New nuclear ambitions
India is expanding its uranium enrichment program which can double the size of its nuclear arsenal, the Washington-based Institute for Science and International SecuråΩåity (ISIS) whas claimed. Based on satellite photographs, the American think tank said it believes India is stepping up its production of gas centrifuges to enrich uranium to nuclear weapon grade. The photographs, which were taken in April 2013, show that a building at its secret Rare Metals Plant near Mysore in Karnataka has been extended. "Commercial satellite imagery shows that the construction is finishing of what appears to be a second gas centrifuge facility at the Rare Materials Plant ( RMP), near Mysore," the report by David Albright and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini stated.
US researchers have based their claims on a comparison of satellite images from 2010 which appeared to show a new plant under construction to develop gas centrifuges and pictures from earlier this year which indicate that construction is now close to completion. The report said it was unclear, however, if the new plant marked an expansion of capacity or a replacement of an ageing facility.