No nuclear test committed at Novaya Zemlya

Publish date: September 19, 1997

Written by: Thomas Nilsen

A classified report made by the U.S. Air Force concludes that there was no nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya on August 16 this year, according to news agency Associated Press.

It was the concervative newspaper Washington Times which on August 28 speculated that there might have been a nuclear bomb test at the Russian test site at Novaya Zemlya on August 16. Both the Russian ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of nuclear energy denied that Russia had performed a nuclear test.

The Air Force study says that the tremor detected near the test site was most likely a small earthquake. It was a seismic event approximately 130 kilometers southeast of the test sites and was located offshore in the Kara Sea, according to the classified report. A senior White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the basic elements of the Air Force report, but stated that no conclusion had been reached about whether or not it was a test.