- Where is Lake Chagan located in Kazakhstan?
- What it looks like, the characteristics of the reservoir
- The explosion that created the atomic lake Chagan
- Other explosions
- Is Lake Chagan dangerous? Why you can’t rest on it
- Radiation level, water in the reservoir
- Infection area
- Settlement lakes
- What is happening with Lake Chagan today?
- What is there in the vicinity?
- Is it possible to visit the lake, how to get there?
- Video about the lake
Chagan Lake is located in the state called Kazakhstan which is the 9th by area occupied by a country in the world. The lake is of artificial origin and arose as a result of an emergency after the rash action of nuclear physicists during the existence of the USSR.
Where is Lake Chagan located in Kazakhstan?
Lake Chagan in Kazakhstan, located in the area of the test site in Semipalatinsk (at the Balapan site) is known throughout the world. Geographical location of the lake: 49°56′07″ s. sh. and 79°00′32″ E. or 49.935278 and 79.008889.
The lake is located relative to the nearest settlements:
|Name||Distance to the lake in (km)|
It was formed on a desert low-lying place, in the floodplain of the Shagan River. The river is the right tributary of the Urals and flows into it in the city of Uralsk, located at an altitude of 23 m above sea level. The river flows through the West Kazakhstan region of the Republic and ends its journey in the Orenburg region of Russia.
The name of Lake Chagan is translated into Russian:
- "maple" from the Tatar language;
- "white" from the Kalmyk language;
- "white water" from the Kazakh language.
What it looks like, the characteristics of the reservoir
The total surface area of the lake is 5.92 square meters. km. It is a perfectly round funnel filled with dark blue water. The shores around the lake are steep and sloping, from the outside they seem completely lifeless, reminiscent of frames from a movie about the exploration of the moon.
At present, there is indeed no living creature on the lake. In its vicinity, at a sufficiently large distance, a rather unpleasant and rotten smell is felt.
There is an opinion that water from the lake gradually flows into the Irtysh, despite the erected retaining support, but this information has been repeatedly officially refuted.
The explosion that created the atomic lake Chagan
Lake Chagan in Kazakhstan is located on the territory of the Pavlodar region of the Republic, with the regional center in the city of Pavlodar.
The beginning of a promising project can be attributed to March 1962, when Slavsky EP, who held the post of Minister of Mechanical Engineering in the USSR, received a report from nuclear physicists Yu. Trutnev and Yu. Babaev. It spoke about the need to develop work on the use of atomic and thermonuclear power in science and technology.
The report described in detail all stages of the work, it seemed that the project was quite realistic. The report made a favorable impression on the Minister of Mechanical Engineering and Slavsky supported the idea. At the end of 1962, a large-scale, highly paid program for the "development of the peaceful atom" was launched.
Numerous state institutions took part in the preparation and implementation of the program:
- Mingazprom and Minugolprom;
- Minsredmash and Minnefteprom;
- Ministry of Energy, Mintsvetmet and Minvodkhoz.
The project created as part of the development of the "properties of the peaceful atom" looked very promising.
At the time of studying the properties of nuclear energy, Soviet scientists put forward a hypothesis about the use of its power during the digging of pits, and its use in the construction of canals and quarries.
Scientists were confident that the technology they developed would be successfully used in the construction of underground water reservoirs, in the construction of buildings and in the preparation of quarries for waste disposal.
Scientists have argued that at the time of the explosion, the bottom of such pits will melt strongly, so the funnel can become an ideal storage for liquids. They suggested that during the melting of spring snows and as a result of rare rains, water could accumulate in artificially created reservoirs, and in the future it could be used for the needs of the local population.
For the Republic of Kazakhstan, then part of the Russian Federation, this seemed like the ideal solution, given the problems of drought in the region. The project planned to create 40 identical artificial reservoirs on the territory of Kazakhstan, the total volume of which would be approximately 120-150 million m³.
The head of this project, an outstanding nuclear physicist named Ivan, was an experienced tester and worked in the All-Union Experimental Research Institute. In order for the plan to be implemented, it was necessary to develop a charge with a significantly understated indicator of residual contamination of the territory.
2 developments created in the scientific institutions of the NII-1011 and KB-11 were presented. The development of the Institute of NII-1011 was rejected, due to the insufficiency of the required energy efficiency. Products of the Design Bureau No. 11 were brought to continuing the project's embodiment. The main tests before the implementation of the project occurred in 1964 at the Polygon of Semipalatinsk.
For the work carried out, liability was carried:
- V. N. Mokhov and Yu. A. Trutnev;
- V. S. Pinaev and V. S. Lebedev.
Lake Chagan arose as a result of Chagan's nuclear tests, which were conducted on January 15, 1965 on this day, at 5 h. 59 min. 59 seconds, the first test of the atomic explosion took place, the purpose of which was the creation of an artificial reservoir to collect water.
In the arid territory of the Kazakh SSR, the water planned to be used for irrigation of fields planted with crops and for the needs of cattle farms.
The project in Kazakhstan was similar to the project provided on 06.07.1962 in America. With the difference in the fact that our scientists have reached the highest purity of the consequences of the nuclear explosion. 94% of energy in Russia, against 70% in America, was guaranteed by the process of thermonuclear synthesis, which does not produce and create radioactive substances.
The charge built in the walls of the Soviet Research Institute was the form of a round container with a diameter of 86 cm, with a length of the metal case in 3 m.
To achieve the goal, a charge was prepared with a capacity of about 170 kiloton. It was installed in the drying of the River Foundation of Shagan in the prepared well under No. 1004, which had a depth of 178 meters (for comparison, the charge, by which Hiracima was destroyed, was 20 kiloton).
After the planned detonation of the charge at the explosion site, a funnel was formed, having a diameter of 0.43 km and a depth of about 100 m. During a unique powerful explosion and after 3 seconds, a gas cloud was formed, which was treated to a height of 4,800 m.
During a powerful volley in the air, more than 10 million tons of lands and stones were thrown into the air, a height of up to 950 m. Rocky fragments and soil falling from the sky almost completely covered the river cha river.
In the future, work was carried out on the connection of the newly formed pitchers with the river river shagan, in order to fill it with water. Thanks to the water from the river that entered the pit and due to the full-flowing spring flood, an artificially created reservoir was formed, the volume of which ranged from 17 to 20 million m³.
To the great regret of the developers of the expensive project, their expectations were not justified, it seems impossible to use the pits as water storage tanks.
After the first explosion on the Shagan River and laudatory articles about the promising program, it was implemented until 1988. Thermonuclear explosions occurred in the territories of Yakutsk, in the Kemerovo region, in the Uzbek ASSR and other Soviet republics. In total, 156 nuclear explosions were carried out on the territory of the USSR, aimed, as it seemed, at creation.
Is Lake Chagan dangerous? Why you can't rest on it
Immediately after blasting and after filling the pit with water, the pilot project was considered a success. The government of the USSR appreciated the result of the work and expressed gratitude to all the participants in the project. P
the first to take a dip in the lake was E. Slavsky, the minister of mechanical engineering responsible for the peaceful atom program, and rare film footage of that time remained in the archive. However, later the lake was declared deadly to life and it was recommended not to approach it and not to use water from it.
Radiation level, water in the reservoir
Lake Chagan in Kazakhstan appeared as a result of nuclear tests, but this fact, which greatly changed the course of the history of the region, did not violate the requirements of the law. In mid-1963, a law was passed banning thermonuclear testing in any environment other than underground testing.
The result of the explosion was a very high radioactive background on Chagan and near it.
Some figures showing the content of substances near the lake:
- the content of cesium 137;
- cobalt 60;
- europium from 152 to 154.
The radiation content in the vicinity reached 8 milliroentgens per hour (with a natural background of 15 to 30 microroentgens per hour). The figure of radiation in Chagan is kept at around 300 picocuries per liter, while the limiting total radioactivity of alpha particles is 15 picocuries per liter.
The area of contamination
It was believed that after the explosion, 11 nearby settlements were covered with a radioactive cloud, with a local population of 2,000 people. For 1.5 years after the explosion, there was an increase in the dose of thyroid radiation in infected people, it was 14 rem (the natural level is 0.5 rem in 12 months or 5 rem in half a century).
During the first 2 days, the radiation level near the pit was almost 30 roentgens per hour, but after a week this figure was at around 1 roentgen per hour.
Infection of the bottom of the pit was kept at around 150 to 400 milliroentgens per hour, which was almost 2 times lower than the level of infection around. Almost 20% of pollutants got into the air.
Of the nearly 200 people working in the affected area after the explosion, 121 people were exposed to radiation:
- 121 people received exposure to just under 3 roentgens/hour;
- 37 people received exposure in the range of 3 to 5 roentgen/hour;
- 24 people received radiation exposure ranging from 5 to 9 roentgen/hour.
Subsequently, almost all the actors in the project suffered from chronic diseases.
Population of the lake
Around the 70s of the last century, a project was developed to populate this area with living organisms.
Various types of organisms were brought to Chagan and its environs:
- 36 fish-like and 32 amphibian species;
- 27 different mollusks and 8 mammals;
- 42 species of invertebrates and 11 reptiles.
In the vicinity of Chagan, one and a half hundred different plants were planted, several species of algae were launched into the lake for reproduction. After some time, almost 90% of the entire living world became extinct. Surviving organisms exhibited abnormal mutations and changes in appearance. In the middle of the 70s. The decision was made to close the project.
What is happening with Lake Chagan today?
Lake Chagan and its surrounding area are recognized by the government of Kazakhstan as being particularly hard hit by a nuclear explosion.
The water with which the pit is still filled is unsuitable for drinking and cooking. The content of radioactive substances in water is several hundred times higher than all permissible and life-compatible norms.
What is there in the vicinity?
There are no closely located villages in the vicinity of Lake Chagan, the entire area around is considered dangerous for human life. Occasionally, herds from nearby villages appear here, looking for new pastures. Despite the established prohibitions on the use of water in the lake, the shepherds persistently bring their cattle to the lake for watering.
Is it possible to visit the lake, how to get there?
Numerous tourists, despite persistent recommendations not to visit this place, go to the lake on an excursion. Lake Chagan, along with the exclusion zone in Chernobyl, is becoming increasingly popular with curious people from all over the world.
In order to approach the lake and inspect its surroundings, it is necessary to fit in protective clothing and wear a mask. Not far from the lake, on the hills, there is a control center, which is a concrete bunker.
Lake Chagan or Atomic Lake, half a century after the experiment, is a threat to human life and human health. The authorities of Kazakhstan are doing everything possible to isolate a dangerous territory, but there is a large number of bravemen who come to the lake in the hope of catching a mutating organism.
Documentary film "Atomic Lake Chagan is the most infected lake":