Print 32 comment(s) - last by Adonlude.. on Apr 5 at 11:42 AM

The reactor has been closed since 2007

North Korea has decided to restart an old nuclear reactor for both electricity and military purposes.

The country wants to reactivate a nuclear reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear plant. The 5MW reactor is aged (from the Soviet era) and has been closed since 2007. It shut down due to one of its cooling towers blowing up.

According to North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, this isn't necessarily an effort to create a confrontation with the United States. Rather, the nuclear weapons would serve as a deterrent to ensure North Korea's safety. 

"Our nuclear strength is a reliable war deterrent and a guarantee to protect our sovereignty," Kim said. "It is on the basis of a strong nuclear strength that peace and prosperity can exist and so can the happiness of people's lives."

It's unclear whether North Korea's grid is even connected to the nuclear plant for electricity purposes. 

This news comes at a very sensitive time, as North Korea's foreign minister threatened to nuke the U.S. last month amid tensions between the countries.

"Since the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exercising our right to preemptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor in order to protect our supreme interest,"it said at the time.

China has grown tired of North Korea's behavior as well, and even 
imposed harsh sanctions on the country. Under the new sanctions, China and others who trade with North Korea can no longer define what a luxury item is -- meaning that many items such as yachts, luxury automobiles, and certain jewelry are now banned.

China was hoping to start denuclearization talks with North Korea soon, but with this recent news, it looks like that effort may not make any progress. A foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing made note that China is against North Korea restarting the nuclear reactor. 

North Korea has been conducting nuclear tests over the years, which the UN has frowned on. T
he first North Korean nuclear test in 2006 was under 1 kiloton and the second in 2009 was about 2-7 kilotons. The third, which occurred this past February, measured "approximately several kilotons."

It's unclear how long it will take to restart the nuclear reactor. 

Source: Reuters

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Hey NK
By Ammohunt on 4/2/2013 11:33:28 AM , Rating: 2
Shit or get off the pot! lets get this ball rolling 60 years of this nonsense is enough! you will not get your concessions.

RE: Hey NK
By Lord 666 on 4/2/2013 12:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, but don't forget that Iran is going to crash this party. Not to mention Sugar Daddy China rolling up.

RE: Hey NK
By Ammohunt on 4/2/2013 2:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
With any other president i wouldn't be too concerned with China getting into this fight like they did before. Either way i am positive they won't be stoked by having a southern neighbor being spanked like a spoiled child.

RE: Hey NK
By Flunk on 4/2/2013 3:51:30 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think China cares about American politics. Red president, blue president, they could care less. If they feel like the US is bullying their neighboring counties unfairly they're going to be there.

But if North Korea keeps going down this road China is going to take them out themselves. The last thing they need is a foreign power with nuclear capacity and unstable leadership right on their border.

RE: Hey NK
By Ammohunt on 4/2/2013 3:56:06 PM , Rating: 3
Don't misjudge they are kindred spirits both government will do anything to stay in power. As for the current administration its more along the lines of the complete lack of foreign policy Libya was a disaster all around.

RE: Hey NK
By Adonlude on 4/5/2013 11:42:41 AM , Rating: 3
I vote we send N Korea some of our missile technology, right on top of that nuclear plant, a couple times.

I live on the west coast and as far as I am concerned a threat has been made against my life by N Korea.

RE: Hey NK
By Lord 666 on 4/2/2013 4:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
NK's "illogical" behavior is more than likely a ploy for something else.

Reminds me of when my hockey coach in HS gave me $20 to start a fight with someone during free skate when he was a rink guard. Coach got to kick out the person he didn't like and I got $20.

Thinking "gang initiation" for foreign rulers. Start a fight with the US to join the club.

RE: Hey NK
By Solandri on 4/2/2013 4:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
NK's "illogical" behavior is more than likely a ploy for something else.

Well duh. They got 50,000 tons of fuel oil from the West for shutting down this site in 2007. If they restart it again, they probably figure they can get more concessions from the West for shutting it down again in the future.

Basically a thug threatened to break our store windows with a baseball bat, so we paid to buy his baseball bat from him along with his promise that he wouldn't do it again. And now he's decided to break his promise and go buy a new bat so he can threaten us again.

I'd say the thug has a pretty smart business model, and we're the ones behaving illogically. It isn't sufficient to get them to shut the plant down down. You have to include provisions/incentives for keeping it shut down.

RE: Hey NK
By Justin Time on 4/2/2013 5:04:31 PM , Rating: 3
'they COULDN'T care less'

Very Interesting
By Mitch101 on 4/2/2013 11:14:40 AM , Rating: 2
China will have a lot less patience for this being so close to North Korea and that reactor core. Im sure Japan just got very angered as well. I feel for the people living around there who are dealing with this. This kid is going to wind up like his dad. Dead. How many of his people will he take with him. Just plain stupid.

RE: Very Interesting
By othercents on 4/2/2013 11:28:05 AM , Rating: 2
The kid has a rattle and he is shaking it, however if he continues to do so he might find that either he will loose the rattle, or loose all the things that give him the strength to shake the rattle.

At this point it seams like he just wants attention and he is getting exactly what he wants.

RE: Very Interesting
By datdamonfoo on 4/2/2013 11:41:35 AM , Rating: 5
I believe the word you were looking for is "lose".

RE: Very Interesting
By Mr Perfect on 4/2/2013 12:26:48 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know, shaking something is a pretty good way to make it loose.

RE: Very Interesting
By Ammohunt on 4/2/2013 4:21:06 PM , Rating: 5
Let loose the Rattles of war!

The Shadow of ...
By WoWCow on 4/2/2013 11:21:32 AM , Rating: 3
The country wants to reactivate a nuclear reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear plant. The 5MW reactor is aged (from the Soviet era) and has been closed since 2007. It shut down due to one of its cooling towers blowing up.

Given the lack of quality and safety control in NK... man I feel bad for their neighboring nations.

RE: The Shadow of ...
By rudolphna on 4/2/2013 11:35:00 AM , Rating: 2
From what I've read, the reactor they have there is very similar to the RBMK1000 type reactor used at Chernobyl. Graphite moderated, light water reactor. Let's hope they've implemented the safety upgrades that were rolled out after the Chernobyl disaster.

RE: The Shadow of ...
By chromal on 4/2/2013 4:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
The plant in question is:
Actually somewhat of a research facility. Interestingly, unlike a typical US nuclear power plant, it has all the facilities for fabricating fuel, storing spent fuel, and reprocessing spent fuel (for isotopes) on-site. A nuclear industry microcosm.

The 5MWe Magnox reactor does produce combined heat and power, but clearly its primary purpose is to tech nuclear technology and enable the production of isotopes. You're wrong to compare this carbon dioxide gas cooled reactor with Chernobyl's water-cooled RMBK type. The explosive pressure buildup that Chernobyl experienced when its cooling water was boiled into steam would be impossible-- the coolant is already a gas in a MAGNOX reactor.

RE: The Shadow of ...
By rudolphna on 4/2/2013 5:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, well I supposed that makes it more difficult. I was reading the article wrong. I thought it said it was light water cooled. So other than the coolant used though, it looks very similar to the RBMK channel type reactor. Thankfully though I suppose with gas cooling you don't have to worry about having a high positive void coefficient.

RE: The Shadow of ...
By Breakfast Susej on 4/2/2013 9:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
I feel bad for the people chosen to work at that reactor when they fire it up.

RE: The Shadow of ...
By laviathan05 on 4/3/2013 10:23:31 AM , Rating: 2
I feel bad for them as well, along with almost every other citizen that lives in North Korea.

Nuclear war?
By Mr Perfect on 4/2/2013 12:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
Since the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exercising our right to preemptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor in order to protect our supreme interest

Why in the world are the NK so hung up on nuclear war? If the US attacks NK, it won't be with nuclear weapons. That would cause major political problems for the US around the world. If anything, it would look like the initial bombing of Iraq in 2003, smart munitions and missiles.

RE: Nuclear war?
By inighthawki on 4/2/2013 3:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
Do you seriously think anyone there is sane?

RE: Nuclear war?
By Flunk on 4/2/2013 3:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect it would be even quicker and more decisive than that. A surgical strike to take out the leadership would probably be enough.

RE: Nuclear war?
By Breakfast Susej on 4/2/2013 9:55:23 PM , Rating: 2
I picture a single carrier battlegroup probably having a greater ability to wage war, probably on levels of magnitude higher than the entire country of North Korea. Even without using a single nuclear weapon.

But I really think it's going to be China that steps in and institutes a change in leadership.

No one has ever invaded a nuclear power
By tayb on 4/2/2013 3:27:11 PM , Rating: 2
Ever. And that isn't likely to change. One thing you have to have noticed over the past 20+ years is that North Korea makes a lot of threats and does a lot of nothing. They have no intentions of launching nuclear weapons at anyone... unless they're attacked.

A nuclear armed North Korea is a sovereign North Korea. They know, we know it, and everyone else knows it.

By Solandri on 4/2/2013 4:42:26 PM , Rating: 3
Argentina invaded and occupied UK territory during the Falklands War.

Why Don't We Just...
By Yeah on 4/2/2013 12:50:06 PM , Rating: 2
Why Don't We Just...Take out the Reactors... guess then Kim wouldn't be re-starting anything....

RE: Why Don't We Just...
By flyingpants1 on 4/3/2013 1:48:03 AM , Rating: 2
Hahahahahah! Idiot.

By kilkennycat on 4/2/2013 11:32:21 AM , Rating: 3
The reactor was shut down in July 2007 as part of a disarmament-for-aid deal; the cooling tower was dismantled in 2008. IAEA inspectors were banned in April 2009 when North Korea pulled out of disarmament talks. Experts believe that, if re-started, reactor could make one bomb's worth of plutonium per year. It might take up to a year to restore full functionality.

so.. let them eat..
By kattanna on 4/2/2013 11:23:53 AM , Rating: 2

Delusional spoiled brats
By theaerokid on 4/2/2013 12:34:54 PM , Rating: 2
"It is on the basis of a strong nuclear strength that peace and prosperity can exist and so can the happiness of people's lives."

Except the North Koreans have enjoyed neither peace, prosperity or happiness even when given great sums of money, so how are nukes supposed to help?

It's living proof that when you have delusional spoiled brats with Marxist utopias in their brain demanding free stuff and you actually indulge them (against better judgement), they are never satisfied. And it's true everywhere, even here at home.

By CookieKrusher on 4/2/13, Rating: -1
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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