596 (nuclear test)

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ChinaABomb 1.jpg
Country China
Test site Lop Nur Test Base
Period October 16, 1964
Number of tests 1
Test type Atmospheric
Device type Fission
Max. yield 22 kilotons of TNT (92 TJ)
Previous test None
Next test Test No. 6

596, originally named by the US intelligence agencies Chic-1,[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.

In response, the Taiwanese leadership, including President Chiang Kai-shek, called for a military response against Chinese nuclear facilities and the formation of an Asian anti-communist defense organisation.[2]

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 on 20 June 1959.[3]


  • Time: 07:00 GMT 16 October 1964
  • Location: Lop Nur Test Ground, Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found., about 70 km northwest of Lop Nor dry lake[1]
  • Test Height and Type: Tower, 102 meters
  • Yield: 22 kilotons

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Communist China's Weapons Program for Strategic Attack, NIE 13-8-71 (Top Secret, declassified June 2004), Central Intelligence Agency, Washington D.C., 1971.
  2. Albright, David; Gay, Corey (1 January 1998). "Taiwan: Nuclear nightmare averted". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Retrieved 28 May 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. http://www.physicstoday.org/vol-61/iss-9/47_1.pdf

Other references

  • Lewis, John Wilson and Xue Litai (1988). China Builds the Bomb. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
  • Richelson, Jeffrey T. (2006). Spying on the Bomb: American nuclear intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea (Chapter 4, "Mao's Explosive Thoughts"). New York: W.W. Norton and Co.

External links