North Korea’s nuclear threats and claims have led the U.S to deploy the WC-135 Constant Phoenix to track the origin of any radioactive substances in the area around North Korean alleged hydrogen bomb test zone. Atmospheric gatherings will be collected by the aircraft to determine whether North Korea’s nuclear test did indeed happen. The WC- 135 has been flown by flight crews from the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron from Offutt Air Force Base. Often called by the crew the WC-135 also known as the “sniffer” or “weather bird” is known for its ability to track radioactive activity using filter papers with two scoops on the sides of the fuselage collecting Radioactive Specimens or effluent gasses. The WC-135 has been used to control compliance with nuclear weapon treaties.
The aircraft includes features to determine the radio activity in the air and even within its self. “airframes have two large supplemental charcoal filter packs, as well as HEPA/ULPA filters (we called them “lungs”) for their cabin air. When the instruments indicate contact with radioactive debris, the crew will also reduce cabin airflow to just maintain pressurization, and all personnel on board will go to 100% oxygen through their masks. They will stay on 100% O2 until activity readings drop back down into the safe levels. Everybody wears a dosimeter, and those records are monitored to prevent unsafe exposure” says Darin R Pfaff, a former WC-135 aircrew member.
WC-135 was also Dispatched after the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in the Soviet Union in 1986 and the Fukushima accident back in 2011. Kim Jung Uns launching Rockets Earlier this year it raised alerts that it was used in Syria, detected chemical substances by the WC-135in the attacked area weeks after they were launched.
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