Tags: North Korea | north korea | plutonium | production | nukes

Report: NKorea Likely Ramping Up Plutonium Production to Boost Nukes

Image: Report: NKorea Likely Ramping Up Plutonium Production to Boost Nukes
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 11:02 AM

In a span of 9 months, North Korea's radiochemical lab produced an undetermined amount of plutonium that would help ramp up the country's nuclear weapons stockpile, 38North reported.

Using thermal imagery, the website, which touts itself as informed analysis of all things North Korea, could tell that the lab batch runs intermittently; that is, the lab batch processed plutonium vs. continuously.

The website also reports increased activity at Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center's uranium enrichment facility.

"It is unclear if this was the result of centrifuge operations or maintenance operations," 38North's Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Mike Eley, Jack Liu and Frank V. Pabian write.

The website also reports increased activity at Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center's uranium enrichment facility, however, there is uncertainty on two key points, according to 38North:

  • Imagery doesn't clearly show whether it was "centrifuge operations or maintenance operations."
  • Imagery doesn't clearly show whether the center is producing "low or highly enriched uranium."

However, Yongbyon's isotope/tritium production facility is either not operational or operating at a low level, according to 38North. Tritium is an "essential isotope" used to produce nuclear weapons.​

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In a span of 9 months, North Korea's radiochemical lab produced an undetermined amount of plutonium that would help ramp up the country's nuclear weapons stockpile, 38North reported.
north korea, plutonium, production, nukes
184
2017-02-19
Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 11:02 AM
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