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N. Korea's nuclear facilities located mostly in Yongbyon: gov't

2013/10/14 17:30

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- Most of North Korea's 15 confirmed nuclear facilities and laboratories are located in Yongbyon, a report by the Ministry of Unification showed Monday.

The report sent to Rep. In Jae-keun ahead of the parliamentary audit showed that Yongbyon, located some 90 kilometers north of Pyongyang, has 13 nuclear facilities that include the communist country's two nuclear reactors as well as two nuclear power stations.

The findings said the town is home to the small, Soviet-supplied IRT-2000 research reactor as well as the controversial five-megawatt electrical graphite moderated reactor that allegedly produced plutonium used to test the country's first and second nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009.

Besides the two reactor units, the North has moved forward with the building of an experimental 25-30 megawatt electrical (MWe) nuclear power station, along with larger 50 MWe light water plant.

The ministry also told the main opposition Democratic Party lawmaker that Yongbyon has a radiochemical laboratory, uranium enrichment facility, a production line to make fuel rods, a nuclear fuel storage bunkers and isotope utilization institute. The town also has three waste management facilities and a critical assembly plant for fissile materials.

The above facilities could be used toward making weapons-grade nuclear materials.

It, however, said there is little information on how many people actually work at these facilities.

Outside of Yongbyon, the North has a sub-critical fissile material facility in the capital city of Pyongyang and a 200 MWe power station being built in the western coastal town of Thaechon about 50 kilometers from the Chinese border.

yonngong@yna.co.kr

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