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Did North Korea really achieve clean fusion?  (Source: Lee Jin-Man/Associated Press)

Inside the reactor core of one of North Korea's nuclear plants  (Source: AP)
Many scientists are discounting that the secretive dictatorship made a true breakthrough

A mystery is emerging on the Korean peninsula.  The nation of North Korea, which has long been suspected of developing nuclear weapons, announced on May 12 that it had achieved clean nuclear fusion and was ready to began rolling out virtually free power.  The claim did not receive that much serious attention because it was simply so unbelievable.

Now the mystery has deepened, with the South Korean government scientists revealing that they detected abnormal levels of radioactive xenon gas -- eight times above the normal background level -- only two days after the fusion announcement.

It seems highly unlikely that the fusion reaction occurred as North Korea claims as fission typically produces large isotopes, while fusion uses small atoms like deuterium (a hydrogen isotope).  Granted, many scientists have theorized that fission can be tied to fusion to create hybrid reactors and such reactors 
would likely be capable of producing heavy isotopes.

Professor David Hinde, who is the department head of nuclear physics at The Australian National University says the release is more likely to have come from a traditional fission device.  He states, "It would have to be man-generated unless one came up with some very unusual alternative scenario. The lifetime of those radioactive xenon isotopes, they're not terribly long. So it could not be anything that came naturally, I would say.  Heavy xenon isotopes could be a signature of a fission device of some kind."

The easiest explanation would be that North Korea conducted a nuclear weapons test.  It revealed in 2008 that it has several nuclear weapons stockpiled.  However, such a test would have created seismic activity and South Korean officials detected no corresponding seismic events.

Xenon is colorless, odorless, and largely inert noble gas thats found in minute levels in the atmosphere.  The noble gases xenon and krypton are typically used to detect nuclear activity.  The levels of gas detected by South Korea are a clear marker of nuclear activity, but do not pose a health risk to citizens.

North Korea 
did conduct nuclear weapons tests in 2006, which were detected.  It received international condemnation for these tests and UN sanctions.

For now, though, it's unclear exactly what happened in the mysterious nation of North Korea.  While it's highly unlikely the nation has discovered the holy grail of renewable energy, something that has eluded the best researchers in the U.S. and abroad, at this point there are no definitive answers.

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RE: if it were true
By StriderGT on 6/24/2010 6:48:22 PM , Rating: -1
Before telling others to get their facts straight... quote from the same link you post. Some creative one sided truth bending in your part?!

"Supporters of the bombings generally assert that they caused the Japanese surrender, preventing massive casualties on both sides in the planned invasion of Japan: Kyushu was to be invaded in October 1945 and Honshu five months later. Some estimate Allied forces would have suffered 1 million casualties in such a scenario, while Japanese casualties would have been in the millions.[103] Others who oppose the bombings argue that it was simply an extension of the already fierce conventional bombing campaign[104] and, therefore, militarily unnecessary,[12] inherently immoral, a war crime, or a form of state terrorism.[105]"

RE: if it were true
By ClownPuncher on 6/24/2010 7:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
WW2 is over.

RE: if it were true
By StriderGT on 6/24/2010 8:38:50 PM , Rating: 2

RE: if it were true
By BruceLeet on 6/24/2010 10:56:58 PM , Rating: 2

RE: if it were true
By Wulf145 on 6/25/2010 8:17:27 AM , Rating: 2
Since when? When was the peace treaty signed?

RE: if it were true
By espaghetti on 6/25/2010 2:36:10 AM , Rating: 1
So let me get this right. (there are a lot of "estimating" and "experts" floating around in here)

1. They attack and kill us.
2. We say sorry and have them over for tea to talk about what is upsetting them.

Is this how your mind works?

1. We keep dragging out the bombing campaigns already in progress until the Nazi's have figured out how to make an atom bomb?
2. Receive bomb(s).


1. You tell me your other pacifist ideas.
2. I still disagree.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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