Digital Commonwealth

Interview with Homi Sethna, 1987

Item Information

Title:
Interview with Homi Sethna, 1987
Description:
Homi Sethna was a leading Indian nuclear scientist who served as Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India (1972-1983) during which time he was centrally involved with the test of 1974. In the interview, he recalls developments reaching back to the Geneva Conference of Experts in 1958 and the early days of India’s nuclear program. Included are sketches of key figures such as Homi Bhaba, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, and specifically their views on nuclear energy, as well as information about India’s cooperation with Canada and others in developing its program. In the latter regard, Dr. Sethna insists that while India benefited from such things as adopting analytical methods used by foreign experts, the actual process and planning was “entirely an Indian effort.” He discusses the concept of a peaceful nuclear explosion and how to distinguish it from a bomb, as well as what India’s 1974 test required and what it achieved. Dr. Sethna criticizes the NPT as an unequal treaty, and scores the Carter administration for some of its non-proliferation efforts, for example in connection with the Tarapur reactor and the International Nuclear Fuel Evaluation Group. He explains his concerns about Pakistan but says it is difficult to be sure whether Pakistan has the bomb. In his view, proliferation can be controlled, but the future of the nuclear age will depend largely on the leadership of the United States.
Interviewee:
Sethna, Homi N.
Date:
February 16, 1987
Format:
Film/Video
Location:
WGBH
Collection (local):
WGBH Open Vault
Series:
War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Subjects:
United Nations
Terrorism
Nuclear weapons--Testing
Physicists
Nuclear energy
Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968)
London Economic Summit (1984)
Radioactive wastes
Nuclear fission
Nuclear arms control
Power resources
Nuclear weapons
Atoms for Peace (U.S.)
Bhaba, Homi J.
United States. Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978
Soviet Union
Nuclear disarmament
Gandhi, Indira, 1917-1984
Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, Chornobyl, Ukraine, 1986
Cockcroft, John, Sir, 1897-1967
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Gray, James Lorne, 1913-1987
Shastri, Lal Bahadur, 1904-1966
Places:
India
United States
Brazil
France
Pakistan
Canada
China
Argentina
Israel
South Africa
Japan
Germany
Extent:
00:45:44:15
Link to Item:
Terms of Use:
Rights status not evaluated.
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Publisher:
WGBH Educational Foundation
Identifier:
V_71FFC387D24D4678B8C2FF35C2243CFE