Chinese scientists are now concerned about a gradual environmental radiation increase from the monitoring stations near the North Korean border. The matter is connected to last weekend’s nuclear test conducted by the Kim Jong-un regime.
“Environmental factors could enforce these changes, not the nuclear test, but the sudden fluctuation can’t be ignored,” a scientific adviser to the Chinese government in emergency situations related to radioactive hazards has admitted.
The biggest worry, however, is a possible collapse of the mountain under which North Korea is testing the nukes.
Changbai Korean autonomous county remains the closest Chinese urban location to the Punggye-ri test center and the radiation level of that area increased slowly from an average of 104.9 nanograys per hour to 108.5 just after the nuclear test on Sunday.
The same upward trends were also detected by several other monitoring stations, including the Antu County station situated at the foot of Changbai Mountain and in Yanbian Korean autonomous district, according to a report from South China Morning Post.
At Punggye-ri, many large landslides were seen as a result of the estimated 100 kilotons nuclear blast. The satellite images released by the US-based Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies made the Chinese government not so happy after North Korea’s latest action.
The University of Science and Technology of China research team last month discovered five different locations of a single mountain where North Korea carried out the tests.
They even warned this mountain is now at a higher risk of imploding. If that happens the radioactive material right now buried underneath the surface would be released gradually with a devastating effect.
The figures China’s environment ministry released could have a huge impact on the relationship between the two countries.
By Wednesday morning the county’s average radiation level climbed up to 110.7 with the highest level being 112.5. The Changbai lies almost 80km west of the nuclear test site.
Nanograys per hour is regarded as the standard unit to measure human tissue’s radiation absorption.
Japan upgrades the estimated size of North Korea’s 6th nuclear nuclear test to 160 kilotons, more than 10X size of the Hiroshima atomic bomb
— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) September 7, 2017
However, Guo Qiuju, a professor who specializes in radiation protection, from the School of Physics at Peking University, suggested it’s too early to conclude that the recent nuclear test was responsible for the rising radiation level because these numbers change time to time even under normal circumstances.