List of nuclear weapons tests of the Soviet Union

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The nuclear weapons tests of the Soviet Union were performed between 1949 and 1990 as part of the nuclear arms race. The Soviet Union conducted 715 nuclear tests using 969 total devices by official count, including 219 atmospheric, underwater, and space tests and 124 peaceful use tests.[1] Most of the tests took place at the Southern Test Site in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan and the Northern Test Site at Novaya Zemlya. Other tests took place at various locations within the Soviet Union, including now-independent Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Turkmenistan.

List[edit]

Soviet Union's nuclear testing series summary - Link to world summary of nuclear weapons tests
Series or years Years covered Tests [Summ 1] Devices fired Devices with unknown yield Peaceful use tests Non-PTBT tests [Summ 2] Yield range (kilotons) [Summ 3] Total yield (kilotons) [Summ 4] Notes
1949-1951 1949–1951 3 3 3 22 to 42 102 There were no Soviet tests in 1950.
1953 1953 5 5 5 2 to 400 440
1954 1954 10 10 10 small to 62 122
1955 1955 7 7 7 0 to 1,600 1,868
1956 1956 9 9 9 small to 900 1,976
1957 1957 16 16 16 small to 2,900 6,239
1958 1958 36 36 36 0 to 2,900 16,252 1959 and 1960 have no testing, a bilateral moratorium between the USSR and the US, officially beginning 31 Oct 1958.
1961 1961 57 57 56 small to 50,000 87,702 The USSR abrogated the moratorium on 1 September 1961.
K project 1961–62 5 5 5 1 to 300 902
1962 1962 78 78 77 small to 24,200 140,662 The Soviets executed no tests in 1963.
1964 1964 9 9 2 small to 47 167
1965 1965 14 15 6 2 small to 140 343
1966 1966 18 19 3 9 1 to 700 1,954
1967 1967 17 23 6 5 small to 260 657
1968 1968 17 23 2 7 2 small to 165 585
1969 1969 19 24 9 9 6 to 540 906
1970 1970 16 21 7 7 small to 2,200 2,625
1971 1971 23 29 6 8 1 small to 2,450 2,926
1972 1972 24 31 8 9 small to 1,120 1,646
1973 1973 17 22 5 6 small to 4,000 8,409
1974 1974 21 27 6 7 small to 2,300 3,750
1975 1975 19 35 17 4 small to 1,300 4,481
1976 1976 21 27 6 3 small to 130 629
1977 1977 24 36 13 7 small to 120 552
1978 1978 31 55 21 9 small to 180 1,290
1979 1979 31 52 17 9 small to 150 1,474
1980 1980 24 43 21 5 small to 200 847
1981 1981 21 37 16 5 small to 150 828
1982 1982 20 35 13 8 2 to 880 1,539
1983 1983 27 39 14 10 0 to 150 778
1984 1984 29 45 15 11 1 to 150 1,330
1985 1985 10 19 10 2 1 to 114 426 There was no Soviet testing in 1986.
1987 1987 24 40 16 6 0 to 150 1,145
1988 1988 16 29 9 2 small to 150 905
1989 1989 7 11 4 4 to 118 308
1990 1990 2 9 4 0 to 70 70 The USSR announced Soviet ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and ended testing on 24 October 1990.
Totals 1949-Aug-29 to 1991-May-01 727 981 248 156 229 0 to 50,000 296,837 Total country yield is 54.9% of all nuclear testing.
  1. ^ Includes all tests with potential for nuclear fission or fusion explosion, including combat use, singleton tests, salvo tests, zero yield fails, safety experiments, and bombs incapacitated by accidents but still intended to be fired. It does not include hydronuclear and subcritical tests, and misfires of a device which was subsequently fired successfully.
  2. ^ Number of tests which would have been in violation of the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963, such as atmospheric, space or underwater tests. Some "peaceful use" cratering tests which should have been violations were protested, and later quietly dropped.
  3. ^ "Small" refers to a value greater than zero but less than 0.5 kt.
  4. ^ Some yields are described like "< 20 kt"; such are scored at one half of the numeric amount, i.e., yield of 10k in this example. "Unknown yield" adds nothing to the total.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mikhailov, V. N., ed. (1996). "USSR Nuclear Weapons Tests and Peaceful Nuclear Explosions: 1949 through 1990". Sarov, Russia: The Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy, and Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.  Official numbers and those in the table differ due to eleven tests, all fizzles, cited in other references and the one bomb left in its shaft when the Russians abandoned the Semipalatinsk site to Kazakhstan.

Sources[edit]

  • Yang, Xiaoping; North, Robert; Romney, Carl (August 2000). "CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3)". SMDC Monitoring Research. 
  • Andryushi, LA; Voloshin, N.P.; Ilkaev, R.I.; Matushchenko, A.M.; Ryabev, L.D.; Strukov, V.G.; Chernyshev, A.K.; Yudin, Yu.A. Mikhailov, V.N., ed. "Catalog of Worldwide Nuclear Testing". Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  • Wm Robert Johnston, PhD. "Johnston Archive of Nuclear Weapons". Retrieved 2013-12-31.