Nuclear

You are here

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • Nuclear Terrorism: The New Terror of the 21st Century

    Nuclear Terrorism: The New Terror of the 21st Century

    Nuclear terrorism is the most serious danger the world is facing today. Terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and Aum Shinrikyo have expressed their interest in acquiring a nuclear weapon. The only way to prevent this is to secure nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands.

    2013

    India’s Nuclear Policy: The Year After

    On 11 May 1998, two events took place:

    (1)India carried out nuclear tests; and
    (2)India declared itself to be a state with nuclear weapons.1

    November 2013

    Iran Nuclear Deal: The Fine Print

    The November 24, 2013 Joint Plan of Action between Iran and its P5+1 interlocutors is the first agreement since November 2004 that contains Iran’s acceptance of certain short-term limitations on its nuclear programme.

    December 09, 2013

    The US-Iran Deal and the Outcome

    The interim deal was signed by seven foreign ministers of US, UK , France, Russia, China, Germany and Iran but the deal was not negotiated mainly in Geneva, but in Muscat and other locations where the US and Iran met secretly for months. Essentially, it is a deal between US and Iran and the rest were there to serve a choreographic purpose.

    November 28, 2013

    China’s Reactor Sale to Pakistan: The Known Unknowns

    The reported offer of China to sell 1000 MWe reactors to Pakistan has raised a number of issues. China applied for NSG membership in 2004 only after being satisfied that it can safeguard its nuclear commerce with Pakistan even after joining NSG. It must be clearly understood that China’s application for joining NSG was at the repeated appeals of NSG and not the other way around.

    November 15, 2013

    Urenco is up for sale, is India interested?

    If Chinese companies eventually end up bidding for Urenco, there is no reason why Indian companies should not do so. India can form a joint-venture with counterparts in Brazil, South Africa and, if needed, China (even Russia) using common interests envisioned through forums like the IBSA or BRICS to enter this race.

    November 13, 2013

    Ahmed Zahran asked: What is the latest position of the US, the EU, Russia and China on the Iranian nuclear issue, and what are the possible outcomes of the ongoing negotiation?

    S. Samuel C. Rajiv replies: The US, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom (P5) and Germany (the P5+1) are currently giving push to the 'engagement' track with the latest round of talks which began on October 15, 2013 at Geneva. While existing unilateral and multi-lateral (UNSC and EU) sanctions are in place, no additional sanctions are as yet being contemplated as a part of the 'sanctions' track.

    The 'dual-track' policy of sanctions and engagement has till date not shown much progress in modulating Iranian behaviour. It is pertinent to note that in the past, as the nature and volume of sanctions increased, Iranian intransigence correspondingly increased. Iran for instance suspended its voluntary implementation of the IAEA Additional Protocol (AP) after its referral to the UNSC in February 2006.

    However, various reports as well as Iranian officials have acknowledged the vulnerable state of the Iranian economy and its currency as a result of trade and oil-related sanctions. President Hassan Rouhani's overwhelming victory defeating candidates like Saeed Jalili (who was the chief nuclear negotiator) has given rise to the strong perception that the Iranian public have rejected the confrontationist approach of the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Government. Supreme Leader Khamenei has also supported the path of dialogue, crucially in a speech to the IRGC commanders in September 2013. With the Obama Administration showing its commitment to the dialogue process, the hopes for progress at the current round of negotiations are huge.

    Possible outcomes could range from Iran signing the IAEA AP, temporarily suspending its enrichment activities, the shipping out of excess quantities of enriched uranium (a possibility alluded to by the Iranian Parliament Speaker) in exchange for graduated sanctions relief, provision of spare parts for its civilian aircrafts, among others in a 'grand bargain'.

    These elements are in the realm of the 'possible' given the unique circumstances surrounding the current negotiations, including Rouhani 'the pragmatist' being in power, Khamenei's support for negotiations, weak state of the Iranian economy, and the positive vibes generated by the renewed interactions between the US and Iran topped by the first telephonic conversation between presidents of the two countries in more than three decades.

    Abhishek Tyagi asked: Why is the Security Council not taking any military action against the DPRK under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, despite continued testing of nuclear weapons by the latter?

    Pranamita Baruah replies: After the latest round of nuclear tests by North Korea in February 2013, many seemed to argue that the political realities in the Korean Peninsula dictate that an overt military strike-even one limited to cruise missiles-should be on the cards. However, that cannot be the case as even the most restrained attack could have devastating implications for the East Asian security.

    Most of the US military planners too seem to be of the view that even the notion of limited strikes against the hermit kingdom is fraught with potential escalations. It could destabilise the country and further aggravate the tension in the whole of East Asian region. Moreover, Pyongyang might treat such an attack as a part of Washington’s attempt to bring about a regime change in North Korea. This cannot be acceptable to the current regime as the Kim family, since the time of Kim Jong-il, has used the perceived threat from the US and its allies in the region to legitimise its dynastic rule over North Korea. So, in the interest of keeping the current regime intact, Kim Jong-un and his advisors in such circumstances could retaliate by a military action of their own.

    Though North Korea’s claim of having missiles capable of striking at the US mainland is still doubtful, one cannot really deny that the North, with reportedly 10,000 fortified artillery pieces trained on Seoul, could easily target South Korea. Most importantly, North Korea has more than 100 No-Dong missiles that can reach deep into South Korea as well as Japan. Under such circumstances, both South Korea and Japan will not support any military action against the North. In fact, North Korea’s erstwhile ally Russia and current benefactor China too will oppose such an action. Though after the latest provocation both Moscow and Beijing had strongly criticised Pyongyang, they will, for the time being, continue to insist on diplomatically engaging with North Korea. Beijing’s recent effort towards resuming the Six Party Talks (SPT) clearly demonstrates its support for continued diplomatic engagement.

    If the UN is to take a military action against North Korea, then it will require full support from its Security Council. However, this may not be possible if two of the permanent members of the Security Council, Russia and China, decide to veto it.

    Iranian Nuclear Imbroglio: The Way Forward

    After wining the elections, Hassan Rouhani has insisted that Iran is ‘ready to show more transparency’ over its nuclear programme, but has also affirmed that it has ‘inalienable rights’ to enrich uranium as a member of the NPT.

    August 06, 2013

    Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant: How Safe is Safe Enough?

    The Koondankulam plant has finally attained criticality but doubts will continue to be raised about the safety of the reactors. What do nuclear risk assessment methods tell us about the possibility of future accidents at KKNPP?

    August 02, 2013

    Pages

    Top