9 Nuclear Testing Ground 20 Years Later

Nuclear Testing Ground 20 Years Later

Posted on November 4, 2011 by


20 years ago they closed the nuclear testing ground in Semey, Kazakhstan and the younger generation living today knows about it only from their parents’ stories. These 20 years have shown that stopping testing nuclear weaponry does not necessarily mean that the destruction of the environment stops as well.

This ‘Nuclear Lake’ is the most remarkable sight of the testing ground. It formed after a 140-kiloton thermonuclear explosion in 1965. It has a diameter of 500 meters and a depth of 80 meters. To some Soviet strategists it seemed a good idea to build water reservoirs in arid zones of the Soviet Union by means of thermonuclear explosions.

Water in the lake is not radioactive. You can even see fish swimming in there. However, these dosimeters installed at the lakeside indicate radioactivity which exceeds permissible level of radiation by 114 times.

A 140-kiloton explosion is equivalent to an explosion of 2 thousand wagons with trotyl.

During the explosion, a lot of ground was thrown out of the crater. Some pieces are found one kilometer away. They are also very radioactive.

The explosion has turned granite into volcanic pumice stone.

This man watches the lake. He is one of the scientists who participated in the construction of nuclear weaponry in the Soviet Union.

In the Chagan River they found tritium which concentration exceeds maximum allowable limit for drinking water by 100 times!

It’s hard to believe but several kilometers away from the ground there live people who breed cattle and drink water from the contaminated river.

Perhaps, they have no electricity there.

This business activity is just amazing!

They say that horses do not eat contaminated ground that is why the milk they give is clean.

Such objects need constant observation because no one knows for sure which processes are going on underground right now.

One of the shell holes.

A fox’s skull found in the forest turned out to be nonradioactive.

The city of Kurchatov is the former center of the testing ground.

Nice ruins…

Looks like a ghost city.

One of the nuclear reactors built by the Soviet specialists.

Here they carry out experiments to determine possible consequences after an explosion like it happened in Chernobyl or Fukushima.

These experiments were ordered by the Japanese Agency of Atomic Energetics.

Chief Engineer and Manager Valery Gaydaychuk.

Carrying out some test.

One more nuclear reactor is located underground.

This is a one-kilometer-long underground passage leading to it.

‘Baikal -1′ Nuclear Reactor Manager Alexander Kolbaenkov.

He’s been working here for over 40 years.

In this storage they keep used nuclear fuel.

In 1949, at this place there was an explosion of a Soviet nuclear bomb.

With the help of this construction they measured shock waves.

Measuring the level of radioactivity.

First Soviet nuclear bombs were ‘dirty’ that is why the ‘testing field’ is contaminated with plutonium.

Measuring equipment was located inside this construction.

Some workers live in these boxes which are situated on the ‘testing fiels’. Plutonium is very dangerous and once it’s in the body, it remains there forever, destroying it.

An experimental farm.

This brave guy takes care of the cattle.

At this farm animals eat contaminated food and drink contaminated water. The purpose of the experiment is to determine the level of radiation which the people who live there receive.

This is a prototype of the thermonuclear reactor of the future.

One of the scientists.

Melted concrete found at the ‘testing field’.

Unfortunately, we cannot just leave nuclear testing grounds winding them around with barbed wire. They are and will always remain a part of our life.

Location: Semey

via voxpopuli.kz

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9 Responses to “Nuclear Testing Ground 20 Years Later”

  1. HLW says:

    Pic 7: Chuck Norris!

  2. geoff says:

    How sad does this post make you feel…..such massive destruction just to defend ourselves from each other.

  3. SMERSH says:

    “They say that horses do not eat contaminated ground that is why the milk they give is clean.”

    I don’t believe that for a second.

    • Hirsh says:

      Sadly people are ignorant about what the can not see, taste or smell.

      • Hirsh says:

        It’s true. Too many people choose to be ignorant about what they can not see, taste or smell, even when you try to educate them otherwise. A sad fact of life. Some people just choose to be willfully ignorant of the dangers around them.

        • geoff says:

          Yes, guys at work will drill old asbestos sheeting making dust go everywhere and they just say I worry to much. When it is proven to cause a form of incurable cancer!

  4. Zonda says:

    Those zones must be closely monitorized and kept away from any human access. But it looks like the experiment continue under a “normal life” condition…

  5. Hey business as usual, just like the Japanese are doing. Only they use children in Fukushima as guinea pigs instead of cattle…. (“if you don’t drink your (radioactive) milk you are not a real Japanese citizen…. )

  6. Eric says:

    Vodka helps!
    (As they say in Russia!)

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