SEOUL, September 5 [2:40PM, GMT] -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has detected signs of operation of the 5-MW reactor at North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear research facility, South Korea’s state TV and radio channel KBS said on Friday.
The IAEA annual report says that the experts recorded discharges of water and steam from the reactor, which confirm its operation.
“Since late August 2013, the IAEA says, through analysis of satellite imagery, steam discharges and the outflow of cooling water at the 5 MW(e) reactor, signatures which are consistent with the reactor’s operation,” the IAEA said.
“However, since the agency has had no access to the 5 MW(e) reactor since April 2009, it cannot confirm the operational status of the reactor,” it said. North Korea expelled IAEA inspectors in 2009 and the agency has had no inspectors in the country since then.
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) previously reported that North Korea is expanding the uranium enrichment plant at Yongbyon and is trying to modernize the reactor.
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