Undeclared Waste Storage Facility

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Last Updated: July 4, 2012
Other Name: Camouflaged Park (위장공원); Old Waste Storage Facility; Original Waste Storage Site; Solid and Liquid Waste Storage Site; Outdoor Waste Facility
Location: Located near the 50 MWe Nuclear reactor and the Radiochemistry Laboratory, northeast of the Declared Waste Site, in Bungang-jigu (분강지구), Yongbyon-gun (영변군), North Pyeongan Province (평안북도), North Korea
Subordinate To: Probably the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center (영변원자력연구센터), General Department of Atomic Energy (원자력총국), Cabinet (내각)
Size: Two liquid waste tanks (about 170,000 liters each), and several compartments for solid waste containers
Facility Status: Unknown

Construction of this waste storage facility, North Korea’s oldest nuclear waste site, was completed in 1976, and is reportedly modeled after standard Soviet waste facilities that accompany the IRT reactor. [1] This site was apparently the primary storage facility for both liquid and solid nuclear waste until the second facility, Building 500, became operational in the early 1990s. [2] In the fall of 1992, just days before International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors were to arrive at Yongbyon, the site was covered with dirt and the road leading to the area landscaped with trees and shrubs – most of which, as revealed in later satellite photos, died after the inspectors left – in an apparent effort to hide the site from view. [3] During the visit the following month, IAEA inspectors were denied access to the site. The suspicion is that an inspection would have revealed that North Korea separated more plutonium than it originally declared. [4]

In February 1993, the IAEA passed a resolution requesting a special inspection of this facility and another suspected waste storage site known as Building 500 also located at Yongbyon. Following the IAEA's resolution, North Korea deployed tanks around both facilities to emphasize the appearance of military sites. North Korea refused the IAEA’s request for the inspections, and subsequently declared its intention to withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on 12 March 1993. [5] North Korea suspended its withdrawal from the NPT in June 1993, but has consistently refused IAEA requests to inspect this waste site.

Sources:
[1] David Albright and Corey Hinderstein, "Evidence of Camouflaging of Suspect Nuclear Waste Sites," in David Albright and Kevin O'Neill, eds., Solving the North Korean Nuclear Puzzle (Washington, D.C.: Institute for Science and International Security, 2000), p. 106.
[2] Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., "Exposing North Korea's Secret Nuclear Infrastructure, Part Two," Jane's Intelligence Review, August 1999.
[3] Michael May, ed., "Verifying the Agreed Framework," The Center for Global Security Research Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and The Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, April 2001, p. 68, http://cisac.stanford.edu.
[4] David Albright and Corey Hinderstein, "Evidence of Camouflaging of Suspect Nuclear Waste Sites," in David Albright and Kevin O'Neill, eds., Solving the North Korean Nuclear Puzzle (Washington, D.C.: Institute for Science and International Security, 2000), p. 106.
[5] Larry A. Niksch, "North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program," CRS Report for Congress, Congressional Research Service, 5 October 2006.

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