North Korea wants to restart nuclear reactor

North Korea today said it wants to reopen a closed nuclear reactor. The state-owned news agency KCNA reported it would be restarted for both electricity and military uses. Tensions have […]

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By Vicky Ellis

North Korea today said it wants to reopen a closed nuclear reactor. The state-owned news agency KCNA reported it would be restarted for both electricity and military uses.

Tensions have recently been stoked between North and South Korea after Pyongyang threatened to invade its southerly neighbour and strike nearby US military bases.

The mothballed facility has been closed since 2007 following six-party talks involving China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the USA, while its cooling tower was demolished a year later.

The Yongbyon nuclear plant is a small gas-cooled natural uranium fuelled Experimental Power Reactor of about 25 MWt at Yongbyon, on the west coast 55 km north of Pyongyang, according to the World Nuclear Association website. The research site suggests it “exhibited all the features of a plutonium production reactor for weapons purposes and produced only about 5 MWe”.