David Nusbaum on uranium enrichment

Is suspension the solution?
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
April 12, 2012
Commentary by: David Nusbaum, research fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program
Topic: Uranium enrichment

“In talks with the United States late in February, North Korea agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment in a specific facility at Yongbyon and to initiate a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests. When the United States and North Korea made the bilateral ‘leap-day deal,’ the suspension of enrichment was rightly hailed as one of the great successes of the arrangement. Since 2006, North Korea has tested missiles, staged two nuclear tests, and unveiled a uranium enrichment program that could give it a second route to manufacture nuclear weapons, in addition to its existing plutonium-based program. At low enrichment levels, uranium can be used in power reactors, but at higher levels, it can be used in nuclear bombs.”

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