According to a United States-based think tank, by 2014, India had enough weapons-grade plutonium to possess an estimated 75 to 125 nuclear weapons. In fact, the Institute for Science and International Security reported that India has “one of the largest nuclear power programs” among the world’s developing nations.
According to a report released by the think-tank earlier this week, “An estimate of India’s nuclear arsenal can be derived by considering its weapon-grade plutonium stock. The resulting estimate has a median of 138 nuclear weapons equivalent with a range of 110 to 175 weapons equivalent.”
The report also noted that, “However, the actual number of nuclear weapons India built from its stocks of weapon-grade plutonium must be less. When accounting for the amount of plutonium in the weapons production pipelines and in reserves, it is reasonable to assume that only about 70% of the estimated stock of weapon-grade uranium is in nuclear weapons.”
The report is co-authored by David Albright and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini, and concludes that, “The predicted number of weapons made from its weapon-grade plutonium at the end of 2014 is about 97 with a range of 77-123. These values are rounded to 100 nuclear weapons with a range of 75-125 nuclear weapons.”
The report is entitled “India’s Stocks of Civil and Military Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU), End 2014” and emphatically states its findings that India has “one of the largest nuclear power programs among developing nations.”
The report also concludes that India “has a substantial stock of nuclear weapons made from weapon-grade plutonium, and perhaps some thermonuclear weapons that rely on both weapon-grade plutonium and weapon-grade uranium.”
In addition, “India also has a growing gas centrifuge program capable of producing significant amounts of HEU mostly for naval reactor fuel and perhaps for nuclear weapons, including thermonuclear weapons.”