Gateway for:

Member Countries

Rocks Radioactive Contamination


Material Changes of Rocks in Underground Nuclear Explosions and Radioactive Contamination of Rock Massif.

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MRA/Modelling and Risk Assessment/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Komarkov D A

Leading Institute
Khlopin Radium Institute, Russia, St Petersburg

Supporting institutes

  • VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov\nVNIPI Promtechnology, Russia, Moscow


  • British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) / Brussel's Office, Belgium, Brussels\nLawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore\nFOA National Defence Research Establishment, Sweden, Stockholm\nStoller Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, Germany, Dresden\nDefense Special Weapons Agency, USA, VA, Alexandria\nLos-Alamos National Laboratory, USA, NM, Los-Alamos\nInstitut für Radiochemie, Germany, Dresden

Project summary

In the former USSR underground nuclear explosions (UNEs) were conducted not only on military test sites but also on all territory of the country for peaceful purposes (115 explosions). Thus, 500 UNEs were conducted in various rocks and rock massifs. The main goals of the Project consist in generalizing the available information concerning physico-chemical impact of UNEs on different rocks, the radiochemical composition of rocks and the behaviour of radionuclides in UNE zones, as well as in elaborating and presenting the procedure for the prediction of reliability of long-lived radionuclides fixation ( 3Н, 90Sr, 137Gs, 239+240 Pu) in underground zones of UNEs and the practical application of this technique.

Since the UNEs were conducted practically in all main rocks: granites, syenites, sandstones, clays, rock-salt, shales, etc., such a large set of media and conditions of UNE allows us to cover the whole range of representative rocks and processes of shock, thermal and radiational impacts on them.

Practically all necessary initial experimental data were obtained in the course of 30-year observations. It is only necessary to select the information from stock materials. Some amount of additional arbitration and expert investigations may be needed on available samples. It is necessary to conduct the experiments of radionuclide leaching from available radioactive explosions glasses into water.

As a result of the Project for the first time in the practice of international cooperation such materials and data will be submitted as the list of UNEs, geological description of the devices emplacement points, radiation situation at technological sites and near them in various intervals of time after an UNE; the available data will be generalized concerning 20 zones of UNEs conducted in the USSR (types of rocks, configuration of cavities, nuclear chimneys and aureols of radionuclides dispersion, types of melts and gases,their amounts); main physico-chemical and radiochemical processes of UNEs in different media will be described; the conclusion will be made on the reliability of long-lived radionuclide fixation in the zones of the above UNEs, and recommendation will be given on monitoring and remediation of these zones.

In the course of Project completion several cavities of UNEs will be selected as a real model of high-level vitrified wastes repository without engineered protective barriers for long-term observation of radionuclides migration. Such approach will help to solve some problems of radioactive wastes disposal.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

Promotional Material

Значимы проект

See ISTC's new Promotional video view