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Lake Chagan (Kazakh: Шаған, Shaǵan) or Lake Balapan, Kazakhstan, is a lake created by the Chagan nuclear test fired on January 15, 1965, part of the Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy. A 140 kiloton device was placed in a 178-metre (584 ft) deep hole in the dry bed of the Chagan River. The blast created a crater 400 m (1,300 ft) across and 100 m (330 ft) deep with a lip height of 20 to 38 m (66 to 125 ft).; it is often referred to as "Atomic Lake".

Lake Chagan
Lake Chagan - (2009).jpg
Coordinates49°56′7″N 79°0′30″E / 49.93528°N 79.00833°E / 49.93528; 79.00833Coordinates: 49°56′7″N 79°0′30″E / 49.93528°N 79.00833°E / 49.93528; 79.00833
Basin countriesKazakhstan
Water volume10,000,000 m3 (8,100 acre⋅ft)[1]

The lake's water comes from the Chagan River (tributary of Irtysh River). The crater lake's volume is approximately 10,000,000 m3 (350,000,000 cu ft)[1]. To the south, the rim of the crater holds back the waters of a second reservoir.



In Netflix's documentary series Dark Tourist (Season 1 Episode 4, "The Stans"), David Farrier visits Lake Chagan during his tour of Kazakhstan. He even swims in the lake.

See alsoEdit


  • "On the Soviet program for peaceful uses of nuclear weapons" (pdf). Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
  • "On the Soviet nuclear program". Nuclear Weapon Archive.
  1. ^ a b Ayuniv, D. E. (2017). "Present thermal regime of Lake Atomic (Semipalatinsk test site)". Russian Geology and Geophysics. 58 (7): 864-867. doi:10.1016/j.rgg.2017.06.009. Retrieved 17 March 2019.

External linksEdit