ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India s Nuclear Explosion Its Effect upon Environment

India's Nuclear Explosion: Its Effect upon Environment David Gosling AS the political repercussions of India's "peaceful" nuclear explosion continue to reverberate to and fro across the Atlantic, it is pertinent to consider the environmental issues raised by underground nuclear explosions. Worldwide press and public reaction to the recent explosion reflected a mixture of ignorance about the extent to which India's nuclear potential over the past two decades has progressed, coupled with dismay that scientific progress should appear to be used by a developing nation for something other than economic development. These attitudes were typified to a large extent by Canada's uncertainty as to whether or not the plutonium used in the explosion had been obtained from the Canadian- designed CIRUS reactor at Trombay or by indigenously built Indian reactors, and by the Canadian government's later threat to suspend certain types of economic aid to India. Insofar as Canada has always been in the forefront of countries which have provided assistance to India on fairly generous terms, the reaction was understandable enough. But the Indian reply, namely that nuclear explosions really can be used for peaceful economic purposes needs both to be examined carefully, and also to be set against the background of the Indian government's overall nuclear programme.

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