Yongbyon Pilot-Scale Fuel Fabrication Plant

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Last Updated: June 7, 2012
Other Name: 영변실험용핵연료생산가공장;Yongbyon Pilot-Scale Fuel Fabrication Factory; Yongbyon Pilot-Scale Nuclear Fuel Rod Production Factory (영변실험용핵연료봉생산공장); Pilot-Scale Nuclear Fuel Rod Production Facility (실험용핵연료봉제조시설)
Location: Bungang-jigu (분강지구), Yongbyon-gun (영변군), North Pyeongan Province (평안북도), North Korea
Subordinate To: Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center (영변원자력연구센터), General Department of Atomic Energy (원자력총국), Cabinet (내각)
Size: Estimated throughput of about 15 MTU per year
Facility Status: Abandoned

Reportedly located in the "oldest part" of the Yongbyon Nuclear Complex, construction of the plant was completed in 1983. However, the plant was closed in 1986 when the second fabrication facility became operational. This plant produced the fuel for the first core of the 5MWe reactor. [1] However, North Korean officials have not given International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors any technical information about the facility. IAEA inspectors have since described the plant as "largely abandoned."

Satellite images from June 2010 when compared with those taken on August 2009 showed a new roof on the building housing the Pilot-Scale Fuel Fabrication Plant. It is not known whether the entire building was renovated and for what purpose it plans to be used. [2]

Sources:
[1] Mark Hibbs, "North Korea Fabricating Fuel for Second, Larger Reactor," Nuclear Fuel, 17 January 1994, Vol. 19, No. 2, p. 9.
[2] Paul Brannan, "Additional Construction Activity at Yongbyon Nuclear Site,” ISIS Reports, Institute for Science and International Security, 10 June 2011, http://isis-online.org.

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