India on quest to produce more powerful nuclear weapons: US think-tank

WASHINGTON: India is expanding its ability to produce highly enriched uranium for military purposes including more powerful nuclear weapons, a US-based think-tank has claimed.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in its latest report while citing satellite imagery of an under construction gas centrifuge facility near Mysore said that India appeared to be finishing construction of what appears to be a second gas centrifuge facility at the Rare Materials Plant (RMP) near Mysore in Karnataka.

“This new facility could significantly increase India’s ability to produce highly enriched uranium for military purposes, including more powerful nuclear weapons,” the ISIS said in the report.

The report said that India started building a second centrifuge plant near Mysore in 2010, but it was unclear whether it was a replacement for the first facility at the site or a supplement.

It further said that if it is a new facility, “India could have more than doubled its enrichment capacity, if the original building continues to function as an enrichment plant.”