Thermonuclear weapon by 2015
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India plans to create thermonuclear weapon by 2015: IHS Janes

YEREVAN, JUNE 20, ARMENPRESS.

India is expanding a covert uranium enrichment plant that could potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons. As informs "Armenpress", this was reported by Reuters Agency on June 20, in reference to IHS Jane's defence research group.

New units at the Indian Rare Metals Plant would boost India's ability to produce weapons-grade uranium to twice the amount needed for its planned nuclear-powered submarine fleet. This will raise the stakes in India's arms race with China and Pakistan.

The facility, located near Mysore in southern India, could be operational by mid-2015.

Unlike Iran, India is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. New Delhi tested its first nuclear weapon in 1974, provoking international sanctions that barred it from importing nuclear technology and materials. It conducted tests again in 1998 that drew a quick response from Pakistan, triggering an arms race between the neighbours, who have fought three wars since independence in 1947.A civil nuclear cooperation deal with the United States, sealed in 2008, gave India access to know-how and fuel in return for a pledge - so far unfulfilled - to bring in U.S. firms to expand India's nuclear power generation capacity.

The pact exempts military facilities and stockpiles of nuclear fuel from scrutiny by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations watchdog. The Mysore plant is not subject to IAEA safeguards. The IAEA declined to comment. The exemption, granted by the administration of President George W. Bush, faced opposition from China and Pakistan, India's regional rivals, and European nations who said it would undermine efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons.

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