India’s 1998 Nuclear Test Was A Failure

August 27, 2009

Indian Nukes Need More Testing, Say Scientists

india.test.site.lgAs if the embarassment over India’s missiles capability wasn’t enough, a senior Indian scientist has admitted for the first time that India’s 1998 Pokhran II nuclear tests were actually far from the success they have been claimed to be. The yield of the thermonuclear explosions was much below expectations and the tests more a ‘fizzle’ rather than a big bang.

It is important to note that India does not have a functional long range missile. The 250 km ‘Prithvi’ is the only fully tested, functional, and ready deployed nuclear-capable missile that India has in its arsenal. With doubtful nuclear capability, India’s missiles might not be more than a set of expensive fireworks.

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Full Story from Times of India: The controversy over the yield of the tests, previously questioned by foreign agencies, has been given a fresh lease of life with K Santhanam, senior scientist and DRDO representative at Pokhran II, admitting for the first time that the only thermonuclear device tested was a “fizzle”. In nuclear parlance, a test is described as a fizzle when it fails to meet the desired yield. (Watch Video)

Santhanam, who was director for 1998 test site preparations, told TOI on Monday that the yield for the thermonuclear test, or hydrogen bomb in popular usage, was much lower than what was claimed. Santhanam, who was DRDO’s chief advisor, could well have opened up the debate on whether or not India should sign CTBT as claims that India has all the data required and can manage with simulations is bound to be called into question.

“Based upon the seismic measurements and expert opinion from world over, it is clear that the yield in the thermonuclear device test was much lower than what was claimed. I think it is well documented and that is why I assert that India should not rush into signing the CTBT,” Santhanam told TOI on Wednesday.

He emphasised the need for India to conduct more tests to improve its nuclear weapon programme.

The test was said to have yielded 45 kilotons (KT) but was challenged by western experts who said it was not more than 20 KT.

The exact yield of the thermonuclear explosion is important as during the heated debate on the India-

US nuclear deal, it was strenuously argued by the government’s top scientists that no more tests were required for the weapons programme. It was said the disincentives the nuclear deal imposed on testing would not really matter as further tests were not required.

According to security expert Bharat Karnad, Santhanam’s admission is remarkable because this is the first time a nuclear scientist and one closely associated with the 1998 tests has disavowed the government line. “He is not just saying that India should not sign the CTBT, which I believe is completely against India’s interests, but also that the 1998 thermonuclear device test was inadequate.

His saying this means that the government has to do something. Either you don’t have a thermonuclear deterrent or prove that you have it, if you claim to have it,” said Karnad.

Sources said that Santhanam had admitted that the test was a fizzle during a discussion on CTBT organised by IDSA. Karnad also participated in the seminar. He told TOI that no country has succeeded in achieving targets with only its first test of a thermonuclear device.

“Two things are clear; that India should not sign CTBT and that it needs more thermonuclear device tests,” said Santhanam.

The yield of the thermonuclear device test in 1998 has led to much debate and while western experts have stated that it was not as claimed, BARC has maintained that it stands by its assessment. Indian scientists had claimed after the test that the thermonuclear device gave a total yield of 45 KT, 15 KT from the fission trigger and 30 KT from the fusion process and that the theoretical yield of the device (200 KT) was reduced to 45 KT in order to minimise seismic damage to villages near the test range.
British experts, however, later challenged the claims saying that the actual combined yield for the fission device and thermonuclear bomb was not more than 20 KT.



  1. So much for “Mahaan” Bharatm
    they should get ready to become “Pakwaan” Bharat loL!

  2. a story released intentionally by the bhindians to justify more tests?, this is what i gather from this article.

    • only time will tell … but that might also give pakistan a window for more tests then again our program is based on minimum deterance i dont think pakistan is workin towards a fusion device, or maybe india will get away with another test and the westen world will casusaly overlook india

  3. i am sure its true.history of lies is always seen in bharat about thr big claims.be it the mumbai attack ,mukti bani,the killing of innocent kashmiries the loss in 1965, the killing of gujrati muslims,the strange death of their top nuclear scientist and much more.this is another add to list

  4. Impotency and India go a long way back.

    India didn’t have Nukes all this while, and was simply bullshitting the world. The Indians however informed their American Masters about this impotency problem recently, and therefore, their great friend USA instantaneously agreed to sign up a Nuclear deal with the Impotent Indians, to provide them, legally, all the Nuclear technology they need to build their Nukes!

  5. i remember hearing Dr Inam ur Rehman in a lecture posted here, that India’s first test in 1974 was fission test, and the ones in 1998 were also fission tests, hence they did not acheive anything in 24 years. He said if a nation has a chance to make a second test they will make sure they take the next step and test a hydrogen bomb, they will not waste the chance with another fission test, India was unable to do test a hydrogen bomb. So they had been sitting on the same level for 24 years. No wonder they needed the US nuclear deal this badly.

  6. Dear Pakistani!

    In my opinion, this is the most crucial time as we need to keep our eyes open because this can be part of Indian’s strategy (as they always attack from the back). So they might want us the relax a bit seeing failures of nuclear tests and missile programs.

    Furthermore, this is another link to chain for another series of thermonuclear tests that India want to do in near future, so I guess its time for us to be in high gears so that we can achieve hydrogen technology well in time.

    Also did any one see Indian Media’s/Army’s 10 steps strategy to takeover Pakistan – See this link :::


  7. these injuns want to do more tests i m sure about it

  8. this is an excuse for another nuclear explosion. Don’t trust Indians.

  9. Bismillah! This provides us with a splendid opportunity to show those cunning Hanuds/Yahud combine who is the real player in the region. We should test our neutron bomb before they do.

    Prof. Lal

  10. This is indian startegy because they dont want to sign CTBT and keep their option open. So this is only way to avoid because they have agreed with Amercian to sigh it and sccussed to gain and nuclear deal from them and now they use this way to flee from this promise.
    Look indian history from Chanica to Ghandi, indian do all things for their national interests.
    So we Pakistanies should not happy on what they said but must set up over startegy and must up grade our nuclear more and more.
    Best regard

  11. Some of us Pakistanis could also go to school and learn grammar so as not to be such an embarrassment as the dude above. WTF man? Arif, I am sure you are an Indian posing as a Pakistani so that whole world will laugh at us Pakistanis. We have much more superior English skills than you. Now go away bhindian..

  12. Salam

    India is infact planning for another series of Nuclear Tests. That is why they are saying so. If India’s nuclear tests were not according to the expectations. Then Pakistan would had not gone for its own nuclear explosions. As there would be no need of it.

    Pakistani security forces must have obtained complete and accurate results of Indian nuclear tests before they decide their own.




  13. the success based on Lies,
    we still need to work alot, Thanks Allah
    and keep working…

  14. I don’t know why some people are still stuck with grammer, anyway, as i said, Alhamdulillah!, THE SUCCESS BASED ON LIES, both Nuclear and Missiles, but we have to move and keep working, they will kill their selfs, i don’t need to use my dagger, their lies are killing their self.
    Salam Everyone, (Excluding Indian Racist plz)

  15. This is a multi-dimensional Indian ploy.All this is coming out when Zardari says”India is not our enemy”.Thus he has made retaliation by Pakistan difficult.A strong message should go from our political leadership (If at all nationalist).Even Nawaz has recently come up with a reconciliatory statement.They are toeing American line that India is not your enemy.

  16. It’s been known for a couple of years (from somewhere right from the start). Lol it’s amazing how failures are more common than any sort of success in their indigenous defence development. I have my doubts of this being an excuse for another nuclear test because Pakistan will return the favour plus 1 to go just like we did the last time and they know it.

    • @AAkhan
      {I have my doubts of this being an excuse for another nuclear}
      I agree with you.

      BTW Manmohan singh is denying that the nuclear test was ‘partially successful’.

  17. well, well, well, I think Indian fellows should come to their senses and realize that we are definatlely smaller country in size but we are better in every aspect of life whether it is knowledge, technology, bravery and on and on by God if we get only 10 years of honest and loyal politicians Indians would be left behind to eat DUST

  18. “Based upon the seismic measurements and expert opinion from world over, it is clear that the yield in the thermonuclear device test was much lower than what was claimed. I think it is well documented and that is why I assert that India should not rush into signing the CTBT,” Santhanam told TOI on Wednesday.”

    how u ppl can miss this paragraph it sums up full purpose of this statement they just want us to sign CTBT but india will hesitate….. and once signed pakistan cannot do any further test.. this is bullshit to distract world

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  20. […] India’s 1998 Nuclear Test Was A Failure Indian Missiles Embarassment Continues India’s Nuclear Test Was A […]

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