596 (nuclear test)

The clickable maps and pictures on this page illustrate data related to 596 (nuclear test). 596, originally named by western intelligence agencies Chic-1, is the codename of the People's Republic of China's first nuclear weapons test, detonated on October 16, 1964 at the Lop Nur test site. It was a uranium-235 implosion fission device and had a yield of 22 kilotons. With the test, China became the fifth nuclear power.

Project 596 was named after the month of June 1959 in which it was initiated, immediately after Nikita Khrushchev decided to stop helping the Chinese with their nuclear program 20 June 1959.


  • Time: 07:00 GMT 16 October 1964
  • Location: Lop Nur Test Groundabout 70 km northwest of Lop Nor dry lake
  • Test Height and Type: Tower, 102 meters
  • Yield: 22 kilotons

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Close places of interest

Loulan Kingdom (32 km)

Loulan, also called Krorän or Kroraina, and known to Russian archaeologists as Krorayina, was an ancient kingdom based around an important oasis city along the Silk Road already known in the 2nd century BCE on the north-eastern edge of the Lop Desert. The term Loulan is used to refer to the city located near Lop Nur as well as the kingdom. The kingdom was renamed Shanshan after its king was assassinated by a Chinese envoy in 77 BCE; however, the town at the northwestern corner of the brackish desert lake Lop Nur retained the name of Loulan.

Lop Desert (98.38 km)

The Lop Desert, or the Lop Depression, is a desert extending from Korla eastwards along the foot of the Kuruk-tagh (meaning Dry Mountain) to the formerly terminal Tarim Basin in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. It is an almost perfectly horizontal expanse. Lake Bosten in the northwest lies at an altitude of 1,030 m to 1,040 m (3,380 to 3,410 ft), while the Lop Nur in the southeast is only 250 m lower.

Xiaohe Tomb complex (108.33 km)

The Xiaohe 'Little River' Tomb complex refers to a bronze-age burial site located near Lop Nur, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of western China. It is an oblong sand dune, from which more than 30 well-preserved mummies, buried in air-tight ox-hide bags, have been excavated. The mummies, the earliest of which date from around 4000 years ago, appear Caucasoid. Genetic analysis however revealed an admixture of population from the East and West, with the paternal lineage exclusively west Eurasian, and the maternal lineage a mixture of east and west Eurasian.

Singher (112.53 km)

Singhir and Singher are towns located in Xinjiang, China

Miran (Xinjiang) (192.7 km)

Miran is an ancient oasis town located on the southern rim of the Taklamakan Desert in China, along the famous trade route known as the Silk Road where the Lop Nur desert meets the Altun Shan mountains. Two thousand years ago a river flowed down from the mountain and Miran had a sophisticated irrigation system. Now the area is a sparsely inhabited dusty spot with poor roads and minimal transportation in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.

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