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India doesn’t need nuke tests again—Former AEC chief

By PTI Updated: Jul 18, 2019 12:55 am
R Chidambaram

New Delhi, July 17 (PTI): India does not need to conduct more nuclear trials as it achieved the desired results from the 1998 tests at Pokhran, former Atomic Energy Commission chairman R Chidambaram said Wednesday.

Strongly backing India’s Non First Use (NFU) policy, he said if all countries adhere to this policy, then it is as good as global disarmament.

“More tests will not be required. We have tested every aspect and achieved what we wanted,” he said.

Chidambaram, who was chief of the Atomic Energy Commission during the 1998 nuclear tests, was responding to a question after delivering the ‘Jasjit Singh Memorial Lecture’ on national security organised by Centre for Air Power Studies.

India conducted two nuclear tests — one in 1974 and another in 1998. Following the tests, it attracted international sanctions.

Nuclear and space were two critical sectors that were affected by it. After the 1998 tests, India also imposed a self-moratorium on conducting nuclear tests.

Chidambram said the Indian nuclear programme is “anti-fragile” as it remained unaffected by the sanctions imposed by the West. “We became stronger,” he said.

He asserted that India needs international cooperation. In this context, he said the Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement was crucial as it helped India to relax the Nuclear Suppliers Group guidelines and import uranium.

Post the Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008, India received uranium from France, Russia, Kazakhstan and Canada to fuel its power reactors.

Chidambram said national development and national security are two sides of the same coin. “Development without security is vulnerable,” he said.

By PTI Updated: Jul 18, 2019 12:55:47 am