The DEFCON Warning System™

Ongoing GeoIntel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.  DEFCON Level assessment issued for public notification.  Established 1984.

Satellite images show increased activity at nuclear test sites in Russia, China and US

Russia, the United States and China have all built new facilities and dug new tunnels at their nuclear test sites in recent years, satellite images obtained exclusively by CNN show, at a time when tensions between the three major nuclear powers have risen to their highest in decades.

While there is no evidence to suggest that Russia, the US or China is preparing for an imminent nuclear test, the images, obtained and provided by a prominent analyst in military nonproliferation studies, illustrate recent expansions at three nuclear test sites compared with just a few years ago.

One is operated by China in the far western region of Xinjiang, one by Russia in an Arctic Ocean archipelago, and another in the US in the Nevada desert.

The satellite images from the past three to five years shownew tunnels under mountains, new roads and storage facilities, as well as increased vehicle traffic comingin and out of the sites, said Jeffrey Lewis, a professor at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

“There are really a lot of hints that we’re seeing that suggest Russia, China and the United States might resume nuclear testing,” he said, something none of those countries have done since underground nuclear testing was banned by the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. China and the US signed the treaty, but they haven’t ratified it.

Retired US Air Force Col. Cedric Leighton, a former intelligence analyst, reviewed the images of the three powers’ nuclear sites and came to asimilar conclusion.

“It’s very clear that all three countries, Russia, China and the United States have invested a great deal of time, effort and money in not only modernizing their nuclear arsenals, but also in preparing the types of activities that would be required for a test,” he said.

Moscow has ratified the treaty, but Russian President Vladimir Putin saidin February he would order a test, if the US moves first, adding that “no one should have dangerous illusions that global strategic parity can be destroyed.”

Read more at CNN

Ongoing Geointel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.

© 2024 The DEFCON Warning System. Established 1984.

The DEFCON Warning System is a private intelligence organization which has monitored and assessed nuclear threats by national entities since 1984. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.