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Radioactive traces detected in Japan may be from North Korea's Feb nuke test

Tokyo , Wed, 24 Apr 2013 ANI

Tokyo, Apr. 24 (ANI): Possible radioactive traces from a North Korean nuclear test in February have been detected for the first time in Japan, a monitoring organization has said.

The organization said that it however remains unclear what fissile material Pyongyang had used.

According to the Japan Times, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said that 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.

It added that this coincided very well with the North Korea's announced nuclear test on February 12.

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

The group said that the discovery could not help it answer the key question of whether Pyongyang used plutonium or uranium in the blast.

According to the report, North Korea used plutonium in its 2006 and 2009 tests and any discovery that it used highly enriched uranium for its third test would mark a significant technological step for the impoverished and unpredictable regime.

It is also possible that the so-called radionuclides were from a nuclear reactor or other atomic activity, and the CTBTO said it is currently examining the traces to see whether this is the case, the report said.

It ruled out however that the source was the crippled Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant.

The detection was made in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, 1,000 km from the North Korean test site, the report added. (ANI)

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