Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pakistan Is Rushing To Finish Weapons-grade Nuclear Reactor

Pakistan Is Rushing To Finish Weapons-grade Nuclear Reactor

Buildup to war

New satellite images have shown the alarming speed at which Pakistan is constructing a weapons-grade nuclear reactor. The aerial images, taken on April 20, show the rapid building progress of the fourth reactor to produce plutonium in Pakistan’s Khushab facility.

Alarming: The rate of construction at the Khushab nuclear facility has 'raised eyebrows' with US officials

The site was barren in 2009 and the facility ‘costing billions’ was undetectable by satellite just 17 months ago, but has since grown at an alarming rate. The facility in Khushab is the fastest growing nuclear program in the world, with the speed of the latest reactor’s construction prompting concern from U.S. officials.

Pakistan first revealed the Khushab site and its plutonium production facility in 1998 after the country’s first nuclear test. Although the U.S. has provided Pakistan with $20 billion in military and economic aid since September 11, 2001, it has been said that there is ‘no explanation’ as to how Pakistan are paying for the latest reactor.

Paul Brannon, a nuclear analyst with the Institute for Science and International Security, said: ‘The buildup is remarkable.

‘You can see the square of the reactor building, you can see the inner square of the reactor hall where the actual reactor goes, and if you measure the dimensions of the building it matches up exactly to the second and the third reactors. ‘And that nobody in the U.S. or in the Pakistani government says anything about this — especially in this day and age—is perplexing.’ source – Daily Mail

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