A Chinese scientist strongly believes that the mountain under which North Korea conducted its most recent nuclear bomb tests could be at risk of collapsing
Researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, Anhui province, measured and analyzed the shock waves caused by the blasts and came to the conclusion that it is highly possible that they were all carried out from under the same mountain at the Punggye-ri test site.
The team from the seismic and deep earth physics laboratory made this claim in a statement that they later posted on their website. Their leader, Wen Lianxing, said that the margin of error was no more than 100 meters. His appreciation was based on data collected by more than 100 earthquake monitoring centers in China.
Former chairman of the China Nuclear Society, Wang Naiyan, said that if Wen’s findings are to be trusted, there definitely is a risk of a major environmental disaster.
For example, it is highly possible that another test could cause the whole mountain to cave in on itself, leaving only a hole from which dangerous radiation could escape and drift across the region.
“We call it ‘taking the roof off’. If the mountain collapses and the hole is exposed, it will let out many bad things.”
Sunday’s blast was immediately followed by an earthquake, interpreted as a cave-in triggered by the explosion.
Wang added that for a mountain to be suitable for nuclear bomb testing, the peak has to be high, but the slopes relatively flat.