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    Chagan crater

    Chagan crater

    Description : Date: 06:00 UTC 15/01/1965
    Type: Subsurface @-178m
    Yield: 140 Mt

    Chagan was the USSR's first Peaceful Nuclear Explosion (PNE), the purpose being to gather data on the use of nuclear explosives for industrial purposes. A 140 kiloton low-fission thermonuclear device utilised a pure fusion secondary and a 5-7 kiloton fission primary. The test was situated in the Chagan River dry bed so that the crater lip that would be formed by the explosion would serve as a dam during the Spring high flow. The explosion formed a crater 400 meters in diameter and 100 meters deep. A lake was formed behind the 34 meter upraised lip. Earthmoving equipment then cut a channel through the lip allowing the river to enter the crater filling it with 12 billion litres of water. The reservoir was named Lake Chagan also known as Lake Balapan or the "Atomic Lake". Approximately 20% of the fission products released by the Chagan test escaped into the atmosphere, with dose levels at the crater lip of 20-30 R/hr. While the test did not violate the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty (it was an underground test), radiation was later detected over Japan. Today, the dose level on the lip is reported to be ~2.6 mR/hr. Beyond a restricted area 100-150 m from the lip, the dose rate is at background levels.

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