New Delhi: In a startling revelation that questions country’s nuclear prowess, a senior DRDO scientist associated with Pokhran II nuclear tests has claimed that the tests were only partially successful and the results much below expectations.
According to a report published in English daily on Thursday, K Santhanam, senior scientist and DRDO representative at Pokhran II, has blown the lid off the claims by India about the success of the nuclear tests.
Santham has also stressed that the country needs to conduct more nuclear tests to consolidate its position and improve its knowledge of nuclear weapon programme before joining Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
The report quotes Santhanam, who was director for 1998 test site preparations, as saying that the yield for the thermonuclear test or hydrogen bomb in popular usage was much lower than what was claimed.
As per him the yield of Pokharan II tests can only be classified as a “fizzle” rather than big bang.
In nuclear terminology, a test is classified as a fizzle when the yield is below expectation.
This revelation is likely to stir up a hornet’s nest by giving fresh credence to the earlier debates in the foreign media over the success of India’s nuclear tests.
“Based upon the seismic measurements and expert opinion from world over, it is clear that the yield in the thermonuclear device test was much lower than what was claimed. I think it is well documented and that is why I assert that India should not rush into signing the CTBT,'' Santhanam was quoted as saying.
Soon after the tests, the Indian authorities claimed that Pokhran II test was a huge success as it yielded 45 kilotons (KT). However, this was contradicted by the western experts who said that it was not more than 20 KT.
Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry has reacted sharply to Santhanam’s revelation by saying that India has a meaningful nuclear deterrent, TV reports claimed.
First Published: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 11:27