from a desolate land to the most important nuclear test base of the Soviet Union, when the supply is tight due to economic stagnation in Moscow, people here are enjoying the best sausages, wine and even “special” Pepsi Cola in the country.
the first atomic bomb explosion test of the former Soviet Union was carried out at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.
the bunker destroyed at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site
the original text is contained in the youth reference
From a desolate land to the most important nuclear test base of the Soviet Union, the population of Semipalatinsk once reached tens of thousands. At a time when Moscow’s supply is tight due to economic stagnation, people here are enjoying the country’s best sausages, wine and even “special” Pepsi Cola. When the Soviet Union collapsed and the base was finally closed, tens of thousands of soldiers withdrew from here, leaving only 500 Kazakh soldiers to guard the whole city. However, the disappearance of Russian soldiers does not mean that the buildings here have been completely empty. A large number of radioactive materials are still stored in their original places, which has become a huge hidden danger of nuclear proliferation.
the Soviet Union has conducted more than 300 nuclear tests there. No matter how careful the protective measures are, they will inevitably cause physical and mental trauma to the Kazakh people. In October 2008, the film “the gift of Abu toshan” was selected for the opening of the 13th Film Festival in Busan, South Korea. In the film, the protagonist is directly exposed to the wind caused by the nuclear test without knowing it. This is not only a reappearance of that period of history, but also a portrayal of the inner scars of today’s Kazakhs.
on the wasteland in Northern Kazakhstan, there is a forgotten city – Semipalatinsk. During the cold war, as the No. 1 nuclear test base of the Soviet Union, it was the target of Western intelligence agents. On August 29, 1991, on the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s explosion of the first atomic bomb, Nazarbayev, who will soon become Kazakhstan’s first president, announced the abandonment of the “Atomic City”, making a significant contribution to the international nuclear security system. In the next 20 years, the wounds left by the former Soviet Union’s wanton nuclear explosion have not been completely healed. A new round of cooperation among the United States, Russia and Kazakhstan on preventing nuclear proliferation has been carried out in full swing.
and “monsters” live next to each other.
at the end of World War II, when US President Truman proudly told Stalin the news of successfully building the first atomic bomb, Moscow had spent more than three years collecting all kinds of intelligence about this super weapon, and Beria was the operator of all these intelligence. By 1947, the development of the Soviet Union’s atomic bomb had been fully launched, and a special committee was responsible for the site selection of the nuclear test base. In the end, they fell in love with an almost uninhabited land in Kazakhstan. Stalin and Beria signed their names on the site selection report, and Kazakhstan welcomed a “nuclear monster” into its home.
, an unknown land 70 kilometers away from the nearest residential area, was quickly occupied by experts and construction personnel recruited from all over the Soviet Union. The Kremlin gave it a temporary code name of “moscow-400”. Of course, like other secret Soviet military bases, this small town can’t be found on an ordinary map.
the first nuclear test in 1949 did not completely notify the local people to prevent it out of confidentiality requirements, as widely rumored. A veteran who had participated in the test told Russian reporters that his task was to publicize ways to avoid nuclear radiation to residents. “Unfortunately, many people didn’t pay attention to the warning at all, but ran outside to enjoy the ‘spectacular scenery’ when the nuclear explosion occurred. They were severely exposed to radiation without exception.”
according to einer, before the nuclear explosion, the military placed tanks, cars, animals and plants near the test site to determine how destructive the explosion could produce. After the experiment, many researchers came to nearby residential areas to collect soil samples and observe the physical signs of local residents. The results were used for research. He said that the radioactive smoke and dust generated in this and subsequent nuclear explosions spread to large areas in Eastern Kazakhstan with the wind, causing serious pollution.
the spectre of nuclear pollution is wandering.
. In the following decades, the Soviet Union has conducted more than 300 nuclear tests there. No matter how careful the protective measures are, it is inevitable to cause physical and mental trauma to the Kazakh people. At the 13th Busan Film Festival in October 2008, Kazakh director abdrashtov’s “gift to Stalin” was selected as the opening film. In the film, the protagonist is directly exposed to the wind caused by the nuclear test without knowing it. This is not only a reappearance of that period of history, but also a portrayal of the inner scars of today’s Kazakhs.
in 1960, “moscow-400” was renamed “semipalatinsk-21” city, and nuclear tests are still being carried out here. Before a test, the authorities informed the residents to evacuate in advance. After the nuclear explosion, residents returned to the village and found full body burned poultry everywhere, and some lucky animals also died in a short time.
in the 1970s, the city finally had an open name – Kurchatov, in memory of the nuclear physicist of the same name who made outstanding contributions to the development of the Soviet atomic bomb. Under the surface calm, there are still a large number of innocent civilians living in the city who suffered from incurable diseases due to radiation from the nuclear test that year. An 18-year-old named Nikita was born unable to walk and speak. Although his parents are in good health, he is still considered to be born disabled due to genetic mutations caused by nuclear radiation. Today, Nikita’s only pleasure is to use a special mask made by her parents to manipulate a touch with the power of her neckHand, type and write poems on the keyboard, and send the works to the Internet. So he got the nickname “ant man”.
another patient, sheljankari, is now only 10 years old. Like Nikita, his parents were healthy, but he was born incomplete. His condition is a strange form of “osteoporosis”, where bones are so fragile that they break when hit slightly. Today, poor serjankari can only curl up in a chair specially made for him by his parents all day.
what’s more tragic is that Nikita and serjankari both fell ill after many years, which did not meet the national compensation standards set by the Kazakh authorities and could not be compensated. Similar examples are believed to be many.
even the soil is monitored.
if the tragedy caused by the nuclear test can be regarded as an increasingly blurred memory, the possibility of nuclear materials falling into the hands of terrorists is a imminent threat.
from a deserted land to the most important nuclear test base of the Soviet Union, the population of Semipalatinsk once reached tens of thousands. At a time when Moscow’s supply is tight due to economic stagnation, people here are enjoying the country’s best sausages, wine and even “special” Pepsi Cola. When the Soviet Union collapsed and the base was finally closed, tens of thousands of soldiers withdrew from here, leaving only 500 Kazakh soldiers to guard the whole city. However, the disappearance of Russian soldiers does not mean that the buildings here have been completely empty. A large number of radioactive materials are still stored in their original places, which has become a huge hidden danger of nuclear proliferation.
is precisely the concern about this issue, which led to the most successful cooperation among the United States, Russia and Kazakhstan. The United States spent a lot of money to destroy or transfer these radioactive materials to Russia for preservation. In 1992, less than one year after its independence, Kazakhstan signed the Lisbon protocol on non-proliferation and the gradual dismantling and shipment of missile nuclear weapons, assumed the obligation not to possess nuclear weapons, and declared its territory a nuclear free zone. In 1993, the United States signed an agreement with Kazakhstan to help the latter solve the technical and economic support needed for nuclear weapons reduction. In 1995, the military engineering forces of Russia and Kazakhstan successfully transported all strategic and tactical nuclear weapons in Kazakhstan back to Russia. In the following years, similar actions were repeated several times, and Kazakhstan became the first country to voluntarily abandon nuclear weapons.
however, the covet of transnational terrorist forces on nuclear materials has become a sign of tension for all parties. Even if the atomic bomb manufacturing technology spread on the international nuclear black market is unreliable, a few simple “dirty bombs” will be unbearable to all countries. Therefore, preventing nuclear proliferation is far from limited to avoiding the loss of nuclear bombs themselves, and preventing the theft of nuclear materials is also the focus. Semipalatinsk’s “inventory” is naturally under close monitoring. Not only that, but even the once contaminated soil is also a sensitive target – frequent nuclear explosions make Semipalatinsk’s soil contain extremely high concentrations of radioactive substances. Analysis shows that these soils can even be directly used to make “dirty bombs”. So the Americans came up with an idea: cover the soil in the polluted area with 2m thick reinforced concrete slabs to avoid being taken away by criminals. This painstaking effort is known as operation groundhog.
there is still a long way to eradicate the nuclear threat.
are not only soil, but also the nuclear material left in many underground caves. The Soviet Union signed the partial nuclear test ban treaty in 1963. Since then, all nuclear tests have been carried out underground according to the treaty. According to the calculation of experts, an underground nuclear test often consumes only part of the nuclear material, and the rest remains in the underground hole built for the test for a long time. If these nuclear substances leak, the consequences will also be unimaginable.
to this end, the Americans once again decided to use the sealing method to prevent nuclear leakage. They tried to seal all these underground holes with technical means, which took several years. In 1999, Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana once announced that the United States had sealed all the underground holes. But it wasn’t long before people heard the wind that the local scavengers actually reopened the underground hole with earth methods and stole equipment from it to sell money. At least 10 scavengers died from exposure to radioactive materials.
with the deepening of these work, Russia has also shown higher and higher enthusiasm. At the beginning of the three countries’ cooperation, Moscow has been unwilling to share with other two countries the secret archives left by the Soviet Union about the Semipalatinsk nuclear facilities. Its consideration is naturally that it does not want the United States to obtain too many secrets about Russian nuclear weapons through its work in Semipalatinsk. As we all know, Russia’s “possessions” are inherited from the Soviet Union. However, with the enhancement of mutual trust among the three parties, Moscow finally decided to share these materials. After the September 11 incident, the Russian authorities showed greater enthusiasm in this regard.
today, among the ruins of Semipalatinsk, the cooperation between the three countries is still proceeding in an orderly manner. Warning signs of “not to stay long” can be seen in some important areas. In some places, outsiders are simply not allowed to approach because there is still radiation left inside. In other designated areas, resident U.S. inspectors can occasionally be found. The ups and downs of
for decades have gradually made the once mysterious Semipalatinsk known to the outside world. In addition to scientists and soldiers, folk tourists from all over the world now like to explore here and revisit those sad, gray and alarming past events.