1974 official visit to Tehran, Iran and India announced, contacts will be made "between the atomic energy organizations in the two countries in order to establish a basis for cooperation in this field."

Iraq (1974)
Saddam Hussein flew to India specifically to sign a nuclear cooperation treaty with the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The little known nuclear cooperation treaty involved the exchange of scientists, training, and technology. Iraqi scientists worked in India's plutonium separation labs. The same Iraqi scientists who gained valuable training and experience from working in Indian nuclear labs later took charge of the nuclear fuel reprocessing unit supplied to Iraq by the Italian company CNEN. An Indian scientist trained the Iraqi scientist at Atomic Energy Commission's computer center on the use of nuclear computer codes.

Iran (1975)
Iran hosted nuclear technical advisers from India who worked on its nuclear program.

Iraq (1979)
In 1979, Iraq sent engineers to visit India's nuclear establishments and scientists.

Bushehr, Iran (1980)
Iran requested Indian help in completing the Bushehr reactor after West Germany halted work on the project in 1980.

Bushehr, Iran (1982)
Indian radio and BBC World Broadcasts reported that India will send a group of nuclear engineers and scientists to Iran. They supposedly inspected the Bushehr nuclear power plant to study the problems.

Burma (1982)
Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) exported Gamma Chamber-4000 to Burma.

Singapore and Sudan (1983)
India exported gamma chambers Singapore and Sudan.

South Korea (1983)
Neutron polarization analysis spectrometer exported to the (South) Korean Atomic Energy
Research Institute.

Bulgaria (1985)
Seamless titanium tubes were produced by the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) from ingots were supplied by Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) to Bulgaria.

Iran (1989)
Officials from Indian State Trading Corporation in Bombay admitted that they sold about 60 tons of thionyl chloride (a mustard gas or nerve agent precursor) to Iran for approximately $50,000. The same year another Indian State Trading Company's supplier, Transpek Private Ltd., sold about 257 tons of the same chemical to Iran.

Egypt (1990)
India agreed to aid Egypt in increasing the capacity of the Egyptian research reactor from 2 to 5 megawatts.

Iran (1991)
Indian Atomic Energy Commission announced that India will seek to export its nuclear technology. Following the Indian announcement the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran negotiates to purchase nuclear technology or expertise from India. As a result, India and Iran exchanged nuclear scientists.

Iran (1991)
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Alaeddin Borujerdi met Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in New Delhi to discuss the purchase of 10MW reactor. Finally on November 11, 1991 the Indian Foreign Minister Sing Solanki signed a technical cooperation deal with Iran ensuring the delivery of reactor to Iran.

Moallem Kalayeh, Iran (1992)
Iran negotiated the purchase of a nuclear research reactor subsequently installed at the Moallem Kalayeh site. Though the construction on the site had already begun in 1987.

Iran (1994)
German Intelligence Agency (BND) reported that an Indian consortium was building a pesticide plant that could be linked to the production of chemical weapons in Iran.

Iran (1995)
On January 30, 1995, the German BND stated that Indian companies were aiding Iran in the development of tabun and sarin (nerve agents).

Iran (1995)
US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reported that Indian firms have provided equipment and raw materials to Iran, which aided the Iranian development of chemical weapons.

Iran (1996)
Another Indian company, Transpek Industry Ltd., in 1990, won an estimated $12.5 million bid to install and commission a turn-key chemical plant in Iran. By 1996 the company built the world's largest manufacturing facility for thionyl chloride outside of Europe.

South Korea (1996)
India shipped heavy water and nuclear grade zircaloy to South Korea.

Fallujah, Iraq (1998)
Between 1998 and 2001, an Indian company NEC Engineers Private Ltd. illegally shipped 10 consignments (worth $800,000) of highly sensitive equipment, including titanium vessels and centrifugal pumps, to Iraq. NEC reportedly built the chemical plant in the city of Fallujah. In a statement by NEC Engineers Private Ltd's project manager, N. Katturajan said the chemical facility was controlled by Iraqi military. According to CNN “official at NEC Engineers Private Ltd. said large amounts of chlorine were removed from the Fallujah chemical complex, which was constructed by Indian engineers. Experts say chlorine can be used in the production of chemical weapons like mustard gas and nerve agents.” For their services rendered the Indian managers from NEC Engineers' Private Limited demanded $1 million.

South Korea (1998)
India shipped 100 tons of heavy water to South Korea.

Bushehr, Iran (2000)
An Indian nuclear scientist Dr. Y.S.R. Prasad who retired in 2000 made at least two visits to Iran's Bushehr nuclear facility. Mr. Chidambaram, a former head of the Atomic Energy Commission, acknowledged Dr. Prasad’s work in Iran. He said Dr. Prasad "originally went to Iran as part of an IAEA assignment. Later, he went back to Bushehr under a private contract with the Iranians." The Hindustan Times, quoted a classified government document, which stated Dr. Prasad spent years working on India's atomic energy programs, and did not seek government permission to go to Iran.

South Korea (2000)
India shipped 16 metric tons of heavy water to South Korea.

Vietnam (2001)
India at its Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), trained Vietnamese Scientists in uranium fuel production, zircaloy structural components, and analytical techniques.

Iran (2003)
The most damning admission of Indian nuclear proliferation to Iran came in December 2003. Indian external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha said "most certainly between Iran and India, there would be collaboration, there is collaboration".

Iran (2004)
In 2004, the US State Department blacklisted two Indian scientists. The Indian nuclear scientists were charged with nuclear proliferation to Iran. The US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher explained, "The cases reflected poor Indian commitment to non-proliferation."

In yet another instance, the US sanctioned two Indian firms for selling prohibited items to Iran.


Indian Vertical Nuclear Proliferation:

Virtually every Indian nuclear facility directly or indirectly supports Indian nuclear weapons program. Following are some of most glaring examples the Vertical Nuclear Proliferation:

Canada-India Reactor, U.S(CIRUS)/Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay (1955)
Canada supplied India a powerful research reactor which produced plutonium for India’s first nuclear weapon.

Power Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant (PREFRE), Anushakti Nagar (1969)
The facility reprocesses fuel from two unsafeguarded reactors at the Madres Atomic Power Station (MAPS).

Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), Hyderabad (1974)
Hyderabad site facilities produce special materials to fabricate fissile material into atomic bomb cores. Plant is capable of manufacturing enough plutonium for one to two bombs a year.

Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR/ IGCAR), Kalpakkam (1978)
France assisted India in building the FBTR in Kalpakkam. It is based on the French "Rapsodie" model. The FBTR first reached criticality in 1985. Such Indian reactors produce more plutonium than they burn.

Variable Energy Cyclotron Center (VECC), Calcutta (1979)
Indian Government documents showed the facility's cyclotrons had been used for potential weapons-related research.

Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS), (1981)
The power station has supplied spent fuel to the Tarapur reprocessing plant. Another source of unsafeguarded plutonium is the spent fuel from the Madras Power Station which provides India with nuclear weapons. At the facility scientists are also able to produce tritium. Tritium is used in the construction of fusion bombs and to boost the fission yields of thermonuclear weapons.

Plutonium Reprocessing Plant, Trombay (1961/1984)
The facility is based on the (PUREX). India obtained blueprints for the US-developed plutonium-uranium extraction process plant from the US firm Vitro International. Extracted plutonium from the plutonium reprocessing plant can/possibly be used for India's nuclear weapons program. It is estimated, by 1997, some 400kg of plutonium had been extracted at this facility.

Uranium Enrichment Plant, Trombay (1985)
The facility is an ultracentrifuge plant. It supplies enriched uranium for the CIRUS and Dhruva nuclear reactors.

Supercomputer Education and Research Center (SERC), Bangalore (1987)
IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer was purchased in 1994 from US. After May 1998 nuclear tests, several international organizations accused SERC of participating in the design of weapons.

Rattehali Enrichment Facility, Trombay (1990)
Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) a subsidiary of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) operates the plant. The DAE confirmed the existence of the plant in 1992. The plant operates several hundred domestically produced sub-critical centrifuge rotor assemblies, making the plant capable of yielding several kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) per year for nuclear weapons.

Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune University (1991)
C-DAC supercomputer models are said to have been used to design the nuclear weapons tested in May 1998.

Beryllium Machining Facility (BMF), Navi Mumbai (1994)
These facilities produce beryllium blocks and machines beryllium into components. Beryllium was used in India's 1974 nuclear explosion.

Kalpakkam Atomic Reprocessing Plant (KARP), Kalpakkam (1996)
KARP currently reprocesses spent fuel from MAPS and FBTR. KARP provides plutonium for India's nuclear weapons program.

Fast Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant (FRFRP), Kalpakkam (2001)
The plant reprocesses plutonium-uranium carbide fuel from the FBTR. FRFRP and the KARP are fast becoming India's largest plutonium producer. This plutonium can/may be used for India's nuclear weapons program.


All credit for the above article, which was originally published in April, 2006, goes to Adnan Gill. The Congressional report by the official specialist in National Defense Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division titled 'CRS Report for Congress. India and Iran: WMD Proliferation Activities' [backup] was released on November 8, 2006 and has a lot of similarity to the above article.

Those readers interested in reading more about the CIRUS reactor can read the article on Wikipedia.
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Comments made

Nuclear power is inevitable in India, and many other places. It is clean, efficient and safe and does not add to global warming.
You need to relax, and update your research. India is in talks and has been very actively persuing THORIUM nuclear power, as an alternative to the much more dangerous and less efficient plutonium based fuels.

Go to and read it for yourself.

Thorium Power, Inc has developed the thorium based fuel already and has been in talks with India (as recently as in the past 30 days)for it to be used there. I suggest you update your research and perhaps consider buying stock in THPW (symbol). Their fuel is less expensive than plutonium based nuclear fuel, and safer and cannot be made into weapons at all. Furthermore, India has the worlds largest supply of thorium. And thorium is much more abundant in the world than plutonium is. India is already using it in reactors and has already announced plans to make it a major initiative, going forward, as is Russia and other countries.

Non-proliferable thorium based nuclear fuels is cheaper, more efficient, safer, more abundant than plutonium, and leaves FAR less waste which in itself is FAR less dangerous than plutonium reactor waste.

Thorium is now the most important element on earth.
30/01 06:00:58
Nice article about proliferation. I would not consider India's situation to be related proliferation. It is more about being self reliant. It appears to be India's consistent position that there are two standards applied around the NPT. India just does not subscribe to it.

India has been extremely responsible ownser of the nuclear technology.

Perhaps the following story will amuse you. India's first reactor is called "Apsara". When India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was in Russia, he was fascinated by the blue radiation one observes around the reactors. He called it as if it was an Apsara -- a heavenly beauty in courts of the Gods. That's the same name that was used for the reactor. There was no plan to use this technology was world domination.
31/01 07:14:41
@ Concerned Citizen and Investment Conscio:

Yes, Nuclear power is inevitable but the way it is acquired in violation of international agreements (violation on America's part since India is not an NPT signatory) and the use to which it is put are very valid questions. Would India be using the material for the development of its nuclear arsenal? There is no doubt about that. Even Israel developed its nukes from the Dimona nuclear plant in a similarly illicit way.

About Thorium, yes, India has reserves but you are over exaggerating them. The largest reserves are currently held by Australia. You can read about it on Wikipedia:

No, Thorium is not the most important element on Earth. Try living without Oxygen. Or maybe Hydrogen too.
31/01 13:33:07
@ MumbaiKar:

I understand that 'proliferation' is a very distasteful word with regards to nukes but that is what it is. Sugar coating it or using alternate expressions (like 'illicit use and spread of nuclear resources'?) will not help anyone.

Yup, India does not subscribes to the NPT standards and tries to blow into smithereens the very international agreement which it should have signed. Tell me, why has India not yet signed NPT? It does stand for Non-Proliferation treaty. doesn't it? What is it that India has to fear? Obviously there is some kind of proliferation going on. Why do you think the world was amazed at the 180 degree u-turn by India on Iran?

Read the CRS Report for Congress which outlines the nuclear proliferation from India to Iran. I think that is proof enough.

Have you even read the article carefully? Responsibility of India in this regard is very much questionable.

The story you gave amuses me yes, but it has no bearing on the article/discussion. You are digressing from the issue. Your last sentence is laughable. The CIRUS reactor was used, in violation of the agreement with USA and Canada, for development of India's nuclear arsenal. Again, you need to read the article and not just jump to comment on the article by looking at the title alone.
31/01 13:43:54
I appreciate your opinion, but anyhow?
14/03 13:48:34
Your article is made up mostly of half-truths, distortions and gross exaggerations and belies your ulterior motive in portraying India as a rogue nation from the very start. Over half of what you listed falls outside the purview of the NPT and NSG(of which India is not a member) and a good portion of the rest has no relation to nuclear proliferation(Commerical chemical sales?! You might as well indict any company that exported TNT to Iran and Iraq!).

Lastly, many of the countries to whom India apparently proliferated were at various times clients of one or more P-5 nations and obtained similar technology from them.

I'm sure the Indians could provide a far longer list of proliferation activities by the so-called 'official' nuclear powers, including the USA.
01/07 18:38:09
The real story, as recounted by Paul Leventhal of The Nuclear Control Institute, begins with the US and Canada supplying nuclear reactors and fuel to India in 1960s. As the story unfolds, we learn that the spent fuel from Canadian Cirus reactor was reprocessed into bomb-grade plutonium using a reprocessing plant provided by an American-European consortium, and later used to explode India's first atom bomb at Pokhran in 1974. This is the key event in South Asia that led to Pakistan's pursuit of nuclear weapons culminating in nuclear tests by both India and Pakistan in 1998.
13/11 23:27:03
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12/01 20:59:23
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04/05 09:19:54
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29/05 04:56:24

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