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India has credible thermo-nuclear bombs in its arsenal: claims Kakodkar

Dr. Anil Kakodkar, who has recently relinquished charge as Chairman Atomic Energy Commission claimed on Sunday that India had credible thermo-nuclear bombs in its arsenal.“I think that is guaranteed. The Army should be fully confident and defend the country. There is no issue about the arsenal at their command,” Kakodkar said in an interview with Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN Devils Advocate programme.

When Kakodkar was asked about low yield of 1998 thermo-nuclear tests as pointed by four leading Indian scientists and international experts, Kakodkar claimed the yield of thermo-nuclear tests was verified, not by one method but several redundant methods based on different principles, done by different groups.

Review was made and “I had described the tests in 1998 as perfect and I stand by that,” he said.

Indian scientists Dr Santhanam, Dr Iyengar, Dr Sethna and Dr Prasad·have raised serious doubts about India’s thermo-nuclear tests of 1998 while Dr Santhanam said “we have hard evidence on a purely factual basis that not only was the yield of the thermo-nuclear device far below the design prediction, but that it actually failed”.

Dr. Santhanam had also said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) seismic instruments measured the yield as something between 20-25 kilotonnes which is hugely different from the claim put out by the Atomic Energy Commission that it was 45 kilotonnes.

Kakodkar said the instruments used by DRDO to measure the yield of the tests at that time did not work. “I myself had reviewed this immediately after the test and we concluded that these instruments did not work.”

“Well, let me first of all say that that DAE and DRDO - we both work together as a team. DRDO did deploy some instruments for measurements but the fact is that the seismic instruments did not work. I myself had reviewed all the results immediately after the tests and we concluded that the instruments did not work,” he said.

However, Dr Santhanam had said the Bhabha Atomic Energy Center accepted the DRDO’s instruments.

When asked in an article that Dr Santhanam had written recently on November 15, 2009 for the Tribune, he says: The Department of Atomic Energy - the department to which you were ex-officio secretary - is in fact hiding facts from successive Indian governments, from Parliament and from Indian people, Kakodkar said “well, as I said earlier, we are perhaps unique in giving out the maximum information and that too very promptly - immediately after the tests.”

When asked after raising doubts by senior Indian scientists is there any need to form a peer group to review the data of the tests, he said there was no need for a peer group review yet again.

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