05 Sep 2021 - 07:14:16
TheInternationalAtomicEnergyslotxoAgency (IAEA) said North Korea appears to be using a reactor believed to be used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. This reflects Pyongyang's efforts to upgrade its arsenals.
The IAEA's annual report, dated Aug. 27, said the 5-megawatt reactor, which experts believe could produce weapons-grade plutonium. It is the only machine capable of producing weapon-grade plutonium. It started showing signs of movement for the first time since the end of 2018.
“At the beginning of July 2021, we saw several movements indicating the use of the reactor. This includes draining the coolant,” the IAEA said, referring to the reactor at Yongbyon, a large nuclear plant. and is the center of North Korea's nuclear activities.
The IAEA is unable to monitor nuclear activity within North Korea. and could only rely on satellite imagery to analyze North Korea's movements. Since IAEA investigators were expelled from the school in 2009 and since then. North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons. including the last nuclear bomb test in 2017.
Jenny Town, Project Director, 38 North, US Research Group North Korean watchdog group It said commercial satellite imagery showing the drainage supports the assumption that the reactor is still working.
“We don't know why they just opened the reactor now. But we have noticed that the reservoir has been working for the past one year to ensure there is enough water to cool off,” Town said, adding that she was a little surprised by the timing. Because there is likely to be flooding in the next few weeks or months. This will affect the operation of the nuclear reactor.
Last year, 30 North reported that August flooding was likely to damage the Yongbyon plant. This reflected that North Korea's reactor cooling systems remained vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.
In a report released on Friday, the IAEA said a five-month move from mid-February to early July suggested that spent fuel rods should be dealt with. rather than eliminating or maintaining waste, which takes less time.
“The new signal indicates the activation of the 5 MW reactor and the radioactive chemistry laboratory. This is a serious concern,” the IAEA report said.