Closing down North Korea’s nuclear test site at Punggye-ri is going to be more complicated and fraught with risk than has previously been suggested, with analysts suggesting that acting in haste for short-term political gain might lead to an environmental crisis. One suggestion is to use explosives to seal the entrances to the three tunnels that have been drilled into the mountain, although the concern is that further detonations at the already weakened site could lead to a collapse of internal spaces and the release of massive amounts of radioactivity into the atmosphere. Given the danger, the alternative is to bury the entire site in a mixture of lime and sand. The drawback with this approach is that it would take a long time to completely seal the site, erosion would eventually uncover the site once again and foreign experts would be required to be on-site for an extended period of time, which the North Korean authorities may object to.
Telegraph 11th May 2018 read more »