After analyzing satellite images, journalists concluded that Russia, the United States, and China have significantly expanded their nuclear test sites in recent years. The information was published by CNN.
According to the satellite images provided by CNN, it is clear that the size of three different nuclear test sites has increased significantly. One of them is located in the far western region of Xinjiang, China, another on an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, and the third in the Nevada desert, USA.
Satellite imagery shows large-scale construction at Russia's Novaya Zemlya test site between 2021 and 2023. They show the arrival of ships and new shipping containers, winter road clearing, and tunneling in the deep Arctic mountains. Near these facilities are tunnels where Russia used to conduct tests.
According to a former US Air Force intelligence officer, there are suspicions that Russia is preparing for new tests, possibly to alarm the West.
Representatives of Moscow have not yet responded to CNN's requests for comment on this issue.
Activity has also increased at China's Lop Nor nuclear test site, located between two deserts in sparsely populated western China. Satellite images show the excavation of a new underground tunnel and the construction of new roads in recent years. The terricone (artificial embankment) at the site is constantly increasing, indicating that the tunnels are being expanded.
Additionally, new construction projects have been carried out in the main administrative and support area, including a storage area that could be used for explosives. China's nuclear test site is characterized by its enormity and the presence of various facilities compared to Russia's.
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the report calling it as an excessive "overblown exaggeration of China's nuclear threat" and calling it "highly irresponsible."
Satellite images taken over the US test site in Nevada, known as the Nevada National Security Site, also show a significant expansion of the underground facility, the U1a complex, between 2018 and 2023.
The National Security Administration (NNSA) claims that the lab is designed to conduct "subcritical" nuclear experiments, where chemical explosives create high pressure on nuclear weapon components, but "no nuclear explosion occurs."
An NNSA representative confirmed that the agency is upgrading infrastructure and scientific capabilities at the Nevada Test Site, including the purchase of new advanced sources and detectors, development of reactivity measurement technology, and tunneling work.