Pak Is Doubling Nuclear Production Capability: Report
Just after conclusion of two-day strategic dialogue between the US and Pakistan, a report prepared by the Washington based Institute for Science and International Security has said that Islamabad might be operating a second nuclear reactor under the country’s nuclear weapons programme, said media reports.
Report bases its argument on GoogleEarth satellite image that shows steam deforming the view of some cooling tower fan blades at the second plutonium production reactor at Khushab, indicating that the reactor is in some state of initial operation such as a power start-up, said reports.
As only few countries in the world have capability of nuclear production, the start-up operation of the second Khushab reactor which will double plutonium output in Pakistan, is important, reports said.
Besides, report mentioned that Pakistan began construction of Khushab-II reactor in 2002 and construction activity for a third reactor was seen in satellite images in 2007, said reports.
“For many years all Pakistan had was its uranium enrichment programme. Sometime in 2002, Pakistan began building a second reactor and then again sometime around 2006-07, Pakistan began building a third reactor at Khushabh. So what we are seeing here is a really massive expansion of Pakistan’s plutonium production programme. And the issue here is that Pakistan does not really need a new reactor as it has a unranium enrichment programme and a plutonium production programme,” Paul Brannan, Senior Analyst, ISIS, Washington, DC, was quoted as saying.
(Based on internet reports)