Dedicated to 30th anniversary of Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site closure…

Dedicated to 30th anniversary of Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site closure…

August 29 marks the 30th anniversary of the closure of one of the largest nuclear test sites in the world – the Semipalatinsk test site. The First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the historic decree in 1991. In 2009, at the 64th session of the United Nations, August 29 was officially declared the International Day against Nuclear Tests. A traveling exhibition “The time for fundamental decisions” that displays historical documents of Kazakhstan voluntarily renouncing nuclear weapon has opened in Semei.

“We have been preparing for this important event for a year. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the nuclear test site’s closure and the 30th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s Independence. We decided to organize a traveling exhibition in Semei. The exposition displays various archival documents and exhibits,” said Bakytzhan Temirbolat, Director of the Library of First President of Kazakhstan.

Over 40 years of operation of the test site, there were over 400 explosions, including 40 air, 26 ground and 26 underground. More than one million people fell victim to the tests. The traveling exhibition presents rare photographs, evidence of the formation of the Nevada-Semei anti-nuclear movement in 1989. The awards of Kazakhstan’s First President presented to him by the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan for his contribution to the disarmament of the world are also displayed. There are over 200 valuable materials at the exhibition, which will last until the end of September.

Also, Pavlodar hosted a forum dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk test site. It was attended by members of the “Nevada-Semei” international anti-nuclear movement. Its leader, writer and poet Olzhas Suleimenov took part in it via a videoconference. The participants shared their memories of the time when they fought together to close the nuclear test site.

“The goal was fulfilled. We had one goal – to close the Semipalatinsk test site. And we managed to stop the tests during this time. The last explosion occurred on October 19, 1989, six months after the formation of “Nevada-Semipalatinsk,” Suleimenov remembered.


Translation by Saniya Sakenova

Editing by Galiya Khassenkhanova