In 1964, China set off its first atomic bomb, codenamed "596,'' on the Lop Nur
Due south of the 225-kilometre-long, dried-up lake of Lop Nur
, the centre of China's former nuclear test area, the dunes turn abruptly south and collide with the 4,500-metre Arjin Mountains.
Known as Lop Nur
, the former lake, once the largest in northwest China, was earlier believed to have evaporated in 1972 as a result of desert erosion and the loss of trees cut for firewood.
Fortunately, John and the Wild Camel Protection Foundation were able to establish in1999 the 68,000 square mile Arjin Shan Lop Nur
nature reserve in an area where China once exploded 43 nuclear tests in the atmosphere.
In 1999, a proposal was set forth to the Chinese Government to establish the Lop Nur
Wild Camel Nature Reserve.
There are only two other fragmented groups of wild Bactrian camels in China, one in the Taklamkan desert and one in an area near Lop Nur
4 Lop Nur
is what country's main nuclear test site?
China conducted its first atomic-bomb test in 1964 and its first hydrogen-bomb test in 1967, both in the Lop Nur
desert in Xinjiang.
For this year's rally, the distance to be covered will be shortened from 4,300 kilometers to some 2,700 km and include a stretch near Lop Nur
, a dried salt lake region that is archeologically significant.
The southern route crossed Lake Lop Nur
by Khotan and Yarkand (in northern Afghanistan) and then continued on.
The base produced nuclear devices that were exploded in 16 tests conducted by China until it was retired in 1987, following incipient tests of its first atomic bomb in 1964 and its first hydrogen bomb in 1967 near Lop Nur
in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Above left: an ancient burial ground at Loulan, on the edge of the Lop Nur
salt flat, Sinkiang, c.