DOD on CW Use, 2022

Back in April, DOD held a briefing during which a senior official explained some details about confirming CW use.

Reporter: Wanted to see if we could maybe get some explanation on the challenges that go with confirming this kind of report in Mariupol with the chemical agents in light of the security, the challenges to get soil samples, anything else, you know, outsiders might use to try and confirm something like this.

SENIOR DEFENSE OFFICIAL: Yeah. I mean, well, the biggest challenge is we’re not there, you know. And we don’t know if anything was used.

But let’s say for hypothetical purposes, and I hate doing this, but let’s say it was riot control agents. So the effects are going to be felt pretty immediately, and probably not widespread, probably not going to get into the soil. And the symptoms,depending on an individual’s susceptibility, could be short-felt or it could be more long-term, we just don’t know. And we don’t have access to the hospitals that might have treated these individuals to talk to the doctors who could give a diagnosis.

I mean, there’s a host of difficulties. If it was something larger than that then, of course, you would expect to see more widespread people being hurt and being treated for it. And again, that would require you to have some dexterity in talking to medical professionals.

Or if there was, again, something even bigger you, you know, a plume for instance of a cloud or something that you could track. But those are very difficult to track when you’re not there. They’re certainly not something you can just track easily from, you know, from the air. So these are difficult things to prove even when you are more proximate, and we are not.

And so I think you can understand we want to be very careful here before making a proclamation.

That said, look, we know that the Russians have a history of using chemical agents. And they have shown a propensity in the past, and so we’re taking it seriously.

Trinity High Explosive Implosion System

If you want a primer on implosion, here’s a handy one from LANL:

This article is set during the 1944 and 1945 final push to complete Project Y—the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos—and focuses primarily on overcoming the challenge of creating and demonstrating a successful convergent explosive implosion to turn a subcritical quantity of plutonium into a critical mass. The critical mass would then efficiently yield kilotons of trinitrotoluene (TNT)-equivalent energy in about a microsecond, demonstrating the implosion atomic bomb concept. This work culminated in the Trinity atomic test near Alamogordo on July 16, 1945.

India and Uranium Supply

Here’s what DAE told the Lok Sabha this past March:

Uranium fuel requirement for the reactors which are not covered under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards is adequately met by Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), aPublic Sector Enterprise under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). Time to time, projects which include capacity expansion of some of existing units as well as for establishing new projects in various parts of the country, are planned for maintaining sustained supply.

Regarding fuel supply for Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) which are under IAEA safeguards, a strategic reserve of imported natural uranium is maintained for enabling uninterrupted supply of fuel. Fuel for Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and water-water energetic reactor (VVERs) is met from the imports from Russia

Pakistan on 1974

More from this 1987 interview with Agha Ibrahim Akram:


My reaction personally was the same as the national reaction. I think all Pakistanis talked alike on this issue that India has stolen a match, and there’s a positive danger of the Indians eventually becoming a nuclear power. We could see the euphoria in India. The Indians went mad with joy. “Wonderful! We made — we had a nuclear explosion. We’re entering the nuclear club.” Indira Gandhi was regarded as a deity, as a goddess. She had done it. Wasn’t that marvelous? And of course her whole idea was to get political advantage. But the feeling here was there’s no such thing as a peaceful nuclear explosion. This is the first step that India has taken towards becoming a nuclear power and we have to do something about it, to have the capability of responding. Until ’74 — we had never thought much of nuclear matters except as generating electricity in Karachi or places like that, purely for some uses and so on. We never thought of it as an important factor of strategic implication in South Asia. After the ’74 explosion at Bukhara in India. We suddenly realized that warfare from now on might not be as simple and as, as a gentlemen’s war as in the past. It had been a gentlemen’s war with India and Pakistan. We suddenly realized that there was a nuclear angle to it too. And the feeling was that it’ll never be the same again, that we don’t want to make the bomb but we have to have the capability of responding to India. But with this was a strong link and that was the Yom Kippur war of ’73. Because of it the oil prices shot up and in ’74 the effect of that was felt at almost the same time as the explosion, that we suddenly found that more than half our foreign exchange earnings were being spent in importing petroleum. It wasn’t so before that but with the rise in… the explosion of oil prices we suddenly realized that we had to have other forms of energy. So the requirement of nuclear energy for electricity, for power and the danger of the… or the threat from India who had just exploded the, the nuclear device combined together to, to, to make us, make us feel, to make us feel determined that we must go ahead and have a sizeable nuclear program for the production of energy, basically for energy but which might have the capability of stopping India also from going nuclear. ’74 was a watershed. It brought the shadow of the bomb to South Asia and that shadow is still there.

Pakistan on NPT, 1987

Agha Ibrahim Akram gave this interview in 1987.


Akram:We — I don’t think it became to a very clear cut policy on the NPT for some years because we’re not quite sure of its implications for Pakistan. We became more conscious of the NPT in 1974 to which we’ll come again a little later but basically I don’t think we had given very much thought to the NPT, its implications, its pros and cons in Pakistan. We were actually — didn’t know enough about the consequences of the NPT to take a very firm decision. We took it later on in ’74 when India had the explosion but we’ll come to that a little later.


Well basically our main… One main reason for not signing was that India did not sign it. If India were to sign it we would. We would now offer to India that if they will sign it we will. We’ve said let’s jointly sign the NPT. We’ve even said let’s have a special South Asian NPT. We don’t like the idea of signing the NPT because we don’t agree with the American policies or British policies. Let’s have a South Asian NPT. We didn’t sign it beca

India NPP Plans

DAE in a recent Lok Sabah session:

the details of combined energy generation capacity of the operational nuclear power plants and the percentage of their overall energy supply contribution in the country;

There are presently 22 reactors with a total capacity of 6780 MW in operation and one reactor, KAPP-3 (700 MW) has been connected to the grid on January 10, 2021. There are 10 reactors [including 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor(PFBR) being implemented by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (BHAVINI) totaling to 8000 MW under construction at various stages and the Government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for construction of 10 more reactors totaling to 7000 MW, to be set up in fleet mode. The projects under construction and accorded sanction are expected to be completed progressively by 2031. More nuclear power plants are also planned in future.