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Full Version: India's Pokhran nuclear tests were ‘dud’: Indian nuclear scientist
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By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: A former top Indian defence scientist has sparked a controversy, claiming the 1998 nuclear tests conducted in Pokhran were “duds”, and cautioned the government against signing the ‘Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)’.

India conducted five nuclear tests at the Pokhran test range in Rajasthan. Three of them were conducted on May 11 and two on May 13, 1998.

K Santhanam – who coordinated India’s nuclear programme for years – said the nuclear arsenal needed further tests before being made fully operational.

Santhanam’s remarks could complicate the operationalisation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

“We can’t get into a stampede to sign the CTBT. We should conduct more nuclear tests which are necessary from the security point of view,” the scientist told reporters.

Santhanam said the thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb tests, the first and most powerful of the three tests conducted on May 11, 1998, did not produce the desired result.

Immediately after Santhanam’s revelations, the government contradicted him, saying the tests yielded the desired results. “We believe whatever the scientists tell us ... they said the tests were enough,” he said.
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