Novaya Zemlya, Arctic Ocean, Russia – Not less epic place of the former Soviet territory was the nuclear testing place on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean in the north of Russia. That object is very famous at least because of the test the most powerful thermonuclear bomb in the history of humanity – Tsar Bomba.
Location of Novaya Zemlya in relation to northern Europe:
Common view on the nuclear test site:
That’s actually the reason why that place had become so famous:
From Wiki: “The original, November 1961 A.E.C. estimate of the yield was 55–60 Mt, but since 1991 all Russian sources have stated its yield as 50 Mt. Khrushchev warned in a filmed speech to the Supreme Soviet of the existence of a 100 Mt bomb (technically the design was capable of this yield). Although simplistic fireball calculations predicted the fireball would impact the ground, the bomb’s own shock wave reflected back and prevented this. The fireball reached nearly as high as the altitude of the release plane and was seen almost 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) from ground zero. The subsequent mushroom cloud was about 64 kilometres (40 mi) high (over seven times the height of Mount Everest), which meant that the cloud was above the stratosphere and well inside the mesosphere when it peaked. The base of the cloud was 40 kilometres (25 mi) wide. All buildings in the village of Severny (both wooden and brick), located 55 kilometres (34 mi) from ground zero within the Sukhoy Nos test range, were destroyed. In districts hundreds of kilometers from ground zero wooden houses were destroyed, stone ones lost their roofs, windows and doors; and radio communications were interrupted for almost one hour. One participant in the test saw a bright flash through dark goggles and felt the effects of a thermal pulse even at a distance of 270 kilometres (170 mi). The heat from the explosion could have caused third-degree burns 100 km (62 mi) away from ground zero. A shock wave was observed in the air at Dikson settlement 700 kilometres (430 mi) away; windowpanes were partially broken to distances of 900 kilometres (560 mi). Atmospheric focusing caused blast damage at even greater distances, breaking windows in Norway and Finland. The seismic shock created by the detonation was measurable even on its third passage around the Earth. Its seismic body wave magnitude was about 5 to 5.25. The energy yield was around 7.1 on the Richter scale but, since the bomb was detonated in air rather than underground, most of the energy was not converted to seismic waves. The TNT equivalent of the 50 Mt test could be represented by a cube of TNT 312 meters (1023 feet) on a side, approximately the height of the Eiffel Tower.”
In the island was made 42 underground nuclear explosions in mines:
The most powerful underground nuclear test was made 12.09.73. Northern testing includes four separate nuclear devices exploded almost simultaneously, but in a complex configuration under the Black mountain with depth about 1500 meters.
The largest PNIs the northern section has resulted in severe fragmentation of rock with a large gathering of the size and the significant changes in surface topography. More than 80 million cubic meters of rock were thrown down in the form of a massive avalanche. Gathering soil blocked the entrance to the valley, and two glacial stream. For debris avalanche formed lake is 2 km long .. The volume of damaged section is 800 x 1700 m2. And the size of the area covered by debris is 1600 x 2200 m2 with a thickness of 20-50 m
At least two times, in 1969 and 1987 took place on the island of abnormal situations during testing, when an hour after the explosion of a radioactive wave goes outside of ground. Staff received radiation dose.
The town Severniy on the island:
Entrance to the testing tunnel: