Satellite Photos Indicate China May Be Resuming Nuclear Tests
CHINA - Satellite photos obtained from Planet Labs from the location of Lop Nur nuclear test site in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Western China show what looks to be upgraded and expanded facilities, indicating that China may be preparing for nuclear tests for the first time in 26 years.
The last nuclear test by China was on July 29th, 1996, located in Lop Nur, China at: 41.7161°N 88.3757°E, and was successful. The country's last nuclear test was carried out just months before China signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on September 24th, 1996 which banned all nuclear explosions.
A statement by the Government of the People's Republic of China after their last nuclear test said, "On 29 July 1996, China successfully conducted a nuclear test. The Government of the People's Republic of China hereby solemnly declares that it will start a moratorium on nuclear testing effective from 30 July 1996. Such an important decision by China is not only a response to the appeal of the vast number of non-nuclear weapon states, but also a concrete action to promote nuclear disarmament."
The first nuclear test that China had ever carried out was called Project 596 on October 16th, 1964 using uranium-235 implosion fission device made from weapons-grade uranium, according to Wikipedia.
Nikkei Asia obtained the satellite photos of the new activity at the Lop Nur nuclear test site, along with an analysis of the photos and reported that there is a sixth tunnel and upgraded support and supply facilities, as well as upgraded power transmission infrastructure.
Salih Hudayar, who is a Uyghur American politician re-posted the Nikkei report on the satellite photos and said, "China is expanding its nuclear test facilities in East Turkistan in preparation of possible new nuclear tests. Since 1964, China has conducted 46 nuclear tests in East Turkistan which caused ~800,000 deaths. The last known test was carried out in 1996."
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