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Lake Chagan - Russia's Radioactive Lake!
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Lake Chagan - Russia's Radioactive Lake!

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The 1960s were characterized by intense political conflicts between the United States and the Soviet Union. Each world power tried to establish supremacy over the other with constant threats, territorial invasions, and the development of new weapons.

In fact, it was during this period, that both governments created and developed their nuclear arsenals. Consequently, innumerable atomic bombs were tested and exploded in the most isolated places, but not isolated enough to render the resulting atomic radiation harmless! 

As a matter of fact, Lake Chagan was born as a direct result of one of those nuclear tests! This lake still exists today and is full of highly radioactive water.

Up until 1989, more than 150 nuclear explosions were conducted to find new deposits of natural gas, improve the extraction of oil, and to do research on the spread of radioactivity.

Some tests were also performed to facilitate the construction of new dams and water canals. Thus was born what is known today as Lake Chagan in Kazakhstan (then the Kazakh SSR). The explosion took place on 15 January 1965.

The explosion produced a crater 100 meters (325 ft.) deep and 400 meters (984 ft.) in diameter.

image: panoramio.com

The floor of the crater is covered with glass-like material, created as a result of the rapid transformation of the rocks following the violent explosion. Furthermore, later, a water canal was built in the crater that is replenished by the nearby Irtysh River.

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Today the crater is a real artificial lake and inside there are 100, 000 cubic meters (3,531,466 cubic ft.) of radioactive water.

image: panoramio.com

The level of radioactivity in the water exceeds 100 times the accepted standard for drinking water. For decades the Soviet Union hid from the population, the devastating effects of nuclear explosions. At that time, Soviet authorities also created a documentary promoted by the government that showed animals while drinking the water in Lake Chagan, just to demonstrate the safety of the tests performed.  

It is estimated that about 20% of the radioactivity generated by Lake Chagan has spread through the atmosphere, reaching even Japan.

Similar examples are not lacking for the USA. For example, in Nevada, as a result of a nuclear explosion a crater was formed, but unlike Lake Chagan in Kazakhstan (Kazakh SSR), it was not filled with water.  

This video is the documentary that was filmed shortly after the nuclear test, which led to the creation of Lake Chagan aka the Atomic Lake. This documentary film was created to engender the approval of the Russian people. They were also shown pictures of men who, while wearing a mask and snorkel, were swimming cheerfully in the highly radioactive lake water.

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