Last Updated: October 1, 2009
Location: Aralsk region of Kzyl-Orda Oblast
Subordinate To: N/A
Size: N/A
Facility Status: Non-operational

According to the Kazakhstani Atomic Energy Agency, a 0.3 kT surface nuclear explosion was conducted on 2 February 1956. [1] Other sources indicate that a missile test took place at Aralsk on the same date. [2] Yet another source confirms the surface nuclear explosion on 2 February 1956 and reports an underwater nuclear explosion at Aralsk one year earlier, in February 1955. [3] Jane's Intelligence Review has also identified Aralsk as a biological and chemical weapons test site. [4]

[1] Information provided to NISNP by the Kazakhstan Atomic Energy Agency, 26 October 1996. 
[2] "Known Nuclear Tests Worldwide, 1945-1995," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May-June 1996, pp. 61-62. 
"Kazakhstan: Call For End to Russian Military Tests," Kazakhstanskaya pravda, 11 December 1996, pp. 1,5, BIS-SOV-96-252. 
[3] Smantay Tleubergenov, Poligony Kazakhstana (Almaty: Gylym, 1997), pp. 134, 527. 
[4] Shirin Akiner, "Soviet Military Legacy in Kazakhstan," Jane's Intelligence Review, December 1994 (Updated 11/6/2000 KB), pp. 552-555.

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This article provides an overview of Kazakhstan’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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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 2019.