The Russian Atomic Energy Ministry is carrying out test explosions on the island of Novaya Zemlya in Russia's northern waters. This was announced yesterday at a press conference on the ministry's work by Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev. He confirmed reports that tests were taking place, but explained that they were not nuclear tests, as Russia is a signatory of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
'Our annual non-nuclear, gas dynamic tests are aimed at reducing the risk to nuclear weapons from fire and explosions. We use modelling and ordinary explosives to carry out our tests,' said Rumyantsev.