31 Mai 2018
May 31, 2018
N.Korea may be preparing to reprocess spent fuel
US researchers say satellite images of a North Korean nuclear facility may be showing signs of possible preparation for reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.
The researchers released on Wednesday their analysis of satellite images taken on May 6th of the facility in Nyongbyon on their website "38 North."
They say there was a light smoke plume emanating from the stack of a thermal plant at the facility and coal bins had been partially filled and groomed.
The researchers say that in the past, such activity signaled initial preparations for a reprocessing campaign, which involves extracting plutonium.
But the researchers also say it remains unclear if that is the case because there is no sign of the specialized railcars nearby that were present in past preparations.
Earlier this year, the research group said a reactor at the facility may have been restarted since last year. In their analysis of satellite imagery taken in February 2018, they said North Korea may have resumed production of plutonium.