On the same day that Sen. John Kerry offered Pakistan a personal “guarantee” that the United States had no designs on the country’s nuclear weapons, two nonproliferation experts urged the Obama administration to insist that Islamabad stop work on a new plutonium production reactor. The analysts also said Congress should link American aid to Pakistani compliance.
David Albright and Paul Brannan of the Institute for Science and International Security made the recommendation Monday after examining new commercial satellite imagery, obtained by Newsweek magazine, showing work underway on a new reactor at Khushab, a nuclear weapons complex about 70 miles southwest of Islamabad.
The new facility will be the fourth at Khushab. ISIS says the first reactor was declared operational in 1998, and the second began operating in late 2009. Construction on a third reactor began in 2006 and now work is underway on a fourth.
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