Kazakhstan's nuclear curse

Effects of Soviet atomic tests 60 years ago are still felt in the country's east.

    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


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