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North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center: Major Activity at the Five Megawatt Reactor

in FAR EAST by

According to 38 North, commercial satellite imagery from March 30 indicates that North Korea may have shut down the 5 MWe (plutonium production) reactor, since it was last observed in late February, given the lack of clearly visible steam plumes at the Generator Hall. At the Experimental Light Water Reactor (ELWR), work continues on an adjacent building that may be a laboratory or for engineering support, but there are no obvious signs that the reactor is approaching operational status, in fact there was no evidence of plutonium reprocessing taking place at the Radiochemical Laboratory. 

Presently, imagery indicates only routine vehicle movements and no activities associated with preparations for, or an ongoing, reprocessing campaign at the Radiochemical Laboratory. 

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