Newly Released Footage Shows The Moment The Soviet Union Tried To Create A New Lake By Detonating A Nuclear Bomb

By: Steve Potvin/IFL Science  Stunning footage from 1965 has appeared online showing the Soviet Union detonating an underground nuclear bomb in order to form a reservoir in Kazakhstan. The video shows an enormous dark mushroom cloud filling the sky, leaving behind a large crater. This crater then acts as a dam to the existing river, while a channel is cut into the crater to allow the reservoir behind it to fill up with water.

The clip shows “The Chagan test” (page 13), and was designed to test the suitability of nuclear explosions for creating reservoirs. Lake Chagan, as it is known, still exists today but it still radioactive, leading to the nickname of the ‘Atomic Lake’. The test was carried out under the banner of ‘Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy’ which aimed to find peaceful uses for nuclear devices.


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