US think tank warns Pak close to producing atom bombs

September 19th, 2008 - 12:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Vienna , Sept 19 (ANI): A leading US think tank has warned that Pakistan could soon acquire capability of producing atom bombs, as it was close to completing a second plutonium-producing reactor, and all set to build a third.

These reactors could increase its ability to make atomic bombs, which, in turn could increase tensions between India and Pakistan , said the think tank.

The report said that India could easily match Pakistan s moves given its own ability to churn out plutonium in heavy water reactors and a fast-breeder reactor under construction.

The wider implication is that there is a real risk this will exacerbate an India-Pakistan nuclear arms race and increase tensions more broadly between the two, the Daily Times quoted the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) as saying in a report.

The report is based on commercial satellite images taken two weeks ago in February and May showing construction of the second and third Khushab complexes. The 10-page report estimated the reactors would run on power of about 100-megawatts or more, which could enable the two combined to yield plutonium for 8-10 atomic bombs a year.

A row of cooling towers indicated the second reactor was close to completion and could be ready to operate in a years time, according to the 10-page report.

It said: Once completed, these reactors will increase several-fold Pakistan s ability to make weapons-grade plutonium (fuel). When finished…will allow a significant increase in the quantity and quality of Pakistan s nuclear weapons. (ANI)

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