Pokhran II Tests: Sanathanam Calls Kakodkar A ‘Liar’

Retired DRDO scientist K Sanathanam has blamed former AEC chief Anil Kakodkar of ‘ignoring facts’ about the yield of the nuclear tests carried out Pokhran in May 1998 and called him ‘a liar’ who is inspired by institutional loyalties.

“Figures don’t lie, but liars will figure. He chose to ignore facts for his own reasons,” Santhanam said.

Sanathanam made the statement when asked to comment on remarks made by Kakodkar in a TV interview.

Yesterday, Kakodkar had said that DRDO provided only ‘logistic support’ to the nuclear test and it would be incorrect to assume that he knew everything, as information was given only a need-know-basis.

“There are several inaccuracies in his (Kakodkar’s) statement. The DRDO was a major partner in the 1998 tests and not what Kakodkar has claimed…that we only provided logistical support. That is very far away from truth,” Santhanam said.

“He (Kakodkar) is motivated by institutional loyalties,” he said responding to a question about the former AEC chief’s assertion that the nuclear tests were a success and had yielded more than 45 kilo tons.

“We (DRDO scientists) were there as those responsible for the explosive trigger and measuring chain reaction in the core. We were responsible for full-fledged high-end explosive development and production without which the atom bomb is naked,” Santhanam, a key scientist involved in the 1998 nuclear tests, said.

Santhanam said that the Centre had entrusted DRDO with the responsibility of ‘site instrumentation’ to measure the yield of the (nuclear) devise tested.

‘These instruments were of international class and standards. There can be no two opinion on the quality of the instruments,’ he said, on Kakodkar’s remarks that these had not worked during the nuclear tests.

“Obviously the work done by DRDO is way beyond just logistics support,” Santhanam added.

Asked about Kakodkar’s assurances to the armed forces on the quality of the arsenal, he said that assurances were alright, but “at a deeper scientific level, one should not toy with scientific data”.

Accusing Kakodkar of a personal attack on him, Santhanam said that the former’s comments were in very poor taste.

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