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Encyclopedia > Semipalatinsk Test Site
The 18,000 km 2 expanse of the Semipalatinsk Test Site (indicated in red), an area the size of Wales.
The 18,000 km 2 expanse of the Semipalatinsk Test Site (indicated in red), an area the size of Wales.
Joe One, the first Soviet atomic test
Joe One, the first Soviet atomic test
The various facilities grouped inside the Semipalatinsk Test Site
The various facilities grouped inside the Semipalatinsk Test Site
The Hydrogen ("Super") Test
The Hydrogen ("Super") Test

The Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS) was the primary testing venue for the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons. It is located on the steppe in northeast Kazakhstan (then the Kazakh SSR), south of the valley of the Irtysh River. The scientific buildings for the test site were located around 150 km west of the town of Semipalatinsk (later renamed Semey), with most of the nuclear tests taking place at various sites further to the west and south. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1000x504, 169 KB)Semipalatinsk Test Site overview map, showing its position in Central Asia. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1000x504, 169 KB)Semipalatinsk Test Site overview map, showing its position in Central Asia. ... National motto: Cymru am byth (Welsh: Wales for ever) Waless location within the UK Official languages English(100%), Welsh(20. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 159 KB)First Soviet Atomic test, Joe One From [1] tracing to [2] File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 159 KB)First Soviet Atomic test, Joe One From [1] tracing to [2] File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... External links http://gawain. ... A nuclear test explosion is an experiment involving the detonation of a nuclear weapon. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x981, 82 KB)A closeup view of the various subcomplexes at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x981, 82 KB)A closeup view of the various subcomplexes at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. ... soviet atomic bomb test First Soviet test of a thermonuclear device. ... soviet atomic bomb test First Soviet test of a thermonuclear device. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... A steppe in Western Kazakhstan in early spring In physical geography, steppe (from Russian step) is a plain without trees (apart from those near rivers and lakes); it is similar to a prairie, although a prairie is generally reckoned as being dominated by tall grasses, while short grasses are said... Irtysh River (also Ertis) a river in Asia, the chief tributary of the river Ob. ... NASA satellite photo of Semey Semey (Семей, sometimes transliterated as Semij or Semei) is a city in north eastern Kazakhstan, near the border with Siberia. ...


The site is also known variously as Semipalatinsk-21 (after the postal region of the Semipalatinsk Oblast it occupied), the Semipalatinsk Polygon, and latterly the National Nuclear Center of Kazakhstan.


The site was selected in 1947 by Lavrentii Beria, political head of the Soviet atomic bomb project (Beria falsely claimed the vast 18,000 km2 steppe was "uninhabited"). Gulag labour was employed to build the primitive test facilities, including the laboratory complex in the northeast corner on the southern bank of the Irtysh River. The first Soviet bomb, Operation First Lightning (nicknamed Joe One by the Americans) was conducted in 1949 from a tower at the Semipalatinsk Test Site, scattering fallout on nearby villages of Kazakh nomads (which Beria had neglected to evacuate). The same area ("the experimental field", a region forty miles west of Kurchatov City) was used for more than 100 subsequent above-ground weapons tests. 1947 was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Lavrenty Beria Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria (Russian: Лавре́нтий Па́влович Бе́рия) (29 March 1899 - 23 December 1953), Soviet politician and police chief, is remembered chiefly as the executor of Joseph Stalins Great Purge of the 1930s, although in fact he presided only over the closing stages of the Purge. ... The Soviet project to develop an atomic bomb began during World War II in the Soviet Union. ... Gulag (Russian: ГУЛАГ   listen?, an acronym for Главное Управление Исправительно— Трудовых Лагерей и колонии, Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispravitelno-trudovykh Lagerey i kolonii, Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispravitelno-trudovykh Lagerey i kolonii, The Chief Directorate [or Administration] of Corrective Labour Camps and Colonies) was the branch of the Soviet internal police and security service that operated the penal system of forced labour... External links http://gawain. ... 1949 is a common year starting on Saturday. ...


Later tests were moved to the Shagan River complex and nearby Balapan in the east of the STS (including the site of the Chagan test, which formed Lake Chagan). Once atmospheric tests were banned, testing transitioned to underground locations at Chagan, Murzhik (in the west), and at the Degelen Mountain complex in the south, which is riddled with boreholes and drifts for both subcritical and supercritical tests. After the closure of the Semipalatinsk labor camp, construction duties were performed by the 217th separate engineering and mining battalion (who later build the Baikonur Cosmodrome). Between 1949 and the cessation of atomic testing in 1989, 456 explosions were conducted at the STS, including 340 underground (borehole and tunnel) shots and 116 atmospheric (either air-drop or tower shots). The lab complex, still the administrative and scientific centre of the STS, was renamed Kurchatov City after Igor Kurchatov, leader of the initial Soviet nuclear programme. The site was officially closed on August 29, 1991. Chagan nuclear test, not to be confused with Joe 1. ... Chagan nuclear test. ... The Baikonur Cosmodrome (Russian: Космодром Байконур, Kosmodrom Baykonur), also called Tyuratam, is the worlds oldest and largest working space launch facility. ... 1989 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Igor The Beard Kurchatov Igor Vasilyevich Kurchatov (И́горь Васи́льевич Курча́тов) (January 8, 1903 – February 7, 1960), Soviet/Russian physicist. ... 1991 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Semipalatinsk complex was of acute interest to foreign governments during its operation, particularly during the phase when explosions were carried out above ground at the experimental field. Several U2 overflights examined preparations and weapons effects, before being replaced with satellite reconnaisance. The US Defense Intelligence Agency is said to have been convinced that the Soviets had constructed an enormous beam weapon station at the STS (which wasn't the case). Some reports even claim the CIA experimented with remote viewing, hoping to glean details of activities at the STS by psychic means. The U-2 is a single-seat, single-engine, high-altitude Surveillance aircraft flown by the United States Air Force. ... // Overview The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), designated in 1986 as a United States Department of Defense combat support intelligence agency was established in 1961. ... The CIA Seal The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is one of the American foreign intelligence agencies, responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and reporting such information to the various branches of the U.S. Government. ... Remote viewing (RV) is a procedure developed by parapsychologists at the Stanford Research Institute and an artist, Ingo Swann, to allegedly perform clairvoyance under controlled conditions. ...


Semipalatinsk also hosts three of Kazakhstan's four nuclear reactors. The IGR complex hosts one 50 megawatt graphite-moderated reactor. The Baykal-1 complex hosts two: a 60 megawatt water-moderated reactor and a small zirconium hydride moderated research reactor (which is now disused). The laboratory complexes also contain two cyclotron laboratories and two particle accelerators. 60-inch cyclotron, circa 1939, showing beam of accelerated ions (perhaps protons or deuterons) causing a blue glow, almost certainly the Cherenkov effect. ... One of the early particle accelerators responsible for development of the atomic bomb. ...


See also

List of nuclear reactors is a comprehensive annotated list of all the nuclear reactors of the world, sorted by country. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Semipalatinsk Test Site - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (705 words)
The Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS) was the primary testing venue for the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons.
Later tests were moved to the Chagan River complex and nearby Balapan in the east of the STS (including the site of the Chagan test, which formed Lake Chagan).
Semipalatinsk was the site that Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan chose for the signing of the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone on September 8, 2006, also commemorating the 15th anniversary of the test site's closing.
nuclear testing: Information from Answers.com (2572 words)
Additionally, nuclear testing has often been used as an indicator of scientific and military strength and many tests have been overtly political in their intention, and most nuclear weapons states publicly declared their nuclear status by means of a nuclear test.
The first atomic test was detonated by the United States at the Trinity site on July 16, 1945, with a yield approximately equivalent to 20 kilotons.
The test was originally to confirm that the implosion-type nuclear weapon design was feasible, and to give the scientists and military officers an idea of what the actual size and effects of a nuclear explosion would be before they were used in combat against Japan.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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