List of nuclear weapons tests of the Soviet Union
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. 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.
|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.|
- 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.
- 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.
- "Small" refers to a value greater than zero but less than 0.5 kt.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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". Archived from the original on 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
- Wm Robert Johnston, PhD. "Johnston Archive of Nuclear Weapons". Retrieved 2013-12-31.