North Korea removes spent nuclear fuel rods

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

North Korea's official news agency is reporting that the country has finished removing all its spent nuclear fuel rods, over 8,000 of them, from the main reactor in the Yongbyon nuclear plant.

The rods could be reprocessed for several months to extract weapons-grade plutonium. Officials say the rods could be able to provide enough plutonium to make two nuclear bombs.

This could possibly signal that North Korea is preparing for a nuclear arms test. North Korea may already have enough materials to make six nuclear bombs.

North Korea has also announced plans to continue operating the Yongbyon facility, as well as to begin construction on a larger reactor.


External Image

Satellite Image of Yongbyon Nuclear Power Plant in North Korea