Chagan Nuclear Bomb Test 1965

The Chagan nuclear bomb test was conducted on January 15, 1965, in the then-Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan. The test was part of the Soviet program for the peaceful use of nuclear explosions. The explosion took place in an artificial lake created by the detonation crater of the 140-kiloton device. The aim of the test was to investigate the possibility of using nuclear explosions for large-scale geological projects, such as creating reservoirs. The Chagan explosion left a crater 100 meters deep and 400 meters wide, which filled with water and became known as „Atomic Lake (Атом Көлі).“ However, radiation levels in the area remained very high, leading to significant health and environmental concerns. The Chagan test is an example of the controversial practice of using nuclear weapons for civil engineering purposes.

49°56’07.8″N 79°00’30.6″E

Shinrau, Kazakhstan
Semipalatinsk Test Site, Polygon
Lake Chagan, Atomic Lake