national security correspondent David Martin on Pakistan and the bomb
CBS News,16 March 2000
news has learned that recent air samples prove the Pakistanis have begun
reprocessing the fuel rods from a reactor into weapons grade plutonium.
samples, taken secretly in Pakistan, contain traces of a gas called
krypton 85 which to scientists is a dead give away that plutonium is
fact that they're reprocessing is very significant. That clearly says
that the purpose of this is to make nuclear weapons. U.S. Intelligence
estimates Pakistan already has 30 to 50 nuclear bombs made of uranium.
Making plutonium weapons, which are smaller and more powerful, accelerates
the nuclear arms race with India. The smaller the weapon, the easier
it is to deliver both by aircraft and by missile. A lightweight plutonium
bomb could be put on top of the mobile m-11 missiles they've obtained
from the Chinese.
Chinese-made missile can be transported on the back of a truck. When
not in the field they're parked in these garages at a Pakistani air
base, making a tempting target for India. There would d be a lot of
incentive for India to try and destroy all of those missiles while they're
still on the base rather than waiting for them to disperse into the
Intelligence estimates that reprocessing fuel from this reactor will
give the Pakistanis enough plutonium to build two nuclear weapons a