Satellite Images Showed Damage To North Korea's Nuclear Facility
Satellite images suggest that recent flooding in North Korea may have damaged pumping stations connected to the country's main nuclear facility in Yongbyon, according to the US website 38 North, which deals with North Korea's problems.
After analyzing satellite images from August 6, the site's experts said that the water "reached two pumping stations serving the reactors" at the Yongbyon nuclear complex.
"The images from August 6, compared to the images from July 22, show a sharp increase in the water level in the Kulen River, which flows near the Yongbyon complex," the article notes.
The five-megawatt reactor, which is believed to be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, has apparently been out of operation for some time, and the experimental light-water reactor has not yet been started, but a repeat of such flooding will require stopping the reactor, experts say.
"Damage to pumps and pipelines inside pumping stations is the most vulnerable place for reactors. If the reactors were working, the inability to cool them would require them to stop," the report says.
The Korean Peninsula was hit by prolonged rains that caused flooding and landslides that caused destruction and loss of life in both North and South Korea.
Yongbyon is the largest nuclear facility in North Korea, founded in 1964. At the end of the second US-North Korea summit, the North Korean side stated that Pyongyang was ready to "permanently and completely" close the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon in exchange for the partial lifting of international sanctions. No agreement was reached during the summit.