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Thermal Images of North Korea Nuclear Plant Hold Disturbing News

Pyongyang may have more bomb fuel than previously believed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2017 7:59 PM CDT
Thermal Images of North Korea Nuclear Plant Hold Disturbing News
FILE - The combination of these three file satellite images taken, from left, March 20, June 24 and Aug. 6, 2012, by GeoEye-1 satellite, and released by IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, shows development of a building construction at Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center in North Korea.   (AP Photo/GeoEye and IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, File)

(Newser) – North Korea may have more fuel for nuclear bombs than previously believed, according to a US think tank. The new report from 38 North analyzed thermal satellite images of the Yongbyon nuclear plant, the country's main nuclear site, and found that Pyongyang may have reprocessed more plutonium than previously thought; the images also indicated that Yongbyon could be increasing production of enriched uranium, another source of fuel for atomic bombs, though it's not clear whether the thermal activity there was due to maintenance or actual centrifuge operations. The images also showed the plant's isotope/tritium production facility is likely not producing tritium, which is used for hydrogen weapons. Reuters has more on the report. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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