USA’s Fukushima At The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

Ernie Garcia,

A review of unplanned shutdowns from January 2012 to the present showed this year’s events happened within a short time frame, between May 7 and July 8, in contrast with events from other years that were more spread out, according to data released by Indian Point.

If a nuclear plant has more than three unplanned shutdowns in a nine-month period, its performance indicator could be changed by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which results in additional oversight. That’s what happened with Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., after four unplanned shutdowns in 2013.

So far, Entergy said there doesn’t appear to be a pattern to the Indian Point shutdowns.

“You do want to look at these events holistically to see if there is something in common, but you also look individually to see what the causes were,” Nappi said. “A plant shutdown in and of itself is not a safety issue.”

One of the four recent Buchanan shutdowns triggered a special inspection by the NRC and calls to close the nuclear plant by environmental groups and elected officials. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said in the past Indian Point should close, but his office did not respond to a request for comment about whether the recent shutdowns have prompted any state scrutiny.

The NRC is expected to release a quarterly report on Indian Point this month that will address the transformer failure and, by year’s end, is planning an inspection of the transformer and an analysis of transformer issues since 2007.

Besides its transformer-related inquiries, the other three shutdowns have not raised “any immediate safety concerns or crossed any thresholds that would result in additional NRC oversight,” agency spokesman Neil Sheehan wrote in an email.

The unplanned shutdowns at Indian Point and Pilgrim in Massachusetts were  mostly preventable, said Paul Blanch, a former Indian Point employee with 45 years of nuclear power experience.

“For this to happen this frequently indicates a deeper problem,” he said. “I believe it’s management oversight in the maintenance of these plants.”

Nappi said the transformer that failed May 9 and caused a fire and oil spill into the Hudson was regularly monitored. Investigators determined the failure was due to faulty insulation.

“The transformer inspection and reviews were in accordance with our standards and industry expectations, yet there was no indication the transformer was going to fail,” Nappi said.

The NRC conducted a separate, but related special inspection into the May 9 incident that focused on a half-inch of water that collected in an electrical switchgear room floor. Inspectors determined a fire suppression system’s valve failed to close properly.

Inspectors noted in their report that Entergy knew about that problem since April 2011 and replaced the valve but didn’t discover the actual cause — a dysfunctional switch — until after the fire.

Indian Point’s Unit 3 was down 19 days May through July, with the transformer failure accounting for 16 days. The shutdowns didn’t cause the public any supply problems because New York’s grid can import electricity from other states and New York has an energy plan to maintain reliability, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The nuclear energy industry judges a power plant on how continuously it produces energy, which is called a capacity factor.

There were 100 nuclear plants in the United States in 2014, a record year in terms of efficiency. In January, the Nuclear Energy Institute announced the U.S. average capacity factor was 91.9 percent.

Indian Point has an above-average efficiency rate. The plant’s Unit 2 and 3 reactors were each online more than 99 percent of the time during their most recent two-year operating cycles. They are currently in the middle of other cycles.

Petition to Keep Indian Point Unit 2 Open for the Sixth Seal

Indian Point nuclear power plant

Petition calls for Indian Point nuclear plant to continue operating

23 April 2020A group of more than 5000 environmentalists, business people, climate activists and healthcare professionals have signed a petition to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urging him to postpone the closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The petition was delivered yesterday.

Indian Point a twin-unit nuclear power plant with an installed capacity of 2028MWe is located 24 miles (39 kilometres) from New York City.

It is New York City’s largest source of clean, emission-free electricity, the Climate Coalition said.

In 2017 Indian Point’s operator Entergy agreed with the state of New York that Indian Point 2 would close by the end of April 2020, followed by unit 3 by the end of April 2021. However, the agreement included a provision that in the event of an emergency affecting electricity generation, the state may agree to allow the plant to continue operating for up to five more years.

In a letter, signatories said that since nuclear power plants do not produce air pollution that could worsen the effects of Covid-19 keeping Indian Point online could save lives during and after the pandemic.

Collaborating under the aegis of the Climate Coalition, a group whose mission is reducing emissions and standing up for all types of clean energy technology, the signatories asked the governor to suspend the shutdown of Indian Point 2.

They urged him, instead, to create a commission to review the environmental impacts of the closure, which they say would increase emissions, hurt residents’ health, destabilise the grid, and set back New York’s climate agenda.

“Keeping the 2-gigawatt Indian Point facility operational would avoid the need to generate more electricity from burning fossil fuels, increasing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions,” the signatories said. “Postponing the shutdown of Indian Point is the right thing to do for many reasons.”

Indian Point 2, a Westinghouse pressurised water reactor, entered commercial operation in August 1974. It is currently scheduled to shut down on 30 April.

Photo: Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York

Saving the Oil But Not the Wine (Revelation 6:6)

WTI, Brent crude futures post price gains Thursday Getty Images

U.S. oil prices surge by nearly 20% as traders point to escalating Middle East tensions

Oil futures on Thursday ended sharply higher, with the threat of conflict between the U.S. and Iran and signs of production cuts lifting U.S. benchmark prices by almost 20%.

The commodity was extending its advance from the previous session after President Donald Trump on Wednesday in a tweet “instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.”

Oil has been under enormous pressure as a pact by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major oil producers failed to stem a slump in the value of the commodity that was amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic that has crushed demand for oil.

On top of that, producers are running out of places to store oil, a fact that has also added to price pressures.

“The oil market was looking for something to hold onto after days of painful declines in prices and today found some relief in developments in the U.S.,” wrote Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets at Rystad Energy, in a daily research note.

“Threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to destroy Iranian gunboats if they harass U.S. navy ships boosted the possibility of renewed tension in the Middle East, a major oil producing region, which traders always translate to reductions in the region’s production and exports if things escalate,” he said.

June West Texas Intermediate crude US:CLM20, the U.S. benchmark grade, rose $2.72, or 19.7%, to settle at $16.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after touching an intraday peak of $18.26, according to FactSet data. The contract surged more than 19% on Wednesday.

June Brent crude UK:BRNM20, the international benchmark, rose 96 cents, or 4.7%, to end at $21.33 a barrel, after jumping 5.4% in the pervious session.

Marshall Gittler, head of investment research at BDSwiss Group, downplayed the risk of disruption to oil shipping in the Middle East.

“Given the recent history of conflict between the two nations [the U.S. and Iran] — big on threats, short on fighting — I think it’s highly unlikely that we would see anything significant enough to interfere with shipping,” he said. “Short of that, I don’t see this having much impact on the supply of oil.”

Two straight days of gains for crude has brought some calm to the energy market but commodity traders are uncertain how long the upswing for oil will last without a more lasting solution to the commodity’s storage and oversupply problems.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude inventories rose 15 million barrels for the week ended April 17 to 518.6 million barrels, marking a 13th straight weekly climb. That followed a record weekly increase of 19.2 million barrels a week earlier.

Oil stocks at Cushing, Okla., the delivery hub for Nymex futures, rose to 59.7 million barrels last week from 55 million the previous week.

“The storm for oil isn’t over but at least for the time being it is less volatile than the headline-grabbing moves of the last few days,” wrote Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades, in a research note on Thursday.

“It is clear that any additional cut by OPEC would only be a temporary solution and not a definitive one. Moreover, many producers will struggle with further cuts, even if this seems to be the only alternative to ultra-low prices,” he wrote.

Still, Gittler said oil demand may have “bottomed for now.”

“The supply overhang is still there — people are just getting enthusiastic about the idea that the tanks will fill up a bit more slowly than they had thought on Tuesday,” he told MarketWatch.

Signs of a further drop in U.S. crude oil production may also support crude prices, from a slowdown in fracking activity and sharp weekly declines in the active oil-rig count, to expectations of a May decline for all seven major shale oil output regions.

Energy companies have announced production cuts, including Continental Resources Inc. US:CLR and Parsley Energy Inc. US:PE earlier this month. Offshore oil drillers have started to shut off wells in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. fracking activity, meanwhile, is poised to suffer its largest-ever monthly drop in April, according to a recent report from Rystad Energy.

Data from Baker Hughes meanwhile show a drop of 66 in the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil to 438 as of the week ended April 17. That marked a fifth straight weekly decline.

On Nymex, prices for petroleum product also climbed, with May gasoline US:RBK20 up 0.8% at 64.36 cents a gallon and May heating oil US:HOK20 up 0.5% at 73.45 cents a gallon.

May natural gas US:NGK20 fell by 12.4 cents, or 6.4%, to $1.815 per million British thermal units, near the session’s low of $1.806. Prices eased back in volatile trading to give up nearly all of the 6.5% climb suffered Wednesday.

The EIA reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 43 billion cubic feet for the week ended April 17. Average expectations called for a rise of 49 billion cubic feet, according to a survey of analysts conducted by S&P Global Platts.

Why the Nuclear Horns Continue to Grow (Daniel 7)

Why America’s Accusations That China Is Testing Nuclear Weapons Harms Arms Control

In a new compliance report released last week, the United States once again accused Russia, and now China, of violating the “zero-yield” standard or threshold envisioned under the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). While “zero,” “yield,” and “threshold” do not appear in the text of the CTBT, the United States, Russia, China, and other negotiating parties have always held the interpretation that the Treaty bans nuclear test explosions with any yield, anywhere.

The current U.S. administration’s vague and ungrounded claims pointing to possible Russian and Chinese “low-yield” nuclear testing are vexingly unsubstantiated and ultimately harm progress on arms control, strategic stability, and confidence-building. These thinly-supported claims are also counterproductive to American national security goals, especially as President Trump’s team continues to propose a “new generation” of trilateral arms control agreements that would include both Russia and China. Washington cannot achieve this important goal without producing pragmatic proposals to back its vision. Instead of using the common lack of CTBT ratification between America and China as an opportunity to take what would be a tremendously positive joint step, the U.S. administration is using it to spark increased animosity.

Many worry that the U.S. accusations have been made in less than good faith. Given the general lack of enthusiasm for the CTBT in the administration, it is difficult to conclude otherwise. For example, as one of the lead negotiating countries of the CTBT and the only signatory that pays a significant single share of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)’s operational budget, the U.S. government has done a disservice to its own diplomatic record and financial investment by leaving out any mention of the Treaty in the report. Failure to even mention the CTBT, which is a cornerstone of global non-proliferation and disarmament architecture, sends a poor message to the international community about this administration’s sentiments towards the Treaty’s relevance and value.

With current tensions with China heightened over the COVID-19 pandemic, the information environment is ripe for some American lawmakers to mobilize the claim that China is engaging in “low-yield” nuclear testing as a tool to withdraw Washington from the CTBT altogether. However, the concerns are seemingly based on higher activity levels at the Chinese Lop Nur test site. If the same metrics were used, the same accusations could also be leveled against American activities at the U.S. Nevada test site. Senior Chinese officials have made it clear that alleged talk in the United States about “unsigning” the CTBT and American preparations to resume nuclear testing at a shorter notice have made consensus difficult amongst the Chinese National People’s Congress on the CTBT. While China says it is committed to ratification, these actions have made it far easier for China to put the onus back on America to break open the “log-jam” that is stagnating progress on the Treaty’s entry-into-force.  

In contrast to the unclear claims against China, the new report explicitly asserts that Russia has conducted experiments that produced nuclear yield as the result of supercritical chain reactions. However, the United States “does not know how many, if any, supercritical or self-sustaining nuclear experiments Russia conducted in 2019.” Moreover, the Trump administration offers no numbers of violations, or evidence, for the other years since the CTBT was finalized in 1996. Russia, which ratified the CTBT a number of years ago, has wholly dismissed U.S. allegations with a similar tone to China’s reaction.

It has become clear that part of the issue is the semiotic slippage of what constitutes a “nuclear test.” U.S. accusations over “low yield” testing concern so-called tiny “hydro-nuclear” tests that involve explosively compressing plutonium or uranium to produce a supercritical chain reaction and a nuclear yield equivalent to only grams of TNT. Scientists have long described these tests as “tickling the dragon’s tail.” Unfortunately, hydro-nuclear tests with a nuclear yield below that of the high explosive used to detonate the physics package are possibly undetectable or at least indistinguishable from the subcritical–or “zero-yield”–tests technically allowed under the CTBT.

Thus, issues over “low-yield” nuclear testing are impossibly difficult to verify unless physical, on-site transparency inspections occur. In any case, hydro-nuclear tests of little to no nuclear yield are not going to provide Russia or China any militarily-significant advantages over America, and the utility of these tests varies based on previous test and design experience. In view of this, it is important to note that the United States, which has conducted more nuclear tests than any country, has no technical need for resuming any level of nuclear testing either.

One should not forget that the CTBT’s billion-dollar-plus, intricate array of sensors has exceeded expectations over the past two decades in its ability to detect nuclear tests anywhere and at any time. This was made clear when the International Monitoring System (IMS) detected a North Korean nuclear test with a yield of less than one kiloton in 2006. Twenty years prior to this, when technical experts were finalizing the parameters for the CTBT verification regime, they aimed at a global detection capability threshold of one kiloton. Since that 2006 test, the CTBT’s International Monitoring System (IMS)’s capacity has risen from less than 60 percent to 90 percent completion, continually improving its accuracy and agility along the way.

While hundreds of IMS sensors listen to rhythms emanating from all corners of the planet, any anomalies that may be a nuclear test are assessed in real-time by an international group of technologists and scientists. Cross-correlation methods can be used to pinpoint even low-yield tests, as seen in the aforementioned North Korea case, but the system is not completely infallible. Anxieties over “low-yield” nuclear tests are one of the many reasons why consultation and clarification, confidence building measures, and on-site inspections are key parts of the CTBT.

If these new accusations against China and Russia are meant to pave a path for a U.S. exit from the treaty, it is crucial that lawmakers and their national security advisors do not take Administration accusations at face value, but actually aim to understand the CTBT and its technical merits. Moreover, it is the job of the U.S. intelligence community to analyze activities that have implications for a country’s international obligations. If the intelligence community has information regarding Chinese or Russian activities that indicate behavior inconsistent with the CTBT, it should make it explicitly known. As has been done in the past, the Director of National Intelligence could appoint a panel of scientific experts from outside the intelligence community to review and report on whatever information, if any at all, underpins these claims.

All CTBT signatories, including all five major nuclear powers, share a responsibility to herald the treaty into force—a task which requires America and China to ratify. Without entry-into-force, the CTBTO’s international team of trained scientists cannot conduct intrusive, short-notice, and physical on-site inspections. Until then, it would be logical for the United States, China, and Russia to solve any concerns through the other options afforded to them under the CTBT. Russia has proposed transparency exchanges to the United States in the past, and America should respond positively and seek to include China in the development of a trilateral—or better yet, P-5 wide—protocol.

As previously suggested, increased trust could help lead to P-5 agreement on the provisional application of the CTBT and accompanying on-site-inspections in the event that the United States and China finally ratify the treaty. This is especially important if the treaty’s entry-into-force remains delayed by others. Such steps would offer the first tangible proposal for the “next generation” of arms that President Trump so desperately wants.

Thinly-supported accusations of Russian, and now Chinese, treaty-cheating based on “low yield testing” are perennial bad faith and counterproductive tactics that damage arms control and strategic stability. The United States must showcase commitment to finishing what it started by engaging in dialogue and ratifying the CTBT immediately alongside China. Only this will truly help unlock the Treaty’s full potential.

Sahil Shah works for the European Leadership Network (ELN) as a Policy Fellow, focusing on improving the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regimes.

Image: Reuters

The Fateh Nuclear Submarine, A Camouflage for the Iranian Nuclear Bomb

The Fateh Nuclear Submarine, A Camouflage for An Iranian Nuclear Bomb

22 April 2020

Iran’s Fateh submarine. The Navy of Iran is believed to be operating two of the compact Fateh-class boats to date. Its design is believed to have been heavily influenced by both Chinese and North Korean submarine types.

By Pooya Stone


Iran’s regime has claimed that it is building an atomic submarine called the Fateh (Conqueror), which is a sign of the country’s progress and growth in line with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s announced strategy of the “Year of a leap in production.” But the regime’s propaganda move is a camouflage smokescreen to cover up its real goal of building an atomic bomb.

Hossein Khanzadi, Commander of the Navy, on 16 April announced the start of the production of this submarine. He immediately added: “The Islamic Republic’s position toward nuclear energy is clear and transparent and the supreme leader Ali Khamenei frequently insisted on it. The nuclear programs’ officials and the authorities all know the framework and take steps in this framework.”

Khanzadi’s reason for raising the issue of transparency on nuclear energy is to answer the following questions in advance. The most important question of the regime’s nuclear activities is, what is the purpose of the regime’s resumption, and why is it pursuing it with such intensity?

In June 2006, China, Russia, and the United States joined the three EU-3 countries forming the P5+1, which had been negotiating with Iran since 2003, to offer another proposal for comprehensive negotiations with Iran.

A round of the talks between Iran and the P5+1, chaired by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, was held in the Kazak city of Almaty on 26–27 February 2013. The two sides agreed to meet again in the city on 5–6 April to continue the talks after holding expert-level talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul on 17–18 March 2013.

In a further meeting of the P5+1 in Geneva on 16 October 2013, Iran stated that it may allow unannounced visits to its nuclear sites as a “last step” in a proposal to resolve differences with the West.Lowering uranium enrichment levels could also be part of a final deal, according to an Iranian official. 

On 24 November 2013, an interim agreement was reached between the E3/EU+3 (P5+1 countries and the EU) and Iran in Geneva, Switzerland. It was expected to lead to a six-month freeze and partial rollback of portions of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for decreased economic sanctions on Iran, as the countries work towards a long-term agreement.

The regime was forced to go to the negotiation table and to sign the agreement in a situation whereby sanctions were in place and the possibility of a US-led war and widespread attacks had become quite serious.

With the arrival of US President Donald Trump and the de facto end of the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), sanctions were lifted to the maximum, and conditions were set for their abolition, each of which for the regime was like drinking from a poison chalice.

In retaliation against the United States, Hassan Rouhani’s government began taking steps in May 2019 to violate its nuclear agreement commitments.It also announced in mid of January 2020 that it had taken the last step and would not accept any further restrictions on its enrichment and nuclear program.

Within a year and three months of the regime’s resumption of uranium enrichment and the installation of 8th and 9th generation centrifuges, the regime has not yet allowed inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit suspicious sites they wanted to see.

The IAEA report said Iran has dramatically increased the number of centrifuges it uses to produce the nuclear fuel, bringing about 1,000 of the machines back into use in recent months, including at the Fordow underground enrichment facility. (CNN, 4 March 2020)

Iran sought an atomic bomb after the war with Iraq

From the first day of his tenure, Khomeini (the regime’s founder), who was in charge of forming the Shiite Caliphate Empire, during the eight-year Iran-Iran War, chanted “Conquest of Jerusalem through the Karbala,” and pursued the stability of his young regime. With the end of the war and the loss of $1 trillion in damage to the country’s economy and the destruction of the country’s infrastructure, the regime’s leaders, led by Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, saw the only way for their regime’s survival was to acquire an atomic bomb and infiltrate in the countries of the region.

With this strategy in place, the regime has sought to build an atomic bomb since 1990,spending billions of dollars on oil revenues. To this end, Abdul Qadir Khan, the father of the Pakistani nuclear bomb, was secretly recruited. And parallel to this activity the regime started to advance its missile treasury.

Deception policy to build an atomic bomb

The regime’s policy of deception in advancing these projects was to do its work in the guise of legitimate subjects. The construction of the Tehran metro was one of the coverings that the regime was able to purchase tunnel drilling machines from the western countries and use them to build tunnels under the mountains to keep its missiles.

That is why the construction of the Tehran metro took almost 10 years. Because the main machinery was used to dig the missile tunnel.

The regime’s nuclear project continued in secret for 18 years, until the Iranian opposition (MEK/PMOI) exposed it in 2002 while exposing Natanz’s enrichment facilities and Arak’s heavy water.

Although the regime tried hard to deny it, the revelations were so clear that the regime eventually accepted it. During the presidencies of Mohammad Khatami and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, there were serious loopholes in the functioning of the International Atomic Energy Agency due to the policy of appeasement.

Prior to the signing of the JCPOA agreement, international experts estimated that the Iranian regime was six months to a year away from building a nuclear bomb. Among the regime’s other needs in the nuclear power process was the possession of long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Until last year, the regime was able to use Chinese and North Korean missiles, with the help of engineers and their specialists, to upgrade the Shahab missile and bring its range to Europe’s borders.

The regime’s long-range missiles have so far been deprived of a special warhead capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. But they worked hard to build it. In December last year, a spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards Air Force said Iran had been able to build and test its warheads with ballistic missiles.

If the regime’s missile technology with a nuclear warhead is successful, Khamenei has only one step left to be equipped with a nuclear weapon. About three months have passed since mid-December 2019 when the regime took the last step to reduce its commitments.

During this time, the regime has done its utmost to enrich uranium with a high percentage, declaring that it will not accept any ceiling for the enrichment and will produce whatever they want and according to their needs.

One of the regime’s tricks is using the global crisis for its benefits, whether its influences in other countries through the Iraq war or the coronavirus pandemic to force the countries especially the US to lift the sanctions and remove the regime’s finance deadlock under the alibi of humanitarian aids, but to financing its proxy groups and its missile and nuclear projects. Or using the coronavirus to involve the people to prevent any further protests.

So, if today the regime is raising the issue of building a nuclear-powered submarine, it is not more than a hoax, and Khamenei is trying to equip and prepare his ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.

The Growing Indian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8 )

The Threat Of Increasing Stocks Of Indian Fissile Material – OpEd

Syed Zain Jaffery*April 22, 2020

India’s Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant. Source: Petr Pavlicek/IAEA, Wikipedia Commons.

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. Hence, the absence of accountability in India’s unregulated civil and military fissile supplies leaves Pakistan worried about the adequacy of its dissuasive ability to maintain its deterrence.

In another research carried at the Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs by Dr. Mansoor Ahmed has shown how India is expanding its unsafeguarded nuclear power programme in a three-stage plan. The development of numerous nuclear reactors has also been announced by New Delhi. This capacity is going to produce excess amount of fissile material, other than required for fueling the breeder and naval reactors programmes. India would be able to replace China, France and the United Kingdom with nuclear weapons technology within the next decade and become the third largest in nuclear weaponry number game behind the US and Russia. According to the study, India can produce over 2,600 weapons.Therefore, India amongst other non-NPT nuclear nations, has the highest developing rate of nuclear weapons outside safeguards.

India is now working on the construction of more than five fast breeder reactors which will raise its output potential of plutonium arms 20 fold to 700 kg annually. Similarly, expansion in its centrifuge enrichment programme will enable it to increase production of highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons to 160kg every year. India will manufacture about 80-90 plutonium-based and 7-8 uranium-based nuclear weapons per year with this volume of weapons-grade material. In addition, India has accelerated development of nuclear facilities and preparation to store weapons grade material for later use in programs of military modernization. New Delhi actively maintained its fast breeder reactors and primarily ignored to maintain IAEA’s protections and oversight in its so-called military related nuclear plans. India will seek to produce many more nuclear warheads without IAEA monitoring, in order to acquire the policy of full nuclear triad.

A number of nuclear suppliers, on assumption of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, concluded nuclear cooperation relationships with India. Although the material from these countries appears to be being reused in arms for the policy of Indian military expansion with respect to aggressive nuclear weapon modernization. It is also conceivably extremely high of developing and testing a thermonuclear device for quality check in order to accomplish, what India couldn’t in 1998.

*Syed Zain Jaffery is a student of Current Affairs and Political Science with Masters degree from NUST, Islamabad.

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Military experts getting worried about the first nuclear war (Revelation 8 )

Military experts getting worried about a fresh round of arms race between Pakistan and India

Arms sale data shows that the two nuclear-armed states of Pakistan and India have been engaged in purchasing more cutting-edge weapons and ammunitions, showing their intention to start a new round of arms race, an Indian analyst said, voicing concern over a possible all-out devastating war in South Asia.

Rishikesh Kumar wrote in an article published by Sputnik that while China remains one of the major suppliers of defense equipment to Pakistan along with the U.S., in recent years, Beijing has enhanced the military capability of India’s arch-rival with upgrades and supplied state-of-the-art equipment.

On April 12, shells fired by a Pakistani weapons system damaged several houses and injured people in the Indian part of Kashmir, Kumar said, adding that the recent firefight between the two arch-rivals started on April 6 but surprised many this time, as shells fired from the Pakistani side landed deep inside the villages of Kupwara in Indian-administered Kashmir.

On August 5, 2019, India, through a presidential decree, revoked the special autonomy status of the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir to fully integrate its only Muslim-majority state with the rest of the country. The move erupted protests all over Pakistan, while the Indian-controlled Kashmir region was under lockdown. Pakistan and India both have a claim over Kashmir in its entirety and had three wars over the disputed territory.

Kumar further said that a former Indian Army Brigadier and defense analyst, Rahul Bhonsle, believed that it was China that completely overhauled the capability of Pakistan and the ‘China-Pakistan axis’ presents a formidable challenge.

“The China-Pakistan axis is no doubt a major challenge for India, given the close integration of Chinese weapons systems such as tanks, combat aircraft and the sharing of technology on tactical nuclear weapons, amongst others, Kumar quoted Bhonsle as saying.

Pakistan in some ways has become a test lab for the Chinese weapons,” the Indian military observer went on to say.

Defense trade figures published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute have revealed that China has solely replaced the entire fall in the U.S.-Pakistan defense trade in the past five years. China has been supplying defense equipment to Pakistan since the 1960s and increased its share in the total Pakistani defense arsenal to around 60 percent in recent years. Besides nuclear-capable missiles, the armored capability has gained prime importance in collaboration between the two countries.

Pakistan’s capacity in terms of main battle tanks (MBT), with approximately 2,400 in the field, is said to be diverse, with three Chinese-made tanks. Pakistan’s MBTs include 1,100 Al-Zarrar tanks, based on the Chinese Type 59 MBT, as well as 50 T-54/T-55, 400 Type-69 tanks, 350 Al-Khalid tanks, and the country is set to roll out Chinese-made VT-4 tanks. Pakistan is also working on a more advanced version of the al-Khalid III MBT.

“China may at times to come to provide Pakistan with front line Type 99 tanks but Pakistan may not have the resources to acquire the same. Pakistan’s inventory of a large mix of tanks from Al Zarrar to Khalid T-80 etc, is an outcome of a lack of funds and a mix-and-match approach, which will remain a major challenge in the future as well,” Bhonsle added.

A review of weapons classifications shows that Pakistan is militarizing its skies (48 percent of total arms import) at an unprecedented rate but at the same time, armored vehicles and artillery have constituted around 20 percent of total arms imports since 2010. It is also upgrading most of the tanks and enhancing their capability to attack any time of day, while India is playing catch-up.

“India is mainly relying now on the tried and tested T-90 S and upgraded T-72. These are versatile and have the capability to meet the challenge posed by the Pakistan armor. Gradual upgrades of these in terms of nigh fighting, fire control, and armament may be the way ahead,” Bhonsle replied when asked whether the Indian Army should also diversify its tanks.

Last December, media reports claimed that Pakistan’s army had inked a deal with China’s Northern Industries Corporation (NORINCO) to procure artillery guns for deployment along the Indian border. The two countries also inked a deal to overhaul Pakistan’s main battle tank, the Type 85-IIAP.

“India had a good option of developing indigenous Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCV) but at present, there are no current developments that are known. While upgrading the current generation on the fly for enhanced capabilities, India may also look at the Russian Armata in case it is not serious about the FRCV project,” Rahul Bhonsle said, suggesting ways to improve the nation’s armored capability.

India has approximately 3,300 main battle tanks: 1,900 T-72M1, 1,000 T-90S, and around 500 T-90SM. The Indian army has also inducted the domestically-produced Arjun MK-I but hopes to address some technical issues before rolling out a more capable version of the Arjun.

Nevertheless, Indian Army chief M. M. Naravane has indicated that country is moving away from the “military icons of the 20th century”, like tanks, fighter aircraft and primarily looking at the possible induction of laser and directed-energy weapons.

“In the five-odd decades since — in Iraq, Lebanon, Georgia, Chechnya and Syria, armored formations have either followed, supported the application of airpower and artillery, or else their units and sub-units have been committed in smaller tactical groupings as part of infantry-armor assaults in urban terrain,” Naravane said in March of this year while speaking at an event in Delhi.

In future warfare, Pakistan and China have also been working on the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles including the Caihong-5 and Wing Loong-I.

“Pakistan’s military, despite having fewer assets, is conventionally not inferior to the Indian military. Moreover, given its inter-operability with the People’s Liberation Army, when it is offered cyber, space, and Electronic Warfare support, the balance may tip in Pakistan’s favor. Complacency will not help the Indian Army,” Praveen Sawhney, a former military officer and author of several books on military affairs said.

Ultimately it is the man behind the gun that is important, as was proved by the Indian Centurion who outgunned the Pakistan Patton in 1965, but “we cannot rest on past laurels;” Rahul Bhonsle, who has had a distinguished service career lasting over 30 years, concluded.

Territorial disputes over the Kashmir region sparked two of the three major Indo-Pakistani wars in 1947 and 1965, and a limited war in 1999. Although both countries have maintained a fragile ceasefire since 2003, they regularly exchange fire across the contested border, known as the Line of Control. Both sides accuse the other of violating the cease-fire and claim to be shooting in response to attacks. An uptick in border skirmishes that began in late 2016 and continued into 2018 killed dozens and displaced thousands of civilians on both sides of the Line of Control.