Satellite Imagery Detects Pakistan Building New Uranium Enrichment Facility

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:06 AM, September 17, 2016
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Satellite Imagery Detects Pakistan Building New Uranium Enrichment Facility
File photo of a nuclear reactor. (Image for representation purpose only)

An analysis of Airbus Defense and Space satellite imagery has revealed that Pakistan is possibly building a new uranium enrichment complex to potentially raise its nuclear stockpiles.

The Airbus Defence and Space imagery captured on 28 September 2015 and on 18 April 2016 shows new construction, which is approximately 1.2 hectares, according to IHS Jane's 360 analysis report.

There is no confirmation nor denial from Pakistan to this report so far. 

Further, the site is within the secure area of the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), in the southwestern part of the Uranium enrichment complex," the analysis stated. The site is located in the town of Kahuta, roughly 30 kilometers east of Islamabad.

According to the satellite surveillance, the site, located in Punjab province, is rectangular in shape and approximately 140 x 80 meters. It is surrounded by scrubland and trees that provide an additional measure of security on the ground.

The site, situated within an established centrifuge facility, has very high security and shows some of the structural features of a possible new uranium enrichment facility. "This makes it a strong candidate for a new centrifuge facility," said Karl Dewey, an analyst.

If the speculation turns out to be true, then this development could cause issue to Pakistan for gaining membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

The United States is working with the UN Security Council on a resolution that can slow down a dangerous nuclear race between Pakistan and India.

White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price told the US media that the proposed resolution would “strengthen existing national moratoria on nuclear explosive testing and improve the global verification architecture for detecting such testing”, Dawn newspaper reported today.

Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test in 1998 and is believed to be in possession of roughly 120 nuclear weapons. It has an array of missiles which could form the delivery systems for its nuclear weapons.



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