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Novaya Zemlya: test site for most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated

July 31, 2014, 18:41 UTC+3
Exactly 60 years ago the decision was made to create a nuclear test site which saw the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonate
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Novaya Zemlya consists of two major islands, separated by the narrow Matochkin Strait. The archipelago was the site of one of the two major nuclear test sites managed by the USSR
Novaya Zemlya consists of two major islands, separated by the narrow Matochkin Strait. The archipelago was the site of one of the two major nuclear test sites managed by the USSR
Novaya Zemlya consists of two major islands, separated by the narrow Matochkin Strait. The archipelago was the site of one of the two major nuclear test sites managed by the USSR
© Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Sukhoy Nos cape in the north of Novaya Zemlya was the site where the USSR tested the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated, the Tsar Bomba. Photo: A Tsar Bomba-type casing on display at Sarov museum of nuclear weapons
Sukhoy Nos cape in the north of Novaya Zemlya was the site where the USSR tested the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated, the Tsar Bomba. Photo: A Tsar Bomba-type casing on display at Sarov museum of nuclear weapons
Sukhoy Nos cape in the north of Novaya Zemlya was the site where the USSR tested the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated, the Tsar Bomba. Photo: A Tsar Bomba-type casing on display at Sarov museum of nuclear weapons
© ITAR-TASS/Roman Tarovitsyn
The administrative center of the archipelago in Belushya Guba
The administrative center of the archipelago in Belushya Guba
The administrative center of the archipelago in Belushya Guba
© ITAR-TASS/N.Malyshev
 Roze Glacier seen on an island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago
 Roze Glacier seen on an island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago
Roze Glacier seen on an island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago
© Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Morning fog in Belushya Guba
Morning fog in Belushya Guba
Morning fog in Belushya Guba
© ITAR-TASS/N.Malyshev
The population of the islands is around 2,000 people
The population of the islands is around 2,000 people
The population of the islands is around 2,000 people
© ITAR-TASS/N.Malyshev
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Novaya Zemlya consists of two major islands, separated by the narrow Matochkin Strait. The archipelago was the site of one of the two major nuclear test sites managed by the USSR
© Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Sukhoy Nos cape in the north of Novaya Zemlya was the site where the USSR tested the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated, the Tsar Bomba. Photo: A Tsar Bomba-type casing on display at Sarov museum of nuclear weapons
© ITAR-TASS/Roman Tarovitsyn
The administrative center of the archipelago in Belushya Guba
© ITAR-TASS/N.Malyshev
Roze Glacier seen on an island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago
© Wikimedia Commons/public domain
Morning fog in Belushya Guba
© ITAR-TASS/N.Malyshev
The population of the islands is around 2,000 people
© ITAR-TASS/N.Malyshev

On July 31, 1954, it was decided to build a nuclear test site on the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic. Novaya Zemlya was the site of the October 30, 1961 explosion of Tsar Bomba, the largest, most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated.

The testing activities were a sensitive military area during the Cold War years, but became public knowledge in the end of the 1980's.

Images of the archipelago in this photo gallery by ITAR-TASS.

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