Published On: Fri, Aug 23rd, 2019

Nuclear warning: Huge leak spotted in North Korea turns rivers black in freak accident | World | News


Disturbing satellite photos have emerged that appear to show the leakage of a uranium plant in the north of country that has contaminated a river with huge amounts of toxic waste. The river in question provides water for drinking and crops for an estimated 400,000 people and could lead to extremely debilitating illnesses such as cancer and birth defects. The potential radioactive leak was revealed by US blogger and North Korea analyst, Jacob Bogle, who has created the largest publicly accessible map of North Korea. By examining satellite images on the Pyongsan uranium site, Mr Bogle brought attention to the sudden deep black hue of the river.

He believes that the leakage has been covered up by the highly secretive insular state, and the true scale of disaster is only now unfolding.

Mr Bogle thinks that North Korea will struggle to keep the claimed leakage under wraps for any longer, as the river eventually leads into the Yellow Sea that North Korea shares with neighbouring South Korea and China.

If true, the scale of those affected could grow to nearly 600million people and end up being the world’s worst man-made disaster.

The photos shared by Mr Bogle appear to show a pipeline, built to carry toxic water from the facility to a nearby waste reservoir, digressing its intended route and leaking into the river instead.

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Mr Bogle said: “I was able to review high-resolution historical satellite imagery for multiple years going back to 2003.

“Each of the images shows an ever-growing pile of leaked material on either end of the pipe that takes waste material from the plant to an unlined reservoir.

“Some of the images also show fluids being actively spilled directly into the river.

“The plant is one of two declared uranium milling facilities in the country. It takes low-quality coal and processes it to create yellowcake, which then contains around 80 per cent uranium.

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“The extraction and milling requires multiple chemical processes and leaves behind a very toxic mix of waste materials.

“That toxic waste is then sent to the nearby reservoir, leaking and travelling into the Ryesong River in the process.”

The Pyongsan facility is the largest in North Korea, and is built next to its largest uranium mine, and has recently undergone a ramped-up level of production of nuclear fuel for electricity generating purposes.

Many have pointed out that the Conowingo Dam 16 miles downstream might be sufficient enough to trap and prevent any toxic waste from getting out – although experts told The Sun that the dam is “no longer capable of trapping sediment”.



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