Last Updated: May 13, 2014
Location: 140km east of the town of Uralsk in Burlinskiy Rayon, Western Kazakhstan Oblast
Subordinate To: N/A
Size: From 1983-1984, six underground peaceful nuclear explosions were conducted at Lira, creating underground storage cavities in salt domes with a volume of about 60,000 cubic meters.
Facility Status: Monitored by the Aksay branch of the Institute of Nuclear Physics

From 1983-1984, six underground peaceful nuclear explosions were conducted at Lira, creating underground storage cavities in salt domes with a volume of about 60,000 cubic meters. [1] These cavities were created to store gas condensate extracted from the Karachaganak gas field in Western Kazakhstan Oblast. The Aksay branch of the Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP) has monitored the radiation level in the Lira cavities since 1998 and has declared that the gas condensate within is safe. [2] After six years of monitoring, the Aksay INP branch confirmed the absence of radiation at the Lira site. [3]

Sources:
[1] Smantay Tleubergenov, Poligony Kazakhstana (Almaty: Gylym, 1997), pp. 56, 61, 134; Smantay Tleubergenov, Ekologiya cheloveka (Almaty: Gylym, 1993), p. 195; Information provided to NISNP by the Kazakhstan Atomic Energy Agency, 26 October 1996; "Radiation Situation on the Territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan," Aziya-Ezh, No. 47, November 1996, p. 23; in "Kazakhstan: Results of Radioactive Contamination Study," FBIS-SOV-96-252-S.
[2] "Filial IYaF v ZKO budet otslezhivat nalichiye radioaktivnykh veshchestv v karachaganakskoy nefti," Panorama, No. 45, November 2000.
[3] Аксайский филиал [Aksyay Branch], Институт ядерной физики (ИЯФ) Комитета по атомной энергии [Institute of Nuclear Physics (INP) of Kazakhstan Atomic Energy Committee], www.inp.kz.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.