Tuesday, April 23, 2013

First radiation detected in Japan from N. Korea February nuke test

Possible radioactive traces from a North Korean nuclear test in February have been detected for the first time, although it remains unclear what fissile material Pyongyang used, a monitoring organization said Tuesday.

“The ratio of the detected xenon isotopes (xenon-131m and xenon-133) is consistent with a nuclear fission event occurring more than 50 days before the detection,” the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said. “This coincides very well” with the North Korea’s announced nuclear test on Feb. 12.

The detection at a monitoring station in Japan came 55 days after the explosion.

The group said, however, that the discovery couldn’t help it answer the key question of whether Pyongyang used plutonium or uranium in the blast.