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India expanding uranium enrichment, could develop thermonukes: Expert

Published on Jun 20, 2014 5:43 PM

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India is expanding a covert uranium enrichment plant that could potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons, a defence research group said on Friday, raising the stakes in an arms race with China and Pakistan.

New units at the Indian Rare Metals Plant would increase India's ability to produce weapons-grade uranium beyond what is needed for its planned nuclear-powered submarine fleet, IHS Janes said.

The facility, located near Mysore in southern India, could be operational by mid-2015. "Taking into account all the enriched uranium likely to be needed by the Indian nuclear submarine fleet, there is likely to be a significant excess," Mr Matthew Clements, editor of IHS Jane's Intelligence Review, told Reuters.

"One potential use of this would be for the development of thermonuclear weapons."

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