Assessment of the announced North Korean nuclear test using long-range atmospheric transport and dispersion modelling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Institutes & Expert groups

  • RMI - Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium
  • UGent - Universiteit Gent

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On 6 January 2016, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea announced to have conducted its fourth nuclear test. Analysis of the corresponding seismic waves from the Punggye-ri nuclear test site showed indeed that an underground man-made explosion took place, although the nuclear origin of the explosion needs confirmation. Seven weeks after the announced nuclear test, radioactive xenon was observed in Japan by a noble gas measurement station of the International Monitoring System. In this paper, atmospheric transport modelling is used to show that the measured radioactive xenon is compatible with a delayed release from the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. An uncertainty quantification on the modelling results is given by using the ensemble method. The latter is important for policy makers and helps advance data fusion, where different nuclear Test-Ban-Treaty monitoring techniques are combined.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number7:8762
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2017


  • Assessment, North Korean , nuclear test , lon-range atmospheric, transport, dispersion modelling

ID: 2991080