India Nuclear Milestones: 1945-2018

India's Dhruva heavy water research reactor
India’s Dhruva heavy water research reactor, which supplies spent fuel for plutonium production (courtesy: the Hindu)

1945: The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Mumbai is inaugurated.

1948: The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) is established under the direction of Dr. Homi J. Bhabha.

1950: Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) is established as a joint venture between the Government of India and Government of Travancore, Cochine. It is brought under the control of the Department of Atomic Energy in 1963.

1951: The first uranium deposit in India is discovered at Jaduguda.

1954: The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is created.

1956: India’s one MWt Apsara research reactor attains criticality.

1957: India establishes the Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay, which will be renamed the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) in 1967.

1959: The Uranium Metal Plant at Trombay begins production.

1960: The heavy water forty MWt CIRUS reactor, supplied by Canada and run with U.S.-supplied heavy water, attains criticality and begins making weapons-grade plutonium.

1961: India’s 0.1 kW Zerlina research reactor attains criticality only to be decommissioned in 1983.

1962: Heavy water production begins at German-built Nangal plant.

1963: The United States and India sign an accord stipulating that the United States will supply enriched fuel to India’s Tarapur nuclear power plant.

1964: Extraction of plutonium from CIRUS spent fuel begins at Trombay.

1967: Uranium mining operations begin at Jaduguda. A uranium mill is also established there.

1968: India refuses to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

1968: Nuclear Fuel Complex is established at Hyderabad under the DAE.

1969: Two 160 MWe boiling water reactors begin operations at Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS).

1969: Heavy Water Projects is established under the DAE. It is later renamed the Heavy Water Board.

1971: India establishes the Reactor Research Centre under the DAE. It is later renamed Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR).

1973: The Canadian-built 100 MWe heavy water reactor Rajasthan-1 begins operations at Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS), serving as the model for later unsafeguarded reactors. Five additional heavy water reactors will be built and begin operations at RAPS: one in 1981, two in 2000, and two in 2010

May 1974: India conducts an underground nuclear explosion at Pokhran, Rajasthan. India describes the test, codenamed “Smiling Buddha,” as a “peaceful nuclear explosion.” Estimates of the yield range from 8 to 12 kilotons.

1975: Surda Uranium Recovery Plant is established.

July 1978: The Tuticorin Heavy Water Plant is commissioned.

1982: France agrees to take over supply of approximately 50,000 SWU per year of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to India’s General Electric-built Tarapur reactors, following the cessation of U.S. fuel supplies.

November 1982: BARC’s Power Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant at Tarapur is commissioned.

1982-87: India smuggles, via a German broker, heavy water from the USSR, China, and Norway, and uses the heavy water in reactors to make plutonium for a nuclear arsenal.

February 1983: Rakha Uranium Recovery Plant is commissioned.

May 1983: In response to a story in the Hindustan Times alleging that India has received a nuclear consignment from the Soviet Union, an Indian foreign ministry spokesperson admits that the Soviet Union has supplied 131 tons of heavy water to the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) out of the total of 256 tons promised under a September 1976 agreement.

1983-1984: The Norwegian firm Norsk Data reportedly sells six computers of the ND 100 and ND 500 type to BARC, according to the Foreign Ministry of Norway.

1984: West German firm Degussa re-exports to India 95 kg of U.S.-origin beryllium, usable as a neutron reflector in fission bombs, and is later fined $800,000 by the United States.

January 1984: The first 220 MWe heavy water reactor at Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) begins operations. A second unit is built and begins operations at MAPS in March 1986.

March 1984: Plutonium-Uranium mixed carbide fuel is fabricated at Trombay for the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR).

April 1985: The Kota Heavy Water Plant is commissioned.

August 1985: The heavy water 100 MWt Dhruva reactor attains criticality and starts producing weapons-grade plutonium.

October 1985: India’s forty MWt Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) attains criticality.

March 1986: Romania reportedly illegally re-exports 12.5 metric tons (MT)* of Norsk Hydro AS-produced heavy water to India, according to investigations conducted by Norwegian police in Bucharest.

April 1986: The Swedish periodical Dagens Nyheter reports that India was among several countries that purchased flash x-ray aggregates from Sweden between 1977 and 1984. This equipment has applications in high-speed photography of nuclear explosions.

July 1986: Nuclear Power Board chairman, Malur Srinivasan, reports that India is currently reprocessing spent fuel at Tarapur from MAPS. In addition to providing India with a source of unsafeguarded plutonium, Srinivasan adds that the output will be used to fuel the FBTR at Kalpakkam.

October 1986: Bhatin Uranium Mine is commissioned and the ore is sent to Jaduguda mill for processing.

January 1987: India’s AEC chairman, Dr. Raja Ramanna, says that India can enrich uranium to any desired level and that BARC has already been enriching uranium on a pilot scale. BARC Director, Dr. P. K. Iyengar notes that India is also developing laser enrichment technologies.

February 1987: The Thal Heavy Water Plant is commissioned.

September 1987: the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is established.

1988: Pakistan and India agree to exchange lists of nuclear installations as part of an agreement not to attack each others’ nuclear facilities. The first exchange occurs in January 1992.

1988: Russia agrees to build two 1,000 MW (VVER-1000) reactors at Kudankulam, India. Construction reportedly begins in March 2002.

February 1988: The INS Chakra nuclear submarine, which is leased for three years from Russia, arrives at Visakhapatnam in India.

March 1989: Director of U.S. Central Intelligence, William H. Webster, says that there are “indicators” that India is building a thermonuclear weapon. Among the signs are activities at India’s BARC involving purification and the separation of lithium-6 isotopes, used to produce tritium.

October 1990: According to India’s AEC Chairman, the design throughput of India’s reprocessing facility under construction at Kalpakkam has nearly doubled to 200 MTper year. The 100 (MT) per year Prefre reprocessing plant at Tarapur has undergone a fifty MTincrease in reprocessing capability.

December 1990: U.S. President George Bush eases export restrictions on supercomputer exports to Brazil, India and China.

1991: The Indian Navy reportedly begins work on a nuclear-powered submarine project, shortly after returning a Charlie I-type SSGN leased from the Soviet Union.

January 1991: The 220 MWe heavy water reactor at Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS) begins commercial operations. An additional heavy water reactor with the same capacity will be built and commence operations at NAPS in July 1992.

January 1991: The Hazira Heavy Water Plant is commissioned.

November 1991: India withdraws an offer to sell a ten MW nuclear research reactor to Iran, following pressure from the United States.

March 1992: AEC Chairman P.K. Iyengar reportedly claims that a second gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility is operational near a site for rare earths material production. Official sources suggest that the facility has several hundred operating centrifuges made of domestically-produced maraging steel.

December 1992: India’s AEC confirms the existence of approximately 10,000 tons of uranium ore in the West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, possibly the largest reserve in India after Jaduguda.

May 1993: The 220 MWe reactor at Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) begins commercial operations. An additional heavy water reactor with the same capacity will be built and commence operations at KAPS in September 1995.

June 1994: India has reportedly won its first commercial heavy water export deal, with the DAE supplying 100 tons of heavy water, under IAEA safeguards, for the Wolsung CANDU plants in South Korea.

January 1995: India receives its first consignment of LEU for the Tarapur nuclear plant from China. Indian officials say that the uranium will be converted into fuel assemblies along with a MOX fuel developed by DAE. France stopped supplying Tarapur in 1994, stipulating that India must first submit to IAEA full-scope safeguards before shipments resume.

January 1995: India inaugurates the Narwapahar uranium mine in Jharkhand.

1996: India cancels plans to test a nuclear weapon.

March 1996: India cold commissions the Kalpakkam Reprocessing Plant.

October 1996: The Chairman of the DAE announces that India and South Korea have signed a contract for the export to South Korea of 100 MTof heavy water to be conducted in 1998.

October 1996: India’s thirty kW, U-233 fueled Kamini research reactor attains criticality. The reactor is reportedly located beneath a hot cell of the radio metallurgy laboratory where neutron radiography of irradiated fuel of the FBTR at Kalpakkam will be conducted.

1997: Prime Minister I. K. Gujral says India will not sign the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) or any other “discriminatory” nuclear agreement that would hamper India’s nuclear program.

December 1997: the Jaduguda Mill is expanded to treat 2090 tons of uranium ore per day.

January 1998: Scientists at BARC claim they have developed a low cost method of extracting tritium from heavy water used in nuclear power reactors.

May 1998: India conducts two rounds of nuclear weapon tests. After the first, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee announces that “a fission device, a low-yield device and a thermonuclear device” had been successfully tested in the Pokhran desert. Two days later the government explodes two more sub-kiloton nuclear tests at the same testing range. The five underground tests range in yield from less than one kiloton to an estimated 45 kilotons.

May 1998: President Clinton imposes economic sanctions on India after it refuses American demands to disavow future testing or deployment of nuclear weapons.

May 1998: Russia refuses to join other countries in punishing India for its nuclear tests.

May 1998: In response to India’s nuclear tests, the World Bank postpones the approval of $865 million in loans to India.

June 1998: “Well-placed Indian official sources,” reportedly claim that since the mid 1970s India’s DAE and BARC prepared about 25 spherical plutonium metal bomb cores from the spent fuel of two reactors.

November 1998: Analysts at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory have reportedly concluded that one of India’s May nuclear explosions, described by India as a successful thermonuclear test, failed to ignite its secondary stage as planned. As a result, one unnamed U.S. official states that India’s DAE “is under intense pressure to test again.”

November 1998: India introduces a resolution at the United Nations on nuclear de-alerting to reduce the potential for an accidental launch.

November 1998: The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Export Administration sanctions Indian governmental, parastatal, and private entities thought to be involved in nuclear or missile activities.

December 1998: Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee tells parliament that India’s nuclear doctrine will be centered on two elements: a small but credible deterrent, and a no-first-use policy.

February 1999: The United States ends its opposition to extending World Bank loans to India, allowing the approval of a $210 million energy project.

April 1999: Dr. A.J.P. Abdul Kalam, head of India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) says that “the Agni II [intermediate-range ballistic missile] is designed to carry a nuclear warhead if required,” and claims that an Agni-class payload was tested during the underground nuclear tests in May 1998.

June 1999: Officials at DAE admit they are planning to build a new research-size reactor inside the BARC campus to increase its annual production of weapon-grade plutonium. Officials say the new reactor will be based on the existing CIRUS and Dhruva reactors and predict that it will be operational by 2010.

August 1999: The chairman of the AEC claims that India can manufacture nuclear weapons of “any type of size” based on information obtained during last year’s nuclear tests.

December 1999: The Assistant Secretary for Export Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce announces the removal of 51 organizations from the list of 200 Indian entities sanctioned in November 1998.

March 2000: The 220 MWe unit 2 heavy water reactor at Kaiga Generating Station (KGS) begins commercial operations. Unit 1 begins operations in November 2000. Two additional heavy water reactors with the same capacity are later built and begin operations at KGS, the first in May 2007 and the second in January 2011.

June 2000: One of India’s leading nuclear scientists, retired DAE head P. K. Iyengar, tells an Indian newspaper that India’s May 1998 thermonuclear bomb test wasted most of its fuel by burning “only partially, perhaps less than 10 percent” and that India needs to redesign and test the weapon again.

August 2000: Russia agrees to supply India’s Tarapur nuclear power plant with 58 MT of LEU.

March 2001: The Canadian government announces that it is lifting economic sanctions that were imposed on India in the wake of its May 1998 nuclear tests.

May 2001: Russian fuel fabricator MSZ Elektrostal has reportedly completed work on fuel assemblies and has shipped nuclear fuel to India’s Tarapur facility, despite objections by the United States and European members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

September 2001: U.S. President George W. Bush waives U.S. economic sanctions against India and Pakistan originally imposed as a penalty for their nuclear weapon tests conducted in 1998. The New York Times suggests that the United States undertook this measure to reward those nations assisting in the “war on terrorism.”

October 2001: Japan lifts the economic sanctions that it imposed on India and Pakistan in the wake of their May 1998 nuclear weapon tests. A Japanese government spokesperson explains that sanctions are being lifted because Japan “values India and Pakistan’s efforts to contribute to strengthening the international coalition against terrorism.”

November 2001: India’s BARC has developed a nuclear power plant for its ATV cruise missile submarine. Russian engineers and Indian scientists have begun installation and testing of the plant at IGCAR.

December 2001: Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy announces that in the past twelve months Russia’s Rosoboronexport transferred a Russian Shchuka-B class nuclear power submarine to India’s navy, under a three-year lease.

December 2001: India and the United States resume military-to-military cooperation and revive the Defense Policy Group (DPG), which was suspended after India’s May 1998 nuclear tests.

November 2002: India and the United States establish the U.S.-India High Technology Cooperation Group to facilitate and promote bilateral high-technology trade, including trade in dual-use goods and technologies.

November 2002: The Turamdih uranium mine is inaugurated at Jharkhand.

December 2002: The Chairman of the AEC in India, Dr. Anil Kakodkar, unveils a Rs100-crore program that focuses on the use of thorium as an alternative to uranium in nuclear energy generation.

January 2003: India establishes its Strategic Forces Command (SFC) and approves appointment of a Commander-in-Chief to manage its nuclear and strategic forces.

January 2003: India outlines its eight-point nuclear doctrine. The doctrine includes: 1) a no-first-use posture; 2) authorization of retaliatory attacks only through civilian political leadership under the Nuclear Command Authority; 3) building and maintaining of a credible minimum deterrent; 4) non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states; 5) the option to use nuclear weapons in retaliation to chemical and biological attacks; 6) continuance of strict export controls; 7) participation in negotiations of the FMCT; and 8) continued observance of its moratorium on nuclear testing.

March 2003: The creation of the Demonstration Fuel Reprocessing Plant (DFRP) at IGCAR is approved. The DFRP will reprocess fuel from India’s fast breeder reactors. It enters its commissioning phase in January 2017.

April 2003: U.S. officials reportedly confirm that in late 2002, India’s DAE, BARC, and DRDO requested permission from Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to test three nuclear devices.

May 2003: The Compact Reprocessing Facility for Advanced Fuels in Lead cells (CORAL) is commissioned at IGCAR. It will reprocess spent fuel for fast breeder reactors.

September 2004: As part of the India-United States Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) initiative, which began in January 2004, the U.S. Commerce Department announces removal of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) headquarters from the U.S. Entity List and the introduction of a “presumption of approval” for all dual-use items not controlled by the NSG, if going to the “balance of plant” portion of an Indian nuclear facility subject to international inspection.

October 2004: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launches the commercial phase of India’s fast breeder reactor program with the initiation of construction on the 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR). The facility remains under construction as of July 2018.

December 2004: Alexander Yuryevich Rumyantsev, director of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency, states that Russia, because of its adherence to the NSG, will not continue to supply fuel for the Tarapur nuclear power plant, in spite of its provision of 50 MT of enriched uranium to the same plant in 2001. Rumyantsev comments that fuel provided in 2001 was for safety reasons, since “India at that time had no fuel.”

January 2005: Russia completes delivery of a 320 MT nuclear reactor, manufactured by the OAO Izhora Factories in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station (KKNPS) in Tamil Nadu.

March 2005: The United States agrees to sell F-16 aircraft, which can be used as delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons, to India and Pakistan.

April 2005: India participates for the first time at the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) review meeting and ratifies the CNS.

May 2005: India passes the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Delivery Systems Bill, in response to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540.

June 2005: India’s Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee and U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sign a defense agreement entitled “New Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship.” Areas of cooperation will include combating the spread of weapons of mass destruction, collaboration on missile defense, as well as defense strategy and intelligence exchanges.

August 2005: India and Pakistan agree to set up a telephone hotline by September 2005 to reduce the risk of a nuclear accident. The head of the Indian delegation, Meera Shankar, also offers Pakistan a draft agreement “for undertaking measures to reduce the risks of accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons under their respective control.” In a separate agreement the two parties agree to notify each other prior to tests of ballistic missiles, many of which are nuclear capable.

August 2005: Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office issues amended measures to its policy restrictions on India. The measures state that the United Kingdom will consider on a “case-by-case” basis license applications for items on the NSG Dual-Use List, departing from its March 2002 policy to deny all such exports.

August 2005: As part of the reciprocal steps to complete the U.S. and Indian NSSP, the U.S. Department of Commerce removes six Indian entities from the Entity List. Removed DAE facilities include Tarapur (TAPS 1 and 2), Rajasthan (RAPS 1 and 2), and Kudankulam (1 and 2), two of which are under IAEA safeguards and one of which is to be placed under safeguards after completion. The other three entities are ISRO subordinates and include ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network, ISRO Inertial Systems Unit, Thiruvananthapuram, and Space Applications Center, Ahmadabad. The order also eliminates export and re-export license requirements on items controlled unilaterally by the United States for nuclear nonproliferation reasons.

September 2005: A 540 MWe heavy water reactor begins operations at TAPS. A second 540 MWe heavy water reactor built at the plant and beings operations in August 2006.

September 2005: India and France issue a joint statement under which France acknowledges “the need for full international civilian nuclear cooperation with India,” pledging to “work towards this objective by working with other countries and the NSG and by deepening bilateral cooperation.”

September 2005: Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew meets with Indian External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh and the two agree on measures including Canada’s permission for the supply of nuclear-related dual-use items to Indian civilian nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, in accordance with NSG guidelines, and the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy through bilateral and international forums.

February 2006: DAE Secretary Anil Kokodkar recommends that, in addition to the Dhruva and CIRUS units, a portion of India’s nuclear reactors, including the breeders and the naval reactor, not be put under IAEA safeguards in order to meet the country’s “strategic need.”

September 2006: The International Panel on Fissile Materials estimates that India has a net stockpile of approximately 0.52 MT of weapons grade plutonium, enough for 85-130 nuclear warheads, and 0.2 MT of highly enriched uranium. Assuming this uranium is enriched to weapons grade (90% or higher), this is enough for 10-20 nuclear warheads.**

December 2006: U.S. President George W. Bush signs the United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act, a key step in enabling the United States to share civilian nuclear technology with India.

February 2007: India and Pakistan sign an agreement on “Reducing the Risk from Accidents Relating to Nuclear Weapons” that requires both countries to immediately notify each other of any nuclear weapon-related accident that could create cross-border radioactive fallout risk or an outbreak of nuclear war. The agreement is renewed for five years in 2012 and 2017.

2008: The Bagjata uranium mine is commissioned.

April 2008: India’s facility for Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) research and development becomes critical. The facility, overseen by BARC, is used to develop thorium-fueled AHWR technology.

August 2008: The IAEA Board of Governors approves the Agreement for the Application of Safeguards to Civilian Nuclear Facilities between India and the IAEA.

September 2008: The NSG adopts a policy to transfer trigger list and nuclear-related dual-use items and related technology to IAEA safeguarded Indian civilian nuclear facilities.

October 2008: U.S. President George W. Bush signs into law the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act. This brings the U.S.-India 123 Agreement into force, which grants India advance consent to reprocessing in a designated safeguarded facility and provides fuel assurances.

October 2008: The New Hot Cells Facility for the examination of irradiated nuclear fuels is inaugurated at BARC.

October 2008: BARC director Dr. S. Banerjee indicates that fourth generation “advanced gas centrifuges” are being developed at BARC and will soon be installed at the Rare Materials Plant (RMP), which houses India’s military gas centrifuge enrichment facility. He adds that third generation centrifuges are currently being inducted at RMP.

October 2008: The International Panel on Fissile Materials estimates that India has a net stockpile of 0.68 MT of weapons grade plutonium, enough for 115-170 nuclear warheads, and 0.6 MT of highly enriched uranium. According to the Panel, a portion of the highly enriched uranium stockpile is used for naval fuel as it is enriched below weapons grade (90%).

November 2008: The United Kingdom revises its Indian nuclear-related export policy and will evaluate license applications for items on the NSG trigger and dual-use lists destined for IAEA-safeguarded civil nuclear facilities in India on a case-by-case basis.

November 2008: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates that India has produced approximately 70 nuclear warheads, of which 50 are fully operational.

December 2008: India and Russia agree to cooperate in the construction of four nuclear power units at Kudankulam. A Russian diplomatic source reportedly claims the four new reactors may be VVER-1200s, capable of generating 1,170 MW each. The official also claims that Russia has agreed to supply India with six additional reactors.

December 2008: France’s AREVA signs an agreement with India’s DAE to supply 300 tons of uranium to NPCIL. The contract is concluded in 2009.

January 2009: India and Kazakhstan sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under which Kazakhstan will reportedly receive Indian-made nuclear reactors and supply India with 2000 tons of uranium. The contract is concluded in 2014.

January 2009: India inaugurates its first opencast uranium mine at Banduhurang.

February 2009: India’s NPCIL signs an MoU with France’s AREVA to set up two to six EPR reactors (advanced pressurized water reactors) at Jaitapur.

February 2009: Russia’s TVEL and India’s DAE sign a long-term contract for TVEL to supply India with 2000 MT of uranium pellets. The contract is concluded in December 2016.

May 2009: The Agreement for the Application of Safeguards to Civilian Nuclear Facilities between India and the IAEA enters into force.

May 2009: India signs a version of the IAEA’s Additional Protocol. This version is much less restrictive than the Model Additional Protocol.

June 2009: The Apsara research reactor is shut down for upgrades.

July 2009: India launches the INS Arihant, its first nuclear-powered submarine, which will reportedly be capable of launching nuclear-capable ballistic weapons.

August 2009: India and Namibia sign an Agreement on Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy that reportedly includes the sale of uranium to India.

October 2009: The IAEA receives written notification of fourteen nuclear-related facilities that India will put under safeguards: the Uranium Oxide Plant, Ceramic Fuel Fabrication Plant, Enriched Uranium Oxide Plant, Enriched Fuel Fabrication Plant and Gadolinia Facility at the Nuclear Fuel Complex in Hyderabad; TAPS 1 & 2 at Tarapur; RAPS 1, 2, 5 and 6 at Rajasthan; and KKNPP 1 & 2 at Kudankulam.

October 2009: India designates the following sites for setting up light water power reactors: Jaitapur, in cooperation with France; Kudankulum and Haripur, in cooperation with Russia; and Chhayamithi Virdi and Kovvada, in cooperation with the United States.

October 2009: The International Panel on Fissile Materials estimates that India has a net stockpile of approximately 0.7 MT of weapons grade plutonium, enough for 115-175 nuclear warheads, and 0.6 MT of highly enriched uranium. According to the Panel, this highly enriched uranium is used primarily in India’s naval propulsion program.

November 2009: Canada and India conclude negotiations on a nuclear cooperation agreement that would allow Canadian firms to trade in nuclear-related items with India.

March 2010: Satellite imagery of RMP indicates the excavation and construction of buildings suspected to be for a new gas centrifuge hall. Images taken in early 2014 indicate that the construction is nearly complete.

March 2010: India puts the remaining two heavy water reactors at Rajasthan (RAPS 3 and 4) under IAEA safeguards.

March 2010: Russia and India agree to jointly construct two more reactors at Kudankulam, which would bring the number of units at the site to six. They also agree to construct two reactors at Haripur in West Bengal.

July 2010: India and the United States sign the Agreement on the Arrangements and Procedures for the reprocessing of U.S. obligated material by India. The arrangements and procedures are pursuant to the 123 Agreement, which requires that U.S.-origin nuclear material only be reprocessed in Indian facilities that are under IAEA safeguards.

September 2010: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates that India has produced 60-80 nuclear warheads, 50 of which are fully operational.

December 2010: India puts the two heavy water reactors at Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS 1 and 2) under IAEA safeguards.

December 2010: The International Panel on Fissile Materials estimates that India has a net stockpile of 0.5 MT of weapons grade plutonium, enough for 85-125 nuclear warheads, and 1.3 MT of highly enriched uranium. This uranium is assumed to be enriched to 30 % and used primarily in the nuclear submarine program.

December 2010: The CIRUS reactor is permanently shut down.

January 2011: The reactor fuel reprocessing plant PREFRE-2, which will reprocess spent fuel from India’s heavy water reactors, is established at BARC.

January 2012: The Hindu reports that India is building a second Arihant-class nuclear submarine named the INS Aridaman.

April 2012: The Mohuldih underground uranium mine is commissioned. A uranium ore mine and processing plant is also commissioned at Tummalapalle.

April 2012: The Indian Navy inducts a second INS Chakra nuclear submarine leased from Russia into service.

July 2012: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates that India has produced 80-100 nuclear warheads.

December 2012: India puts the Away from Reactor (AFR) fuel storage facility at Tarapur under IAEA safeguards.

July 2013: The Indian government approves the establishment of the Fast Reactor Fuel Cycle Facility (FRFCF), which will be used to reprocess spent fuel at IGCAR.

August 2013: The reactor for the INS Arihant nuclear submarine attains criticality.

September 2013: India signs a preliminary contract with Westinghouse for the construction of six AP1000 reactors in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat.

September 2013: The Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement enters into force. The agreement allows Canadian companies to export controlled nuclear materials, equipment, and technologies to Indian nuclear facilities that are under IAEA safeguards.

October 2013: The International Panel on Fissile Materials estimates that India has a net stockpile of 0.54 MT of weapons grade plutonium, enough for warheads 90-135 warheads, and 2.4 MT of highly enriched uranium. This uranium is assumed to be enriched to 30 % and used primarily in the nuclear submarine program.

March 2014: India puts the nuclear material store at Tarapur under IAEA safeguards.

July 2014: An Additional Protocol negotiated between India and the IAEA enters into force. India’s Protocol requires Delhi to notify the IAEA of nuclear-related exports but, it does not require India to report fuel-cycle related research and development, nuclear-related imports, and uranium mining. A number of India’s nuclear facilities also remain outside the scope of IAEA safeguards.

September 2014: Australia and India sign an agreement under which Australia will supply uranium to India. The agreement enters into force in November 2015.

November 2014: The Dhruva reactor begins operating at its full 100 MW capacity.

December 2014: The INS Arihant nuclear submarine reportedly begins sea trials.

December 2014: India puts the two heavy water reactors at NAPS (NAPS 1 and 2) under IAEA safeguards.

December 2014: India and Russia sign an agreement to pursue the joint construction of at least 12 additional nuclear power plants in India, and to cooperate on the production of nuclear fuel.

February 2015: India reportedly approves the construction of six nuclear-power attack submarines.

April 2015: Canada’s Cameco and India’s DAE sign an MOU under which Canada will supply India with approximately 3000 MT of uranium from 2015-2020.

May 2015: The Monazite Processing Plant (MoPP) is commissioned under IREL. The 10,000 tons per annum plant is used for recovering uranium in the form of nuclear grade ammonium di-uranate.

July 2015: Kazakhstan’s NAC Kazatomprom and India sign an MOU under which Kazakhstan will supply 3700-7000 MT of uranium to India from 2015-2019. The first shipment is made in 2016.

October 2015: Russia’s JSC TVEL supplies India with 42 MT of enriched uranium oxide pellets pursuant to a single delivery contract.

November 2015: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates that India has produced 110-120 nuclear warheads.

December 2015: A report is released by a Washington, DC-based think tank indicating that India is building a large uranium enrichment plant in Challakere, Karnataka, to supply India’s nuclear reactors and nuclear submarines. Experts also believe that the facility will house atomic research labs and weapons testing areas, and will be used to develop thermonuclear weapons.

December 2015: The International Panel on Fissile Materials estimates that India has a net stockpile of .59 MT of weapons grade plutonium, enough for 100-150 nuclear warheads, and 3.2 MT of highly enriched uranium. This uranium is assessed to be enriched to 30% and used primarily in the nuclear submarine program.

December 2015: India receives its first shipment of uranium from Canada.

April 2016: Hannah Robert is sentenced by a judge in New Jersey to 57 months in prison for illegally exporting sensitive military technical data to India, including blueprints for parts used in torpedo systems for nuclear submarines.

May 2017: The Indian government approves the construction of ten 700 MW heavy water reactors in a fleet mode.

July 2017: Australia reportedly makes its first shipment of uranium to India.

July 2017: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates that India has produced 120-130 nuclear warheads.

August 2017: Sources tell the Print that the Aridaman (aka Arighat) nuclear submarine has been assembled and is ready to be launched for further outfitting. The Aridaman is believed to be able to carry more SLBMs than the Arihant and to have a more powerful reactor. It is reportedly launched by January 2018.

September 2017: India puts two of its under-construction heavy water reactors at KAPS (KAPS-3 and 4) under IAEA safeguards.

December 2017: Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba reportedly confirms that India has started to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines.

February 2018: The International Panel on Fissile Material estimates that India has a net stockpile of .58 MT of weapons grade plutonium, enough for 100-150 nuclear warheads, and 4.0 MT of highly enriched uranium. This uranium is assessed to be enriched to between 30 % and 45 % and used primarily in the nuclear submarine program.

March 2018: India and the EDF Group of France sign an agreement to jointly construct six EPR reactors at Jaitapur. The total planned capacity at the site is 10 GW.

May 2018: India puts two of its under-development VVERs at Kudankulam (KKNPP 3 and 4) under IAEA safeguards.

September 2018: India recommissions an upgraded version of the Apsara research reactor. The upgraded version, the Apsara-U, is fueled with low enriched uranium fuel plates and will be used to produce radio-isotopes for medical purposes, as well as to conduct research in nuclear physics, radiation shielding, and material science.

* All tonnage referred to in this report are provided in metric tons (MT) unless otherwise specified. In these latter cases, it is not clear from the source whether the unit of measurement used is MT or Imperial Ton.

** All fissile material to warhead conversions in this report assume 4-6 kg of PGU per weapon, and 9-15 kg of WGU per weapon and rounded to the nearest “0” or “5”. These warhead masses were obtained from: “Fissile Material Basics [Fact Sheet],” Union of Concerned Scientists, 2004, available at, accessed on September 26, 2018.