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MOFAT Reveals North Korean Fuel Rod Images

2009-02-04 17:22
[imText1]The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade revealed photos of North Koreas 5 MW nuclear reactor and unused fuel rods on Wednesday, photos which were taken on the 16th January.

These fuel rods were opened up to the South Korean government inspection team when they visited the North last month and are the same ones that North Korea had suspended producing under the 1994 Agreed Framework between North Korea and US. North Korea possesses approx. 12,000 50 MW-fuel rods and 2,400 5 MW-fuel rods.

A single rod is 60 centimeters long and 3 centimeters thick. A 5 MW rod weighs 6.2 kilograms and a 50 MW rod 6.9 kilograms. A 50 MW nuclear reactor requires around 8,000 fuel rods.

The member states in the Six Party Talks are considering the way to dismantle them: bending them so as to render them useless or selling them to other countries. Since the inspection teams visit to the site, they have been evaluating the technology of the fuel rods. South Korea may be one possible buyer of the rods.

The extraction of used fuel rods, the removal of fuel rod driving gear and the treatment of the unused fuel rods remain out of the 11 original measures for the disablement of the Yongbyon facilities, according to the October 3 Agreement signed in 2007.

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