Shortcuts on safety standards, poor maintenance and disdain for operational protocols at North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear power plant are putting 100 million people across north-east Asia in “mortal danger”, according to a new report. Authored by Oleg Shcheka, a professor of physics and chemistry who is based in the Russian Far East city of Vladivostok, the study suggests the North Korean regime’s need for energy is increasing the likelihood of an accident similar to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. North Korea has been attempting to shift to nuclear energy since the 1960s but progress has been hampered by a lack of funding and international sanctions designed to inhibit the regime’s nuclear weapons programme. The Soviet Union helped to construct the first 2-megawatt reactor a t Yongbyon in 1965, while North Korean scientists have since probably developed the skills and equipment required to build a facility similar to a Soviet-era RBMK-1000 light water graphite reactor – the same type that was in use at Chernobyl. And while a relatively simple design, the political pressure to “crank up more power to generate electricity inevitably leads to an increased risk of disasters associated with human errors as well as imperfect operation and protection systems”, Mr Shcheka wrote in the study, published on the 38 North website operated by the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Telegraph 20th April 2018 read more »
North Korea is risking another Chernobyl disaster, warns nuclear physicist.
Express 19th April 2018 read more »
North Korea has expressed its commitment to “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula and is not seeking conditions, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday, as the United States vowed to maintain “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang.
CBC 19th April 2018 read more »