Kirana Hills

Kirana Hills is located in Punjab, Pakistan
Kirana Hills is located in Pakistan
The Kirana Hills is a small and extensive rocky mountain range located in Sargodha, Pakistan.[1][2][3][4] It is also a place of tourist attraction in Sargodha City. Locally known as "Black Mountains"[5] due to its brownish landscape, its highest peak is about 980 feet (300 m).[6]

Known for its extreme weather conditions, its maximum temperature reaches to 50 °C (122 °F) in the summer while the minimum temperature recorded is as low as freezing point in the winter.[7][8] Due to its rocky landscape and minerals, a volcanic and geophysical survey was conducted by the Geological Survey of Pakistan. Its environs are heavily infested with wild boars.[9]

Kirana-I was the assigned codename of the 24 subcritical 'cold tests' conducted by Pakistan from 1983–90.[10] The Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers led the civil engineering of potential sites for the tests to be conducted.[11] The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) carried out several tests of the feasibility of weapon designs; all tests were subcritical (cold) tests and produced no energy blast yield.[12]

Additional studies on the radiation effects of nuclear explosions was also carried out by PAEC.[13] The Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) also conducted subcritical tests of its own weapon designs.[14]

The weapon-testing program proved crucial for the success of Pakistan's clandestine atomic bomb program and was kept in extreme secrecy with few having knowledge of its existence. The tests were eventually made public in 2000 by the political newspaper, The Nation.[15]

The Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers started extensive engineering of the potential test sites sometime in 1979–83.[16][17] Several coordinated meetings between civilian Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and military officials finalized the potential sites and construction started in 1979.[18] Work completed in 1983 in Chagai and Kirana as the tunnels and testing labs were reported as having been bored, and as being similar in construction to Chagai.[19]

The "Special Development Works"(SDW), a special-purpose engineering unit of Pakistan's military scientists and military engineers was commissioned by Brigadier Muhammad Sarfaraz in 1977. Responsibility of weapon-test sites and logistics were overseen by the SDW as part of their role in the atomic bomb program.[20]

The Pakistani military engineered the weapon-test sites carefully and had long realized the United States's growing suspicion of secret military nuclear programs.[15] All work was completed at night before sunrise and the area cordoned off to tourists.[15] This was done due to avoid American 'Vela' nuclear monitoring satellites detecting the tests, as well as avoiding the civilian population in the area.[15] Engineering teams were sent to de-seal, open and clean, the tunnels to keep out wild boars that are found in abundance in the Sargodha region.[15] After preparations were completed and the tunnels were cleared out, PAEC's Diagnostic Group arrived with laboratory leader Dr. Samar Mubarakmand who came with trailers fitted with supercomputers and diagnostic equipment installed in the vans.[21] They were followed by the Wah Group Scientists under Dr. Zaman Shaikh and PAEC's Directorate of Technical Development (DTD) under Hafeez Qureshi, with the nuclear device in sub-assembly form. The device was placed in the weapon-testing labs and monitoring systems were set up with around 20 cables linking various parts of the device with oscillators in diagnostic vans parked near the Kirana Hills.[21]

This page was last edited on 25 June 2018, at 08:43 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

Related Topics

Recently Viewed