Last week, members of the Verification and Monitoring team visited the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) head office in Tokai to present a new model of the DPRK’s nuclear fuel cycle, alongside an interactive website tool for exploring the model’s results. The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies also sent a delegate to the meeting, and played a key part in the development of the model and website. The interactive website tool with be made available shortly, and will be announced on the VERTIC website and Twitter/X.

This work is the culmination of a project in partnership with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and the Royal United Services Institute. The project is funded by Global Affairs Canada, and the UK National Nuclear Laboratory provided its ORION fuel cycle modelling software.

After VERTIC presented the nuclear fuel cycle model, the JAEA shared their research into potential technical processes for denuclearisation of the DPRK. These presentations focused on options for the disposal of the DPRK’s Pu and HEU stockpiles and disablement of relevant facilities, namely the reprocessing plant and the uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon.

The meeting led to a valuable exchange of ideas, with ample opportunities for feedback and suggestions for future research. VERTIC is grateful to the JAEA for their hospitality and looks forward to future collaboration on both DPRK nuclear issues and, more broadly, addressing irreversibility of nuclear disarmament.