Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Seismic experiments, nuclear dismantlement go hand in hand in Kazakhstan



Unique seismic experiments involving large chemical explosions at different depths have been conducted in Kazakhstan, thanks to nuclear dismantlement activity there. Collaborative efforts of several bodies have provided this creative, cost-efficient extension of the dismantling work, improving technical monitoring and verification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

For the past several years, the Defense Special Weapons Agency (DSWA) has been closing the nuclear test tunnels and bore-holes at the former Soviet nuclear test site nearSemipalatinsk, eastern Kazakhstan, as part of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program. The existence of this program and the infrastructure that was in place to implement it made it possible to conduct the seismic experiments. As a result, benchmark data have been collected on the variations in seismic signals from explosions at different burial depths.