Andreas P on Pakistan’s Nuke Tests

I just realized that I failed to point out “this amazing post”:http://verificationthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/05/chagai-story-of-nuclear-rivalry.html from Andreas about Pakistan’s 1998 nuclear test.

You need to read it all, because I can’t do it justice. This part should whet the appetite, however:

…there was in effect two bomb programmes in existence in Pakistan. KRL had exclusive control over uranium enrichment. It had also branched into the shaping of uranium metal into cores, weapon design, and delivery vehicle research, development and testing. PAEC was doing parallel work in all these areas. It also controlled the nuclear power plants (and access to the plutonium route to the bomb).

*What happened within this two organizations during the 1980s and 1990s is largely uncharted. It is likely that they started work on several designs: both domestic and imported. The KRL design was clearly acquired from China. The origins of PAEC designs are mostly unknown.*

It is quite likely that the organizations proceeded on several tracks at once, much like the Soviet Union did 40 years earlier. The first Soviet design was much more powerful and efficient than the US Manhattan Project design. But *since Fuch had leaked detailed specifications to the Soviets, Stalin and Beria thought it was prudent to proceed with constructing proven designs first. Something similar could have happened in Pakistan.*

Irrespective of which bomb design was tested in 1998, however, *PAEC held one trump-card; it owned and controlled the test site. KRL had no suitable sites of their own, and had seemingly been relegated to the back seat.*

And I am totally stealing the video he posted:

1 thought on “Andreas P on Pakistan’s Nuke Tests

  1. scud

    What’s news? I enjoy Andreas P.‘s comments and analysis immensely, but this part tells a tale that’s been told repeatedly. (A good, recent example is the 2007 IISS dossier on Pakistan.) And the existence of the second design has been publicly known since the discovery of the infamous Libya documents in the “Mr. Good Looks” (an Islamabad tailor) bag. They contained those scribbled words on one page: “Munir [Ahmad Khan]‘s bomb would be bigger”, that is, the PAEC design, according to the KRL people, was not very refined, at least in those days.

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