Khan Research Laboratories

Khan Research Laboratories

Khan Research Laboratories

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The Khan Research Laboratories (KRL),, formerly known as Engineering Research Laboratories (ERL), is a multi-program Pakistan's weapons science and engineering research and development institute and nuclear research facility. The KRL is most famous for its production of Highly-Enriched Uranium (HEU), using gas-centrifuge (Zippe-type) technology stolen from the URENCO Group by Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who worked there as a senior scientist. During 1970s, the KRL was the cornerstone of the first stage of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. The KRL is located at Kahuta in Punjab Province.

In addition to its main mission of producing HEU, KRL also performs other projects for the Pakistan Armed Forces, including weapons production and the development of liquid fuel based rockets and missiles.

Historical background

During the early stage of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) put its primary effort into developing the plutonium-based nuclear weapons. Following India's surprise nuclear test in 1971 by India — codename Smiling Buddha, the PAEC launched a secret uranium enrichment project, with Sultan Mahmood as its project-director. Work at the Kahuta site was initiated by Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, as part of Project-706. In spring of 1976, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan joined the programme and worked under Sultan Mehmood. However, Khan developed serious disagreement with Mehmood, who was focused on to developed the technology...
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