India Conducts 3 Nuclear Tests
NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ India conducted three underground nuclear explosions today, its first nuclear tests since 1974, the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee told reporters the explosions in the desert 330 miles southwest of New Delhi did not release radiation into the atmosphere.
The development was sure to alarm Pakistan, India’s rival. The two neighbors have fought three wars in the last 50 years.
``These were contained explosions like the experiment conducted in May 1974,″ Vajpayee said today in a brief statement. He refused to take questions.
He said the devices tested were a fission device, a low-yield device and a thermonuclear device.
``I warmly congratulate the scientists and engineers who have carried out these successful tests,″ Vajpayee added.
Vajpayee’s government, which came to power in March, says India needs nuclear weapons to prevent what it calls military adventurism by neighboring Pakistan.
India first demonstrated its nuclear capability with the 1974 test explosion.