By Mark McConville
INCREDIBLE video footage has resurfaced this week of the Soviet Union detonating an underground nuclear charge to create a reservoir.
The remarkable footage show the bomb going off as a huge dark mushroom cloud fills the sky as it leaves behind a large crater.
The crater acts as a dam to the existing river while a channel is cut into the crater to allow the reservoir behind it to fill up with water.
The clip showcases the January 1965 at Chagan, on the edge of the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan.
The Chagan test was designed to test the suitability of nuclear explosions for creating reservoirs.
Lake Chagan, as it is known, still exists today but it still radioactive, leading to the nickname of the ‘Atomic Lake’.
The test was carried out under the banner of ‘Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy’ which aimed to find peaceful uses for nuclear devices.
Lake Chagan was the first test but the Soviet Union continued this policy until 1989 by which stage at least 156 nuclear tests were conducted.
It was also the largest detonation carried out as a 140 kiloton device was placed in a 584-foot-deep hole in the dry bed of the Chagan River so that the crater lip would dam up the river during periods of high flow.
The blast created a crater 1312-foot across and 328-foot deep with a lip height of 65 to 125 feet.
The Soviets were proud of Lake Chagan at the time of its creation and the Minister of the Medium Machine Building Ministry can even be seen taking a dip in the lake near the end of the footage. Water was also used to feed cattle in the area.