IAEA: There's Activity at N. Korea Reactor Site

But agency can't confirm if reactor has been restarted
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2013 3:00 AM CST
IAEA: There's Activity at N. Korea Reactor Site
This April 30, 2012 file satellite image provided by GeoEye shows the area around the Yongbyon nuclear facility in Yongbyon, North Korea.   (AP Photo/GeoEye, File)

North Korea vowed to restart its Yongbyon reactor in April, and the International Atomic Energy Agency today indicates that the country continues to head down that path. Relying largely on satellite imagery, the IAEA's chief noted that "activities have been observed at the site that are consistent with an effort to restart the 5MW(e) reactor." Reuters explains that is Yongbyon's research reactor. Yukiya Amano noted that the agency's lack of accessibility to the nuclear site renders it unable to "conclusively determine" if North Korea has gone so far as to restart the reactor.

Experts had expected it to take about six months to get the reactor operational again, and white steam was spotted at Yongbon about six weeks ago. Amano added that he remains "seriously concerned" about the situation. (More North Korea stories.)

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