Saturday, May 18th, 2024

External Affairs Minister Jaishankar recalls Pokhran nuclear test of 1998


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday recalled the Pokhran nuclear test conducted in 1998 under the ruling NDA government and said the decision had ensured India’s national security.

The minister also said that the current ruling NDA government is following in the footsteps of the previous 1998 NDA government, which aims to strongly counter terrorism and build border infrastructure.

“On this day in 1998, the NDA government finally exercised India’s nuclear weapons option. That important decision has ensured our national security ever since. The present NDA government has built on that foundation by strongly countering terror and building infrastructure on our border,” the External Affairs Minister posted on Twitter.

The minister emphasized that political choices are ultimately choices about the future of India.

“The country should know who stands where when it comes to national security issues. Our political choice is ultimately a choice about the future of India.

Twenty-six years ago, India under the leadership of NDA Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee conducted the Shakti series of nuclear tests at Pokhran, which was a watershed moment for India’s nuclear capability in the areas of national security and clean energy.

India conducted five nuclear tests of advanced weapon designs at the Pokhran range in the Rajasthan desert on 11 and 13 May 1998. The first three explosions occurred simultaneously at 15:45. IST on May 11.

These included a 45 kt thermonuclear device, a 15 kt fission device and a 0.2 kt sub-kiloton (i.e. less than 1 kiloton) device. The two nuclear devices detonated simultaneously on May 13 were also in the sub-kiloton range – 0.5 and 0.3 kt.

The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) stated in its press release of 15 September 2009 that the Commission was briefed on the technical details of the tests at the AEC meeting held on 21 May 1998. At the Commission meetings held on March 26, 1999 and November 18, 1999, the results of radiochemical analysis of bore-hole samples were presented, confirming the estimated yields.

The AEC stated in a September 15, 2009 press release that the yield of the thermonuclear test was confirmed through comparison of ground motion and displacement simulations with actual observations in the field.

The AEC statement concluded that “the AEC has no reason to doubt the yield of the thermonuclear testing conducted on May 11, 1998”.



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