Pakistan's Nuclear Fix

by Joe Stork
published in MER143

Earlier this year, stories citing US intelligence documents reported that Pakistan now had the capacity to enrich uranium to 93 percent. In other words, Pakistan could produce its own weapons-grade nuclear material. This is perhaps the single most difficult step in manufacturing nuclear bombs.

Few persons who had been following Pakistan’s efforts were surprised by this news, or doubted its accuracy. In February 1984, Pakistan’s general-president, Zia ul-Haq, confirmed that Pakistan had made its first enrichment breakthrough, to the 5 percent level needed for research and nuclear power purposes. From that point it was only a matter of time before the country’s nuclear technicians achieved weapons-grade enrichment capacity.

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