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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 49, August 2000

Kazakhstan Test Site Closed

On July 29, an international scientific team completed the closure of the former Soviet nuclear test site at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan. 470 tests were conducted at the site, more than 100 of them in the atmosphere. The closure programme took five years to complete and involved the sealing of 118 tunnels and 13 bore holes. Semipalatinsk, extending over 32,800 square miles, was the largest test site in the world. Its environmental and health legacies are severe and unfolding, including extreme incidences of cancer, muscular dystrophy, and congenital deformities and abnormalities.

Reports: Kazakhstan closes nuke test facility, Associated Press, July 29; Soviet-era Kazakh nuclear test site destroyed, Reuters, July 29.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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