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Title: How much plutonium does North Korea have?

Abstract

U.S. intelligence discovered in the 1980s that North Korea was building a small nuclear reactor. The reactor was described as a gas-cooled, graphite-moderated model similar to those Britian and France used to produce electric power as well as plutonium for nuclear weapons. When Western nations expressed concern about the reactor Russia pressed North Korea to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which it did on December 12, 1985. However, North Korea stalled on signing the required safeguards agreement that allows the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect nuclear facilities until January 1992. Inspections by the IAEA revealed discrepancies with the amounts of plutonium separated as declared by the North Koreans. The IAEA also received reports that two North Korean waste sites were hidden. By February 1993 the IAEA and the North Koreans has reached an impasse: North Koreas initial declarations of plutonium inventory could not be confirmed and North Korea refused to cooperate. At the least, North Korea admits to having separated 100 grams of plutonium. At the most, worst case estimate, they could have a total of 6 - 13 kilograms of separated plutonium. A first nuclear weapon can require up to 10 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium. Any settlementmore » needs to include a way to insure that the IAEA can verify North Korea`s past nuclear activities and determine the amount of plutonium that may have been separated in the past. 2 refs.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
44942
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 50; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: PBD: Sep-Oct 1994
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
35 ARMS CONTROL; PLUTONIUM; ARMS CONTROL; NORTH KOREA; NUCLEAR MATERIALS MANAGEMENT; NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY; VERIFICATION; IAEA; INSPECTION

Citation Formats

Albright, D. How much plutonium does North Korea have?. United States: N. p., 1994. Web. doi:10.1080/00963402.1994.11456557.
Albright, D. How much plutonium does North Korea have?. United States. https://doi.org/10.1080/00963402.1994.11456557
Albright, D. 1994. "How much plutonium does North Korea have?". United States. https://doi.org/10.1080/00963402.1994.11456557.
@article{osti_44942,
title = {How much plutonium does North Korea have?},
author = {Albright, D},
abstractNote = {U.S. intelligence discovered in the 1980s that North Korea was building a small nuclear reactor. The reactor was described as a gas-cooled, graphite-moderated model similar to those Britian and France used to produce electric power as well as plutonium for nuclear weapons. When Western nations expressed concern about the reactor Russia pressed North Korea to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which it did on December 12, 1985. However, North Korea stalled on signing the required safeguards agreement that allows the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect nuclear facilities until January 1992. Inspections by the IAEA revealed discrepancies with the amounts of plutonium separated as declared by the North Koreans. The IAEA also received reports that two North Korean waste sites were hidden. By February 1993 the IAEA and the North Koreans has reached an impasse: North Koreas initial declarations of plutonium inventory could not be confirmed and North Korea refused to cooperate. At the least, North Korea admits to having separated 100 grams of plutonium. At the most, worst case estimate, they could have a total of 6 - 13 kilograms of separated plutonium. A first nuclear weapon can require up to 10 kilograms of weapon-grade plutonium. Any settlement needs to include a way to insure that the IAEA can verify North Korea`s past nuclear activities and determine the amount of plutonium that may have been separated in the past. 2 refs.},
doi = {10.1080/00963402.1994.11456557},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/44942}, journal = {Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists},
number = 5,
volume = 50,
place = {United States},
year = {1994},
month = {9}
}