Size of Indian Blasts Still Disputed

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Science  25 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5385, pp. 1939
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5385.1939a

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In a Policy Forum published this week in Science (p. 1967), a group of 19 academic and U.S. government seismologists calculates that the yield from India's 11 May nuclear tests--the larger of the two sets--was 9 to 16 kilotons with 50% uncertainty. However, a group of physicists at India's Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai claims in a paper appearing in the 10 September issue of the Indian journal Current Science that this estimate is too low by a factor of 4. Based on a computer analysis of the seismic recordings, they say the actual yield was 58 kilotons, even larger than the initial report of 55 kilotons.

  • Pallava Bagla is a correspondent in New Delhi.

  • * With reporting by Eliot Marshall.