• Location
    140km east of the town of Uralsk in Burlinskiy Rayon, Western Kazakhstan Oblast
  • Type
    Nuclear-Test Site
  • Facility Status
    Monitored by the Aksay branch of the Institute of Nuclear Physics

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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


Nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon: A device that releases nuclear energy in an explosive manner as the result of nuclear chain reactions involving fission, or fission and fusion, of atomic nuclei. Such weapons are also sometimes referred to as atomic bombs (a fission-based weapon); or boosted fission weapons (a fission-based weapon deriving a slightly higher yield from a small fusion reaction); or hydrogen bombs/thermonuclear weapons (a weapon deriving a significant portion of its energy from fusion reactions).
Radiation (Ionizing)
Radiation that has sufficient energy to remove electrons from substances that it passes through, forming ions. May include alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, x-rays, neutrons, high-speed electrons, high-speed protons, and other particles capable of producing ions.


  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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