Tired mountain syndrome

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Rainier Mesa at the Nevada Test Site NTS - Aerial view of Rainier Mesa.jpg
Rainier Mesa at the Nevada Test Site

Tired mountain syndrome is a condition in which underground nuclear testing fractures and weakens rock, increasing permeability and the risk of release of radionuclides and radioactive contamination of the environment. [1] Locations said to have undergone the syndrome include the French Polynesian island of Moruroa, [2] Rainier Mesa in the United States, [3] the Dnepr 1 nuclear test site on the Kola Peninsula in Russia, [1] possibly Mount Lazarev in the Novaya Zemlya Test Site in Russia, [lower-alpha 1] and Mount Mantap in North Korea. [5] [6] [7]


See also


  1. The Matochkin Shar site 73°23′N54°24′E / 73.39°N 54.40°E is called out in a 1993 USGS report; [4] the report does not mention tired mountain syndrome by name, but notes 72 percent of the 36 tests at Matochkin Shar leaked radionuclides, and in four tests seepage along fractures or faults in the rock is "specifically described" in Russian geological reports.

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  1. 1 2 Adushkin, Vitaly V.; Leith, William (September 2001), "'Tired Mountain' Syndrome" (PDF), Containment of Soviet Underground Nuclear Explosions, United States Geological Survey, pp. 35–37, Open File Report 01-312
  2. van Ginneken, Jaap (2003). Collective Behavior and Public Opinion: Rapid Shifts in Opinion and Communication. European Institute for the Media Series. Taylor & Francis. p. 126. ISBN   978-1-135-62903-8.
  3. The Containment of Underground Nuclear Explosions (PDF), U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, October 1989, p. 51, LCCN   89-600707, OTA-ISC-414 (full document)
  4. Matzko, John R. (1993), Physical Environment of the Underground Nuclear Test Site on Novaya Zemlya, Russia (PDF), United States Geological Survey, pp. 4, 8–10, 20, Open File Report 93-501
  5. Eric Limer (October 20, 2017), "Is North Korea's Nuke-Testing Mountain at Risk of Collapse? Satellite imagery suggests the underground blasts may be taking their toll", Popular Mechanics
  6. N. Korea nuclear test site may have 'Tired Mountain Syndrome', Agence France-Presse, October 19, 2017 via Straits Times
  7. Anna Fifield (October 20, 2017), "After six tests, the mountain hosting North Korea's nuclear blasts may be exhausted", The Washington Post