Nuclear Energy

The Threat Of Increasing Stocks Of Indian Fissile Material

The rivalry in conventional and nuclear capability is growing in South Asia. India has installed over two dozen dual-capacity delivery systems over the last two decades and is in the midst of constructing its specific nuclear triads.

The priority of Indian policymakers is on fissile material development. This still remains a major contributor to the determination of Indian strategic position in terms of scale, effectiveness and function. The Chief key barrier to progress in Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) is the lack of transparency on fissile material stocks in India.

The issue is fundamental to India’s civilian plutonium production program, which is outside the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) because India has identified this material as a “strategic backup.”

To sustain the ambiguous nuclear posture of no first use (NFU), India has established a major strategic program in the manufacture of fissile materials, design and development of nuclear weapons and multiple delivery system. Pakistan has opposed some discriminatory nonproliferation regimes which it thinks will offer India a “permanent edge.”

This is one and primary source of Pakistan’s opposition to pursue a FMCT because of the asymmetry in existing stockpiles with India, particularly plutonium. The current and increasing dangerous stocks of weapons-grade fissile material by New Delhi would have unbearable effects from the South Asian viewpoint of strategic stability.

An in depth analysis in 2016 has shown that India has enough resources and fissile materials to develop between 356 and 492 nuclear warheads. The study titled ‘Indian Unsafeguarded Nuclear Program’ which was published by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), revealed a recent and detailed evaluation of the capability of India’s nuclear weapon capability.

The study was even stronger than other analyses related to the Indian nuclear program and incorporates social science and scientific information deliberately.

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