Posted by: ctbtonewsroom | April 23, 2013

CTBTO detects radioactivity consistent with 12 February announced North Korean nuclear test

The CTBTO’s radionuclide network has made a significant detection of radioactive noble gases that could be attributed to the nuclear test announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 12 February 2013.

The detection was made at the radionuclide station in Takasaki, Japan, located at around 1,000 kilometres, or 620 miles, from the DPRK test site. Lower levels were picked up at another station in Ussuriysk, Russia. Two radioactive isotopes of the noble gas xenon were identified, xenon-131m and xenon-133, which provide reliable information on the nuclear nature of the source.

The ratio of the detected xenon isotopes is consistent with a nuclear fission event occurring more than 50 days before the detection (nuclear fission can occur in both nuclear explosions and nuclear energy production). This coincides very well with the announced nuclear test by the DPRK that occurred on 12 February 2013, 55 days before the measurement.

For more information and background see the full press release here.

For further information on the detection, see Q&A sheet here.

For Broadcasters: download broadcast-quality material and shot-sheet here.

Watch the video here.

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For further information on the CTBTO, please see www.ctbto.org – your resource on ending nuclear testing, or contact:

Annika Thunborg, Spokesperson and Chief of Public Information
T    +43 1 26030-6375
E    annika.thunborg@ctbto.org
M    +43 699 1459 6375

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