Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
North Korea Seen Placing Roof on New Reactor
A recent satellite picture indicates North Korea has placed a roof on its new light-water reactor -- a critical accomplishment in the project begun in 2010, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
Pyongyang maintains the reactor under construction at the Yongbyon nuclear complex will be used to generate nuclear energy for nonmilitary purposes. However, issue analysts worry it might be used to generate plutonium for nuclear warheads.
North Korea's nuclear-weapon program has to date relied on plutonium devices. The nation is believed to hold enough material for at least six weapons.
"The emplacement of the dome is a significant development, although it may take several more years for the facility to be completed and brought into full operation," IHS Jane's Defense Weekly analyst Allison Puccioni said in assessing the images taken on Aug. 6 by the GeoEye-1 satellite.
The reactor would presumably be powered by uranium enriched at another Yongbyon facility. Uranium can also be enriched to levels suitable for use in a nuclear weapon.
Dec. 18, 2013
This paper provides an overview of the current and planned state of Russia's strategic triad. It also explores motivations for Russia's planned upgrades to its strategic nuclear arsenal, offers a forecast of the likelihood of success, and suggests some implications for the United States.
June 14, 2013
Steve Andreasen and Richard A. Clarke urge President Obama to minimize the role of nuclear weapons in the national security strategy and maintain distinction between cyber and nuclear attacks.