"A series of underground nuclear blasts was carried out in the 1970s and 1980s at an oilfield in Siberia that state firm Rosneft has agreed to develop with China.
Officials told Reuters the field was safe, but environmental experts expressed doubts. The revelation raises questions over the growing energy alliance between Russia, the world's largest energy producer, and China, the leading consumer.
At least seven "peaceful" nuclear detonations were performed at the Srednebotuobinskoye oilfield, according to a report published by the environment ministry of the Republic of Sakha, a remote region in Eastern Siberia also known as Yakutia.
"Yes, indeed, there were nuclear explosions performed at the site," a ministry spokeswoman told Reuters from the city of Yakutsk. No radiation leaks were reported at the site, she said.
Blasts at the field were intended to increase flows from oil-bearing rock and, in one case, create a storage reservoir.
Rosneft recently ceded some of its oil riches by signing a memorandum to create a joint venture with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) to develop the 1-billion-barrel oilfield.
CEO Igor Sechin signed a new supply agreement this week that would raise Rosneft's exports to China to more than 1 million barrels per day.
The deals reflect President Vladimir Putin's drive to pivot Russia's energy export strategy eastward, away from Europe's stagnating market and to the more dynamic Asia-Pacific region."
So dynamic it glows....