North Korea's Nuclear Fuel Cycle


Virtual Seminar

  • Sulgiye Park

* Please note all CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.


Seminar Recording:


About the Event: Determination and verification of the nuclear activities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are critical to ongoing disarmament and nonproliferation efforts. This study assesses the complete nuclear fuel cycle of the DPRK, from its capacity to produce fissile material precursors at mining and milling facilities in Pyongsan, to activity at the main Nuclear Scientific Research Center in Yongbyon. An interdisciplinary approach is used to analyze the different stages of the DRPK’s nuclear fuel cycle. In investigating the uranium ore grade and ore production capacity at the mining and milling facilities, we combine analysis of archival geological maps, geological field survey reports, and first-hand collection and geochemical analysis of comparable rock samples from the Korean Peninsula. In analyzing the ongoing activities at fissile material production facilities, we integrate satellite imagery analysis with machine learning algorithms, allowing for automated analysis of large image sets.


About the Speaker: Sulgiye Park is a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at CISAC, Stanford University, where she focuses primarily on investigating the front-end of uranium pathway in North Korea. She looks at the uranium mining and milling processes for disarmament and nonproliferation efforts. Prior to joining CISAC, Sulgiye was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford Geological Sciences and Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, where Sulgiye studied materials' behaviors at extreme environments.