Indian nuclear program

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An Agni II missile during a parade in 2004

The Indian nuclear program began in the 1950s . India has been an official nuclear power since 1974 . With Agni, it has a system of self-developed missiles with a range of 700 to 10,000 kilometers, which can also be equipped with atomic warheads. 2012 were the strategic forces (Strategic Forces Command) 84 nuclear warheads to Agni missiles available. To date, India has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but according to its nuclear doctrine, it has refrained from a nuclear first strike.


In 1948 the physicist Homi Jehangir Bhabha became head of the newly established Indian Atomic Energy Commission. On January 20, 1957, the Atomic Energy Establishment Trombay (AEET) was founded by then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and later renamed the Bhabha Atomic Research Center .

Military use

Indian nuclear tests
date Code name place Explosive power
(in 1000 tons of TNT)
May 18, 1974 Smiling Buddha Pokhran 12
May 11, 1998 Shakti I Pokhran 43
May 11, 1998 Shakti II Pokhran 12
May 13, 1998 Shakti III Pokhran 0.3
May 13, 1998 Shakti IV Pokhran 0.5
May 13, 1998 Shakti V Pokhran 0.2
May 13, 1998 Shakti VI Pokhran (unknown)

India carried out two nuclear weapons tests , the first in 1974 under Indira Gandhi and the second in May 1998 under Atal Bihari Vajpayee . The nuclear tests in May 1998 were always justified with reference to the Chinese threat (see Indo-Chinese border war ), but India is primarily pursuing an international status upgrade with the tests and trying to underpin equality with China. All tests took place as underground tests at the Pokhran test site in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan .

On Saturday, August 25, 2012, a tactical missile with a range of 350 km was launched at the Chandipur test site in the Indian state of Orissa. It reached its destination in the Bay of Bengal with an accuracy of less than 10 meters. It was the first successful test with a full payload, but without an explosive device. The Prithvi-II rocket can be equipped with an atomic explosive device weighing up to 500 kg, easily transported over long distances and shot down from the vehicle. Thus BrahMos , a supersonic speed missile, which was developed jointly by Russian and Indian companies kg a launch mass of 3000 and a range km to 300 bar. The Prithvi missile program has been developed by the Indian government since 1983. Tactical missiles are offensive and defensive weapons that only threaten neighboring states in the countryside.

India has a rich arsenal of so-called strategic nuclear weapons with ranges that can also threaten Eastern Europe. ICBMs are under development and could reach almost any country in the world except South America and parts of North America. India is one of the few states that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Peaceful use

Nuclear reactors in India:
Location dot red.svg plants in operation Planned plants
Location dot blue.svg 

Indian nuclear physicists and technicians acquired their first knowledge of the construction of nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons through technology transfer from Canada and the United States. In 1956 Canada delivered a first experimental reactor for civil use to India. The reactor, which has been "critical" since 1960, also supplied the plutonium required to build the atomic bomb in the years that followed . The construction of the first nuclear power plant at Rawatbata in Rajasthan began in 1964 with Canadian support. However, Canada and the United States ended their atomic energy cooperation with India after the first Indian atomic bomb went off in May 1974.

India is now one of the world's largest producers of heavy water . It operates seven production facilities. 22 of the total of 27 nuclear reactors, some of which are still under construction, are operated with heavy water as moderator.

In 2011, nuclear energy accounted for around 3.7% of the electricity supply, but this had fallen to around 3.5% by 2013. In August 2012, there were six nuclear power plants in India with 21 reactor blocks and a total installed gross output of 5780 MW on the grid. Six more reactor blocks with a gross total output of 4,300 MW are under construction.

From March 2012 there were protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant . The first public hearing on the nuclear program took place in August, while demonstrations increased, with around 25,000 people eventually gathering on the south coast. This delayed the expansion considerably, so that no further progress was discernible at the beginning of 2015.

Since India did not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty , many countries are very reluctant to participate in the construction. So far India has agreed to cooperate with Russia, the European Union and Canada for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

See also


  1. a b India's Nuclear Weapons Program: Operation Shakti: 1998., May 30, 2001, accessed on January 29, 2015 .
  2. India fuels arms race in Asia
  3. ^ David Martin: Exporting Disaster - The Cost of Selling CANDU Reactors. Nuclear Awareness Project for the Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout, November 1996, accessed on February 27, 2015 (Section 3.2).
  4. Heavy Water Board (HWB) ( Memento of the original from March 3, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , official website (English). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Statistics of the IAEA , accessed on January 25, 2015 (English).
  7. Electrical energy generation according to the International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA )
  9. "Russia Agrees India Nuclear Deal", BBC News February 11, 2009
  10. ^ "India, Europe Strategic Relations", Europa: Summaries of EU Legislation (European Union), April 8, 2008
  11. ^ Curry, B. (June 27, 2010), Canada Signs Nuclear Deal with India, The Globe and Mail