Six reactors outside safeguards can produce 130 kg of weapon-grade plutonium a year

Assurance of fuel supply from U.S. and NSG will increase India's existing capacity Potential for FBR technology huge: Sinha

New Delhi: A top former intelligence official has said India would have the capacity to make 50 nuclear warheads a year as it would be able to retain six reactors outside safeguards as envisaged under the India-US nuclear agreement.

"Under the deal, India shall retain six unsafeguarded reactors and have the capability to produce 50 nuclear warheads a year," Research and Analyses Wing former additional secretary J.K. Sinha said.

He said the assurance of nuclear fuel supply from the U.S. and the Nuclear Suppliers Group would free India's existing capacity to produce highly enriched uranium and plutonium for its nuclear weapons programme.

In an article in the Indian Defence Review, Mr. Sinha said an estimate showed that "the exempted reactors would be able to produce 130 kg of weapon-grade plutonium per year. "

Maintaining there should be no doubt that India would continue to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons, he said the entire Fast Breeder Reactor programme was out of the safeguards ambit.

"The potential of the FBR technology is huge for India's nuclear weapons programme and for power generation," Mr. Sinha said. PTI