HL Deb 20 February 1984 vol 448 c620WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What information they have of the purposes in relation to which the Soviet Government conducted six nuclear blasts at five-minute intervals in September 1983.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (Lord Trefgarne)

Six underground explosions, assessed as nuclear, occurred on 24th September 1983 in the Astrakhan region of the USSR. Although the Soviet authorities have made no announcements as to the purposes of these particular explosions, they were probably intended to form underground cavities for gas condensate storage in the large natural gas field under development in the region.