[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Kazakhstan's nuclear curse
Effects of Soviet atomic tests 60 years ago are still felt in the country's east.
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2009 01:46 GMT

Sixty years have passed since the former Soviet Union detonated its first experimental nuclear bomb in eastern Kazakhstan.

Al Jazeera's Robin Forestier Walker visits the highly contaminated test site, Polygon, and the surrounding area where effects of the experiments can still be seen.

Cancer rates in the area are 1.5 times higher than in the rest of the country, and the region has high levels of early mortality from a range of common diseases.

Doctors say more research is urgently needed to understand how the 40 years of nuclear tests could harm the children of tomorrow.

The report features an interview with Rebecca Johnson, the director of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, who has conducted research in Kazakhstan's Semei region.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
Part of the joint accord aimed at ending the political impasse establishes an independent National Election Commission.
Rights groups say the US prosecution of terrorism cases targets Muslims and are fraught with abuses.
Local painters forgo experimentation to cater to growing number of foreign buyers.
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
join our mailing list