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North Korea expanding uranium enrichment plant — ISIS report

August 07, 2014, 13:39 UTC+3 SEOUL
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) also said in a report that the communist nation is continuing construction of a light water nuclear reactor at Yongbyon
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© ITAR-TASS Archive/ EPA/ DIGITAL GLOBE

SEOUL, August 07. /ITAR-TASS/. North Korea is believed to be expanding a uranium-enrichment centrifuge plant at its Yongbyon nuclear complex while trying apparently to renovate its 5-megawatt nuclear reactor for plutonium production, a U.S. think tank said Wednesday.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) also said in a report that the communist nation is continuing construction of a light water nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, the Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday. The think tank cited commercial satellite imagery dated June 30. The “satellite imagery, combined with procurement data obtained by ISIS, suggests that North Korea is emphasizing the production of weapons-grade plutonium as well as enriched uranium for its nuclear weapons program,” the report says.

The imagery showed construction activities continuing in the centrifuge plant, it said. Although this enrichment plant, according to Pyongyang claims, is dedicated to making low-enriched uranium for the light water reactor, it could produce uranium intended for further enrichment to weapons-grade, the report said. Some signs also indicate that the modernization of the 5-megawatt reactor is underway. In particular, its cooling system has been renovated.

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