Potential to expand India’s uranium enrichment for its nuclear submarine fleet
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Using satellite imagery, a covert uranium enrichment plant in India has been analysed by IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS), a leading global source of critical information and insight.
IHS Jane’s defense and security intelligence experts have identified a possible new uranium hexafluoride plant at the Indian Rare Metals Plant (IRMP) near Mysore, India. This site in India will support new centrifuges that will substantially expand India’s uranium enrichment capacity, most likely to facilitate the construction of an increased number of naval reactors to expand the country’s nuclear submarine fleet, but also, to potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons. IHS Jane’s experts assess that the new uranium enrichment facility could become operational by mid- to late-2015.
“The expansion of India’s uranium enrichment facilities allows the country to press ahead with the introduction of its ballistic missile nuclear submarine fleet, part of an effort to enhance its existing nuclear deterrent in the face of perceived threats from both China and Pakistan,” comments Matthew Clements, Editor, IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review.
Karl Dewey, Proliferation Editor at IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, added: “The enrichment plant was originally built to provide uranium for submarine reactors. But there is now significant excess capacity for other purposes, most likely nuclear weapons.”
Robert Kelley, consultant to IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, added: “The US continues to treat India as a bona fide nuclear weapons state despite India’s failure to ratify the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Mysore’s original centrifuge plant was constructed in 1992, although in 2010 site clearance for a new, even larger, suspected centrifuge hall began. It is this new facility that could soon be operational. India is generally vocal in publicising its defence industry successes, but has revealed little about operations at Mysore, possibly to reduce attention to its nuclear trade agreements with the US.”
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Source: IHS Inc.