A letter writer to the Financial Times today hammers home a point about the highly publicized demolition of the cooling tower of the Yongbyon reactor:
Graphite-moderated reactors next to rivers do not need a cooling tower.
The Box on the Euphrates, a likely side project of the DPRK's nuclear engineers, certainly was constructed so as to never need one (look at p. 22-27).
And since steam rising from the tower used to be one of the key ways that specialists could tell the reactor was in use...if the powers that be in Pyongyang ever decide to take off the plastic wrap...
I guess the whispered operative phrase around Kasumigaseki and Akasaka Icchōme nowadays is:
"Just don't talk about the river."
The full Yongbyong reactor disablement gallery is visible here.
Worry as one always must with the DPRK, the site nevertheless looks pretty damn forlorn.
Thursday Roundup, 9/18/2014
4 hours ago