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China, the USA and Russia are expanding infrastructure in complexes used to test nuclear weapons

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The largest nuclear powers – the United States, Russia and China – have not tested thermonuclear and atomic weapons for over 30 years, but they are still developing them. A CNN report shows that installations at the main nuclear test centers in these countries have been expanded in recent years. None of these countries has announced the resumption of nuclear tests yet, but everything indicates that this is possible at any time.

The three most powerful military powers – the United States, Russia and China – have been systematically expanding their nuclear research infrastructure in recent years. This is clearly visible in satellite photos commissioned by CNN. Novaya Zemlya is an archipelago belonging to Russia located in the Arctic Ocean. China’s Lob-nor is a partially dry salt lake in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. The Americans have a training ground in Nevada, north-east of Las Vegas. Over the last five years, numerous roads, tunnels and buildings have been built in each of these places.

The first person to address this issue was nuclear non-proliferation expert Jeffery Lewis. He collected and analyzed the photos taken. “The common denominator for both the United States, Russia and China is a desire to make sure that the nuclear weapons they designed and tested in the 1980s and 1990s continue to work,” Lewis explains. – All three countries – Russia, China and the United States – have devoted their time, a lot of effort and money, not only to modernizing their nuclear arsenals, but also to creating conditions to test the efficiency of this arsenal – commented Cedric Leighton, former US Air Force intelligence officer .

There is no evidence of weapons testing at the Russian complex on Novaya Zemlya. However, you can see new buildings built over the last two years. On the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin announced his readiness to conduct further nuclear tests. – Some in Washington, and I know this for sure, are thinking about testing their nuclear weapons. If the United States carries it out, we will do the same, Putin warns.

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In recent years, work has been progressing on the expansion of the above-ground part of the U1a complex, the main part of which is underground, in the Nevada desert. A spokesman for the US Agency for Nuclear Security said that the investment is a “recapitalization of the infrastructure and research potential in the U1a complex.” He added that the United States has not conducted nuclear tests since 1992 and currently has no such plans.

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A war without winners

China conducted nuclear tests underground in its complex. Satellite images reveal the completion of work on the fifth tunnel at Lob-nor. The photos show heaps of excavated rock material. The United States accuses China of rapidly accelerating the development of its nuclear arsenal. “We project that China will have 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035,” said Michael Chase, U.S. deputy secretary of defense for China. In response to a question from CNN, the Chinese Foreign Ministry denied plans to conduct nuclear tests. They responded that “such reports, based on information they have heard, fuel rumors about a nuclear threat from China for no reason.”

The specter of further nuclear tests may limit the reticence of the United States, Russia and China since the 1990s. – For a farmer in Ohio or a shopkeeper in Shanghai, the threat of renewed nuclear testing is important because we all agree to spend huge amounts of money on an arms race in which no one can win, but everyone can lose – emphasizes Jeffery Lewis.

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Main photo source: CNN

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