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Cooling water discharge in Yongbyon captured, says 38 North

Cooling water discharge in Yongbyon captured, says 38 North

Posted September. 01, 2021 07:25,   

Updated September. 01, 2021 07:25


An American website devoted to analysis on North Korea announced Monday (local time), “Satellite Imagery of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center captured a discharge of cooling water from the 5MWe Reactor on August 25.” It is new proof that supports International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s recent report that asserts, “There is evidence that the 5 MWe Reactor resumed operations.”  

38 North reported it was “more evidence that operations at the 5MWe Reactor have likely restarted” and “[A] discharge of cooling water into a new outflow channel leading into the Kuryong River is visible in satellite imagery from August 25.” It reported “A discharge of cooling water has historically been one of the key indicators of reactor operations” and “This recent activity is the first indication of reactor operations since spring of 2018.” The International Atomic Energy Agency also announced that it matches signs of the 5MWe Reactor operations, mentioning the discharge of cooling water in its annual report on Friday based on its monitoring on North Korean nuclear facilities from last August.  

“Since then, traffic has consistently been observed in and around the reactor area, likely indicative of maintenance or other reactor start-up activities,” said 38 North. “Work has also been ongoing for several months on a dam in the Kuryong River to create a reservoir of water for the 5MWe Reactor and Experimental Light Water Reactor (ELWR).”

Ji-Sun Choi aurinko@donga.com