List of nuclear weapons tests of China

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nuclear test
Information
Country China
Test site Area A (Nanshan), Lop Nur, China; Area B (Qinggir), Lop Nur, China; Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China; Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China
Period 1964-1996
Number of tests 47
Test type air drop, atmospheric, cratering, high alt rocket (30–80 km), parachuted, tower, underground, underground shaft, underground tunnel
Max. yield 4 megatonnes of TNT (17 PJ)
Map all coordinates in "China's nuclear tests" using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps
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The List of nuclear weapons tests is a listing of the Chinese nuclear tests conducted from 1964 through 1996. Most listings of the Chinese tests show 45 tests in the series with 45 devices, with 23 tests being atmospheric.[1]

List[edit]

China's nuclear test series tests and detonations
Name [note 1] Date time (UTC) Location [note 2] Elevation + height [note 3] Delivery, [note 4]
Purpose [note 5]
Device [note 6] Yield [note 7] Fallout [note 8] References Notes
Project 596 16 October 1964 07:00:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China 40°48′45″N 89°47′24″E / 40.81246°N 89.7901°E / 40.81246; 89.7901 (Project 596) 807 m (2,648 ft) + 102 m (335 ft) tower, NGB 22 kt [2][3][4] This pure-fission U-235 implosion fission device named "596" was China's first nuclear test. The device weighed 1,550 kg (3,420 lb). No plutonium was available at that time.
CHIC-2 14 May 1965 02:00:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 (CHIC-2) 807 m (2,648 ft) + 500 m (1,600 ft) air drop, NGB 35 kt [2][3][4] Militarized version of 596 dropped by Hong-6.
CHIC-3 9 May 1966 08:00:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China 40°47′11″N 89°43′37″E / 40.7864°N 89.727°E / 40.7864; 89.727 (CHIC-3) 807 m (2,648 ft) + air drop, Soviet Sloika design 250 kt [2][3][4] First use of lithium-6 in a Soviet sloika design (other source says it was boosted fission); probably test of a thermonuclear primary. Said to have dropped on a 640 ft (200 m) white circle.
CHIC-4 27 October 1966 01:10:?? Launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China 41°18′28″N 100°18′55″E / 41.30782°N 100.31528°E / 41.30782; 100.31528 (Launch_CHIC-4), elv: 1,035 + 0 m (3,396 + 0 ft);
Detonation over Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 (CHIC-4)
N/A + 569 m (1,867 ft) high alt rocket (30–80 km),
weapons development
Dongfeng-2 warhead "548" 12 kt [2][3][4] Delivery by CSS-1 MRBM Dong Feng-2 launched from Shuangchengzi Air Base, 894 km (556 mi) east of detonation.
CHIC-5 28 December 1966 04:00:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 (CHIC-5) 807 m (2,648 ft) + 102 m (335 ft) tower, 300 kt [2][3][4] Boosted fission (U235); test used to confirm the design principles of a two-stage device.
CHIC-6 17 June 1967 00:19:08.2 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China 40°44′38″N 89°46′30″E / 40.744°N 89.775°E / 40.744; 89.775 (CHIC-6) 807 m (2,648 ft) + 2,960 m (9,710 ft) parachuted, NGB/DF-3 warhead 3.3 Mt [2][3][4][5] China's first full-yield multi-stage thermonuclear test (U235).
CHIC-7 24 December 1967 07:30:22.1 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 (CHIC-7) 807 m (2,648 ft) + air drop, 20 kt [2][3][4] Fizzled thermonuke. Exact time of 07:30:22.1 verified by USAF AFTAC duty operator William Scott. Recorded air burst signal scaled by Scott the next day at Turkmen Deh, Iran. Erroneous reports exist that show a time of 04:00:00.
CHIC-8 27 December 1968 07:30:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 (CHIC-8) 807 m (2,648 ft) + air drop, NGB/DF-3 warhead 3 Mt [2][3][4] First use of plutonium.
CHIC-9 22 September 1969 16:14:59.21 Area B (Qinggir), Lop Nur, China 41°22′34″N 88°19′05″E / 41.376°N 88.318°E / 41.376; 88.318 (CHIC-9) 1,440 m (4,720 ft) + underground tunnel, 19.2 kt [2][3][4][5] Tunnel test in Nan Shan (South Mountain) that vented to surface.
CHIC-10 29 September 1969 08:40:12.36 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China 40°43′19″N 89°30′54″E / 40.722°N 89.515°E / 40.722; 89.515 (CHIC-10) 807 m (2,648 ft) + air drop, NGB/DF-3 warhead 3 Mt [2][3][4][5]
CHIC-11 14 October 1970 07:29:56.91 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China 40°31′12″N 89°46′44″E / 40.52°N 89.779°E / 40.52; 89.779 (CHIC-11) 807 m (2,648 ft) + air drop, NGB/DF-3 warhead 3.4 Mt [2][3][4][5]
CHIC-12 18 November 1971 06:00:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 (CHIC-12) 807 m (2,648 ft) + cratering, 20 kt [2][3][4][6] Only Chinese cratering test.
CHIC-13 7 January 1972 07:00:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 (CHIC-13) 807 m (2,648 ft) + air drop, tactical thermonuclear weapon? (KB-1?) 1 Mt[7][8] [2][3][4] Air dropped from Qiang-5 attack jet. See story of launch:[9]
CHIC-14 18 March 1972 06:00:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 (CHIC-14) 807 m (2,648 ft) + air drop, 170 kt [2][3][4] Fizzled thermonuke.
(15) 27 June 1973 03:59:46.29 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China 40°47′55″N 89°48′33″E / 40.7985°N 89.8091°E / 40.7985; 89.8091 ((15)) 807 m (2,648 ft) + air drop, NGB/DF-3 warhead 3 Mt [2][3][4][5] High altitude explosion.
(16) 17 June 1974 05:59:52.72 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China 40°31′05″N 89°37′08″E / 40.518°N 89.619°E / 40.518; 89.619 ((16)) 807 m (2,648 ft) + atmospheric, BM warhead ? 1 Mt [2][3][4][5]
(17) 27 October 1975 00:59:58.23 Area B (Qinggir), Lop Nur, China 41°22′30″N 88°19′34″E / 41.375°N 88.326°E / 41.375; 88.326 ((17)) 1,440 m (4,720 ft) + underground tunnel, 2.5 kt [2][3][4][5] In a tunnel in Bei Shan (North Mountain).
(18) 23 January 1976 06:00:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 ((18)) 807 m (2,648 ft) + atmospheric, unknown yield [2][3][4]
(19) 26 September 1976 06:00:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 ((19)) 807 m (2,648 ft) + atmospheric, 200 kt [2][3][4] Fizzle.
(20) 17 October 1976 04:59:58.8 Area A (Nanshan), Lop Nur, China 41°42′58″N 88°22′22″E / 41.716°N 88.3727°E / 41.716; 88.3727 ((20)) + underground tunnel, 2.6 kt [2][3][4][5]
(21) 17 November 1976 06:00:12.7 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China 40°41′46″N 89°37′37″E / 40.696°N 89.627°E / 40.696; 89.627 ((21)) 807 m (2,648 ft) + air drop, DF-5 warhead ? 4 Mt [2][3][4][5] Largest Chinese test.
(22) 17 September 1977 07:00:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 ((22)) 807 m (2,648 ft) + atmospheric, unknown yield [2][3][4]
(23) 15 March 1978 05:00:?? Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 ((23)) 807 m (2,648 ft) + atmospheric, 11 kt [2][3][4]
(24) 14 October 1978 00:59:58.01 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: N1 41°32′23″N 88°46′01″E / 41.5398°N 88.767°E / 41.5398; 88.767 ((24)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft, 3.4 kt [2][3][4][5] First test in a vertical shaft.
(25) 14 December 1978 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 ((25)) 807 m (2,648 ft) + atmospheric, unknown yield [2][3][4]
unnumbered failed test 2 February 1979 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 (unnumbered failed test) 807 m (2,648 ft) + underground, 1 kt [10]
(26)
(aborted)
13 September 1979 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 ((26)) 807 m (2,648 ft) + parachuted, no yield [2][3][4][10] Parachute failure, bomb crashed without detonation.
(27) 16 October 1980 04:30:29.67 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China 40°43′08″N 89°39′04″E / 40.719°N 89.651°E / 40.719; 89.651 ((27)) 807 m (2,648 ft) + atmospheric, ballistic missile warhead ? 1 Mt [2][3][4][5] Last atmospheric test in the world.
(28) 5 October 1982 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 ((28)) 807 m (2,648 ft) + underground, 7 kt [2][3][4] Attempted neutron bomb, fizzle.
(29) 4 May 1983 04:59:57.82 Area A (Nanshan), Lop Nur, China 41°43′22″N 88°21′55″E / 41.7227°N 88.3653°E / 41.7227; 88.3653 ((29)) + underground tunnel, 1 kt [2][3][4][5] Second attempt for neutron bomb, failure.
(30) 6 October 1983 09:59:58.05 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: D1 41°32′28″N 88°43′15″E / 41.54124°N 88.7207°E / 41.54124; 88.7207 ((30)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft, unknown yield [2][3][4][5] Third neutron bomb attempt, failure.
(31) 3 October 1984 05:59:57.99 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China 41°34′15″N 88°43′37″E / 41.5709°N 88.7269°E / 41.5709; 88.7269 ((31)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft, unknown yield [2][3][4][5] Fourth neutron bomb attempt, failure.
(32) 19 December 1984 05:59:58.34 Area A (Nanshan), Lop Nur, China 41°43′00″N 88°23′53″E / 41.7167°N 88.3981°E / 41.7167; 88.3981 ((32)) + underground tunnel, 15 kt [2][3][4][5] Fifth neutron bomb test, successful.
(33) 5 June 1987 04:59:58.26 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: J1 41°33′12″N 88°44′27″E / 41.55338°N 88.74093°E / 41.55338; 88.74093 ((33)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft, Ju Lang-1 warhead ? 250 kt [2][3][4][5] Development of 2-300 kt warhead for JL-1 SLBM.
(34) 29 September 1988 06:59:57.97 Area A (Nanshan), Lop Nur, China 41°43′30″N 88°21′32″E / 41.725°N 88.3588°E / 41.725; 88.3588 ((34)) + underground tunnel, tactical ERW ? 3 kt [2][3][4][5] Final proof test of neutron bomb.
(35) 26 May 1990 07:59:57.94 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: C1 41°33′53″N 88°43′09″E / 41.56476°N 88.71912°E / 41.56476; 88.71912 ((35)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft, unknown yield [2][3][4][5] Unknown test device.
(36) 16 August 1990 04:59:57.7 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: M2 41°32′35″N 88°44′01″E / 41.54298°N 88.73356°E / 41.54298; 88.73356 ((36)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft, JL-1 warhead ? 189 kt [2][3][4][5] Development of 2-300 kt warhead for JL-1 SLBM.
(37) 21 May 1992 04:59:57.45 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: N2 41°32′37″N 88°45′51″E / 41.5437°N 88.7641°E / 41.5437; 88.7641 ((37)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft, ballistic missile warhead ? 660 kt [2][3][4][5] China's largest underground test.
(38) 25 September 1992 07:59:58.47 Area A (Nanshan), Lop Nur, China 41°43′00″N 88°22′36″E / 41.7167°N 88.3767°E / 41.7167; 88.3767 ((38)) + underground tunnel, 8 kt [2][3][4][5] Aspherical primary for DF-31; with this test stockpile development was reportedly complete.
unnumbered failed test 2 November 1992 Area D (Drop Area), Lop Nur, China ~ 41°30′N 88°30′E / 41.5°N 88.5°E / 41.5; 88.5 (unnumbered failed test) 807 m (2,648 ft) + underground, 1 kt [10] Test of insensitive high explosives in primary.
(39) 5 October 1993 01:59:56.6 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: A2 41°35′24″N 88°42′11″E / 41.59°N 88.70312°E / 41.59; 88.70312 ((39)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft,
safety experiment
DF-31 warhead ? 80 kt [2][3][4][11] Aspherical primary for DF-31.
(40) 10 June 1994 06:25:57.9 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: O1 41°31′43″N 88°42′44″E / 41.5287°N 88.7122°E / 41.5287; 88.7122 ((40)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft, DF-31 warhead ? 90 kt [2][4][6][12] Aspherical primary for DF-31.
(41) 7 October 1994 03:25:58.1 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: H1 41°34′24″N 88°43′15″E / 41.5734°N 88.72084°E / 41.5734; 88.72084 ((41)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft,
safety experiment
DF-31 warhead ? 90 kt [2][4][11][12] Aspherical primary for DF-31.
(42) 15 May 1995 04:05:57.8 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: K1 41°33′09″N 88°45′09″E / 41.5524°N 88.7524°E / 41.5524; 88.7524 ((42)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft,
safety experiment
DF-31 warhead ? 95 kt [2][4][11] Aspherical primary for DF-31.
(43) 17 August 1995 00:59:57.7 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: L1 41°32′23″N 88°45′09″E / 41.53983°N 88.75255°E / 41.53983; 88.75255 ((43)) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft,
safety experiment
DF-31 warhead ? 90 kt [2][4][12] Prompted Japanese Diet to lodge a protest and freeze grants to China.
(44) - 1 8 June 1996 02:55:57.9 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: B1 41°34′36″N 88°41′14″E / 41.5768°N 88.68729°E / 41.5768; 88.68729 ((44) - 1) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft, 50 kt [2][4][6][12] Test of insensitive high explosives in primary, DF-31 warhead.
(44) - 2 8 June 1996 02:55:57.9 Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, China: B1 41°34′36″N 88°41′14″E / 41.5768°N 88.68729°E / 41.5768; 88.68729 ((44) - 2) 1,689 m (5,541 ft) + underground shaft, unknown yield [2][4][6] Test of insensitive high explosives in primary, DF-31 warhead.
(45) 29 July 1996 01:48:57.8 Area A (Nanshan), Lop Nur, China 41°42′58″N 88°22′33″E / 41.7161°N 88.3757°E / 41.7161; 88.3757 ((45)) + underground tunnel, 3 kt [2][4][6] Test of insensitive high explosives in primary, DF-31 warhead.
  1. ^ The US, France and Great Britain have code-named their test events, while the USSR and China did not, and therefore have only test numbers (with some exceptions – Soviet peaceful explosions were named). Word translations into English in parentheses unless the name is a proper noun. A dash followed by a number indicates a member of a salvo event. The US also sometimes named the individual explosions in such a salvo test, which results in "name1 – 1(with name2)". If test is canceled or aborted, then the row data like date and location discloses the intended plans, where known.
  2. ^ Rough place name and a latitude/longitude reference; for rocket-carried tests, the launch location is specified before the detonation location, if known. Some locations are extremely accurate; others (like airdrops and space blasts) may be quite inaccurate. "~" indicates a likely pro-forma rough location, shared with other tests in that same area.
  3. ^ Elevation is the ground level at the point directly below the explosion relative to sea level; height is the additional distance added or subtracted by tower, balloon, shaft, tunnel, air drop or other contrivance. For rocket bursts the ground level is "N/A". In some cases it is not clear if the height is absolute or relative to ground, for example, Plumbbob/John. No number or units indicates the value is unknown, while "0" means zero. Sorting on this column is by elevation and height added together.
  4. ^ Atmospheric, airdrop, balloon, gun, cruise missile, rocket, surface, tower, and barge are all disallowed by the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Sealed shaft and tunnel are underground, and remained useful under the PTBT. Intentional cratering tests are borderline; they occurred under the treaty, were sometimes protested, and generally overlooked if the test was declared to be a peaceful use.
  5. ^ Include weapons development, weapon effects, safety test, transport safety test, war, science, joint verification and industrial/peaceful, which may be further broken down.
  6. ^ Designations for test items where known, "?" indicates some uncertainty about the preceding value, nicknames for particular devices in quotes. This category of information is often not officially disclosed.
  7. ^ Estimated energy yield in tons, kilotons, and megatons. A ton of TNT equivalent is defined as 4.184 gigajoules (1 gigacalorie).
  8. ^ Radioactive emission to the atmosphere aside from prompt neutrons, where known. The measured species is only iodine-131 if mentioned, otherwise it is all species. No entry means unknown, probably none if underground and "all" if not; otherwise notation for whether measured on the site only or off the site, where known, and the measured amount of radioactivity released.

Summary[edit]

China'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
nuclear test 1964–1996 47 48 7 23 0 to 4,000 24,409
Totals 1964-Oct-16 to 1996-Jul-29 47 48 7 23 0 to 4,000 24,409 Total country yield is 4.5% 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "China's nuclear tests". Monterey Institute of International Studies. Retrieved August 15, 2014.  Discrepancies between this list and the list below include two unnumbered failed tests and a test that later was disclosed to be a salvo test of two devices.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at "China's nuclear tests: dates, yields, types, methods, and comments". Center for Nonproliferation Studies. June 1998. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am Norris, Robert S.; Burrows, Andrew S.; Fieldhouse, Richard W. (1994). Nuclear Weapons Databook, Vol. 5: British, French, and Chinese Nuclear Weapons. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at Yang, Xiaoping; North, Robert; Romney, Carl (August 2000). CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3) (Technical report). SMDC Monitoring Research. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Gupta, Vipin (1995). "Locating nuclear explosions at the Chinese test site near Lop Nor". Science and Global Security. 5: 205–244. doi:10.1080/08929889508426423. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Nuclear explosion database". SMDC. 2004. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IICgNBkYf0
  8. ^ https://www.flickr.com/photos/13667455@N07/2163280527
  9. ^ Bob Bergin (August 2009). "Recalling the H-Bomb that Almost Backfired – Yang Guoxiang, one of China's top test pilots, tells the story". Air & Space Magazine. Retrieved 2015-07-03. 
  10. ^ a b c Andryushin, L. A.; Voloshin, N. P.; Ilkaev, R. I.; Matushchenko, A. M.; Ryabev, L. D.; Strukov, V. G.; Chernyshev, A. K.; Yudin, Yu. A. (1999). Catalog of Worldwide Nuclear Testing (Technical report). Sarov, Russia: RFNC-VNIIEF. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Kim, Won-Young; Richards, Paul G.; Andrushkin, Vitaly; Ovtchinnikov, Vladimir (April 1, 2001). December 13 Borovoye digital seismogram archive for underground nuclear tests during 1966-1996 Check |url= value (help) (Technical report). LDEO. 
  12. ^ a b c d Lewis, Jeffrey (2004). The minimum means of reprisal: China's search for security in the nuclear age (PDF) (Ph. D. dissertation). Retrieved January 20, 2014.