India And Pakistan Nuclear
Potentials Said To Be 'Huge'
LONDON (Reuters) - The potential nuclear arsenals of foes India and Pakistan, which both tested nuclear devices this year, could be far bigger than previously thought, according to the latest edition of Jane's Intelligence Review. The leading defence journal said new information from the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) showed India had enough plutonium to make 455 atomic bombs if it managed to make weapons from reactor-grade plutonium as well as weapons-grade. ``Although reactor-grade plutonium is less efficient for nuclear weapons, India's plutonium, as is, could potentially be used to make 455 atomic bombs,'' the journal said. ``This estimate contrasts sharply with the majority view that India can produce from 25 to at most 65 nuclear weapons.'' Eight of India's 10 nuclear reactors are Canadian Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactors. Together with the country's six nuclear research reactors, they have produced 3,299 kilograms of plutonium, 17 percent of which is weapons-grade the rest reactor-grade, the CNA found. New data suggests Pakistan is capable of producing more than 100 atom bombs, ``four times the number previously estimated,'' Jane's said. Pakistan's one nuclear power reactor is a CANDU. Some countries, notably Britain, have successfully made nuclear weapons from the less ideal reactor plutonium, according to previous Jane's articles. In May, India broke a self-imposed 24-year moratorium on nuclear tests, provoking Pakistan into carrying out its own tests. The United States promptly slapped economic sanctions on both countries. On Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said he and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, would instruct their officials to resume a stalled dialogue process on all issues, including the disputed territory of Kashmir. The two are due to meet in New York for lunch later on Wednesday. Talks broke down last year over Kashmir and the tit-for-tat nuclear tests heightened the tension.