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Too late to determine N. Korea nuclear device: Monitors

Published on Mar 13, 2013 10:18 PM
 
An employee watches a computer screen showing the worldwide control stations is pictured at the control room of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) on February 12, 2013, at the CTBTO headquarter in Vienna. It is likely too late to determine what kind of fissile material North Korea used in its latest nuclear test, since no radioactive traces have been detected, an international monitoring group said on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

VIENNA (AFP) - It is likely too late to determine what kind of fissile material North Korea used in its latest nuclear test, since no radioactive traces have been detected, an international monitoring group said on Wednesday.

"It is very unlikely that we will register anything... at this late stage," said Ms Annika Thunborg, a spokesman for the Vienna-based Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).

The body collects data from monitoring stations around the world detecting seismic activity and monitoring the atmosphere for radioactive particles or noble gases that may escape from an underground nuclear explosion.

The detection of so-called radionuclides can take several weeks. A station in Canada detected the radioactive noble gas xenon 133 two weeks after North Korea's first nuclear test in 2006, for example, but none was detected after its 2009 explosion.

 
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