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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Climate change bad for nuclear industry: floods disrupt uranium mining

Thursday March 20, 2014,  The World Nuclear Association reported that melting snow is to blame for the disruption of a number of uranium operations in Southern Kazakhstan.

According to the WNA:

National atomic company Kazatomprom reported that snow melt has damaged roads near the village of Taykonur in the Sozak region of South Kazakhstan oblast. This has restricted access of vehicles delivering chemical reagents to the Inkai in-situ leach (ISL) uranium mine and processing plant in central Kazakhstan. The Inkai project is owned and operated by Joint Venture Inkai, which is 60% owned by Canada’s Cameco and 40% by Kazatomprom.

Click here to view the full report. 

March 21, 2014 Posted by | climate change, Kazakhstan | Leave a comment

A personal story of nuclear-caused suffering, and of hope

antinuke-worldSmThe petition – located here – is part of the campaign of The ATOM Project to draw global attention to the need to show more leadership and take decisive steps towards the elimination of the nuclear threat. Anyone in the world can sign the petition and contribute to building a nuclear-weapons-free world.

My experience of the nuclear horror http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/09/25/my-experience-of-the-nuclear-horror/ By Karipbek Kuyukov,   CNN 25 Sept 13 Editor’s note: Karipbek Kuyukov is an artist and Honorary Ambassador of The ATOM Project, a global campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons testing. The views expressed are his own.As world leaders gather for the United Nations High-level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament in New York, I would like to deliver a short message from the survivors of nuclear weapons testing in Kazakhstan.

The perpetual question of whether to pursue the nuclear arms race or eradicate nuclear weapons has divided international opinion. Experts, politicians and world leaders have traditionally sided either for or against nuclear arms. Some believe that nuclear weapons help preserve peace, yet surely many more believe these weapons are a certain path to another world war and the eventual obliteration of mankind.

But although there has been much discussion of the issue, few on either side have turned for advice to the victims of nuclear tests and explosions. We have a lot to say and a right to be heard.

I was born in 1968, about 100 kilometers away from the notorious Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in eastern Kazakhstan where the Soviet Union tested hundreds of nuclear devices over four decades. I was born without arms, a result of the horrific impact of nuclear radiation on the health of our people. As I grew up, I saw that I was not alone.

I saw mothers and midwifes shocked at the sight of other babies born with birth defects. I saw families too embarrassed to show their children to the outside world, hiding them deep inside their homes and bringing them out only briefly to have some fresh air and sun. I saw families and whole communities decimated by radiation-related cancers. As the United Nations notes, more than 1.5 million people in Kazakhstan suffered the effects of Soviet nuclear weapons testing, which lasted from 1949 until 1991. Continue reading

September 26, 2013 Posted by | Kazakhstan, weapons and war | 3 Comments

Kazakhstan’s idea to grow food on plutonium contaminated land

Pu“Opening the land for grazing and other land use will be an unforgiveable mistake,” said Leonid Rikhvanov, a professor at Russia’s Tomsk Polytechnic University, in a 2010 interview with the Telegraph. “If the plutonium gets into the biological chain it could cause a cytogenetic catastrophe that will backfire on the health of our children and grandchildren.” Many people living near Semipalatinsk feel similarly
An experimental farm has been set up in Kazakhstan to study the medical and biological interaction between radioactivity and the environment, writes Jillian Keenan. SBS News 24 Sept 13 By 
Jillian Keenan  Source Foreign Policy, By most accounts, the former Soviet nuclear test site of Semipalatinsk is unfit for life. Across roughly 7,000 square miles of barren Kazakhstan steppe, there are hardly any people. Even animals and birds, it seems, intuitively know they should stay away. Decades-old craters pockmark the earth, remnants of the more than 450 nuclear explosions that took place here between 1949 and 1989. Broken vodka bottles scattered in the grass near “Ground Zero,” the site of the area’s first nuclear test, hint at the dread associated with Semipalatinsk: Vodka, some nearby residents believe, can guard against the effects of radiation exposure. Visitors are warned to cover their shoes with protective plastic before stepping onto the soil, and to shield their faces with masks.
semipalatinsk-wasteland

But in this poisoned place, on a small patch of land near a few downtrodden trailers, there’s an unexpected hint of vitality: bright yellow sunflowers, clustered together near rows of corn, and a barn full of plump sheep. Here, scientists from Kazakhstan’s Institute of Radiation Safety and Ecology, a governmental organization that studies the medical and biological interaction between radioactivity and the environment, have developed an experimental farm. Their goal is to measure the transference of radioactivity from contaminated soil into edible crops, and from those crops into the meat, milk, and eggs of the animals that eat them. Continue reading

September 24, 2013 Posted by | - plutonium, environment, Kazakhstan, Reference | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan’s water imperilled by in situ leaching of uranium

Scientists studying the effects of ISL doubt how quickly mine sites can self-cleanse. This uncertainty appears to be little known to both Kazakhstan’s nuclear industry and fledgling environmentalists.

no site in the US has been entirely returned to pre-mining conditions

The cost of being the world’s No.1 uranium producer Kazakhstan’s industry has skyrocketed in the past 10 years. But what could that mean for the environment? Christian Science Monitor, By , Staff writer / August 28, 2013 ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN

If you make a toxic mess under one of the most isolated parts of the planet, does it matter if you don’t clean it up? Does it make a difference if that mess will be there for thousands of years? Scientists are asking those questions as Kazakhstan has steadily risen to become the world’s No. 1 uranium producer, surpassing such nations as the United States, Canada, and Australia, which require more cleanup.

Rather than employing miners to haul rock up to the surface, mine operators in Kazakhstan have embraced a newer – and generally cleaner – process by which a chemical solution is injected down a pipe to dissolve the underground uranium deposits and then is sucked back up to the surface.

In-Situ-Leaching

This in situ leach (ISL) method avoids making a mess above ground, but leaves toxic levels of heavy metals in the ground water. In the US, companies using the method have tried for years and failed to return ground water to its pre-mining state. Continue reading

August 29, 2013 Posted by | Kazakhstan, Reference, Uranium, water | Leave a comment

The nuclear devastation in northeastern Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan’s Painful Nuclear Past Looms Large Over Its Energy Future, The Atlantic 13 May 13, The central Asian country is positioning itself as a global nuclear leader, but it’s haunted by the lasting impacts of Soviet testing decades ago……….. Kazakhstan is moving forward with plans to build a civilian nuclear power facility for domestic energy needs, possibly on the Aktau site of a now defunct Soviet-era plant…..

“Kazakhstan’s people and environment have endured tremendous suffering as a result of Soviet nuclear weapons testing,” said Dr. Togzhan Kassenova, an associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The majority of people, if asked, would express support for global nuclear disarmament and would display pride of Kazakhstan’s own record in shutting down its nuclear testing site and removing all nuclear weapons from its territory.”……
 August 29, 1991, closure of Semipalatinsk, the world’s second largest nuclear weapons testing site. At the beginning of the Cold War, Stalin chose the remote corner of northeastern Kazakhstan, also known as “The Polygon,” to test the first Soviet bombs. When Lavrenti Beria, the head of the KNVD secret police, selected the site, he claimed it was “uninhabited.” It wasn’t.
Mayak disaster
Today, the area (which is not surrounded by a barrier of any kind to prevent humans and animals from roaming freely) has been called the ” world’s worst radiation hotspot.“……. Continue reading

May 14, 2013 Posted by | environment, Kazakhstan | Leave a comment

East Kazakhstan’s 812 million tonnes of highly radioactive uranium tailings

Josef Stalin’s nuclear legacy remains in East Kazakhstan Scotsman.com, 9 October 2012  “…..It was over 20 years after the end of atomic testing in the Polygon that the world began to take notice, but Stalin’s legacy may yet have an impact that could threaten future generations across the globe. The mining of uranium to manufacture the atomic weapons tested in the Polygon has left a staggering 812 million tonnes of highly radioactive uranium tailings (waste byproduct). They lie in dilapidated dumps in four of the five Central Asian republics, posing not just an imminent threat to the environment but a potential flashpoint for violence and conflict. Continue reading

October 9, 2012 Posted by | Kazakhstan, Reference, Uranium, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear weapons do not make a country safe.

Mr. Umarov said that Kazakhstan fully supports a proposal by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to adopt a nuclear weapons convention, noting the suggestion of his country’s president that, as an important step in that direction, the United Nations should adopt a Universal Declaration of a Nuclear Weapon-Free World.

Africa: Nuclear Weapons Are No ‘Guarantee of Security,’ Kazakh Foreign Ministers Tells UN Debate  AllAfrica.com  30 Sept 12,  The inability of nuclear weapons to guarantee a country’s security or independence was highlighted in the speech of Kazakhstan’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kairat Umarov, to the United Nations General Assembly today. Continue reading

October 1, 2012 Posted by | Kazakhstan, weapons and war | 2 Comments

Leah McGrath Goodman, Tony Blair and issues on torture (with added radiation)

Image

Published by arclight2011- date 15 Sep 2012 -nuclear-news.net

[…]

Accusations: Despite the mockery of the film Borat, leaked U.S. cables suggest the country was undemocratic and used torture in detention

Other dignitaries at the meeting included former Italian Prime Minister and ex-EU Commission President

Romano Prodi. Mr Mittal’s employees in Kazakhstan have accused him of ‘slave labour’ conditions after a series of coal mining accidents between 2004 and 2007 which led to 91 deaths.

[…]

Last week a senior adviser to the Kazakh president said that Mr Blair had opened an office in the capital.Presidential adviser Yermukhamet Yertysbayev said: ‘A large working group is here and, to my knowledge, it has already opened Tony Blair’s permanent office in Astana.’

It was reported last week that Mr Blair had secured an £8 million deal to clean up the image of Kazakhstan.

[…]

Mr Blair also visited Kazakhstan in 2008, and in 2003 Lord Levy went there to help UK firms win contracts.

[…]

Max Keiser talks to investigative journalist and author, Leah McGrath Goodman about her being banned from the UK for reporting on the Jersey sex and murder scandal. They discuss the $5 billion per square mile in laundered money that means Jersey rises, while Switzerland sinks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA_aVZrR5NI&feature=player_detailpage#t=749s

And as well as protecting the guilty child sex/torturers/murderers of the island of Jersey I believe that they are also protecting the tax dodgers from any association.. its just good PR!

FORMER Prime Minister Tony Blair was reportedly involved in helping to keep alive the world’s biggest takeover by Jersey-incorporated commodities trader Glencore of mining company Xstrata.

11/September/2012

[…]

Mr Blair was said to have attended a meeting at Claridge’s Hotel in London towards the end of last week which led to the Qatari Sovereign wealth fund supporting a final revised bid from Glencore for its shareholding. Continue reading

September 15, 2012 Posted by | 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES, Belarus, civil liberties, depleted uranium, environment, Fukushima 2012, health, Japan, Kazakhstan, marketing, politics international, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK, Ukraine, USA, wastes, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Kazakhstan’s nuclear fuel bank or nuclear graveyard?

Nuclear fuel bank or nuclear graveyard? Asia Times, 5 Sept 12, By Zhulduz Baizakova  Kazakhstan plans to build an international nuclear fuel bank in Ust-Kamenogorsk (Oskemen), in the country’s east, at the site of Ulba Metallurgic Plant, part of the giant national company Kazatomprom, which produces fuel tablets for nuclear power plants.

While the authorities are keen on the plan, some citizens are seriously questioning it – questions that are likely to remain largely unanswered.  Continue reading

September 6, 2012 Posted by | Kazakhstan, Uranium, wastes | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan’s radioactive disaster continues

Radioactive fallout from nuclear blasts have given Semey and neighboring villages abnormally high rates of cancer and birth defects.

Local oncology centers are screening tens of thousands of patients, trying to detect and treat tumors at early stages. People living in the area are still predisposed to breast and pulmonary cancer.

We are getting more and more disabled infants, each passing day their number increases. Environmental factors work slowly – we can see their effects in 10 or 20 years, in the first, second, third or fourth generation.”

VIDEO Kazakhstan’s Nuclear Legacy Euro News, 14/04/10 http://www.euronews.com/2010/04/14/kazakhstan-s-nuclear-legacy/  At the elderly care home in Semipalatinsk, we met 85 year old Praskovya. Semipalatinsk, or Semey, is a city 150 kilometers from the main Soviet nuclear weapons test site.

Praskovya is a former warehouse manager who used to work in a small town bordering the restricted area in the 1950s. She witnessed one of the nuclear explosions: “We were curious, so we went outside to watch. When the explosion happened, it looked like a large bowl, with black smoke and flames coming from the bowl. Then it rolled into a ball, and
a smoke column went up, and at the top, the mushroom appeared. And then the soldiers came and made us leave the street, shouting “it’s not allowed, it’s not allowed”. But we already saw everything interesting. And then everyone got health problems. Continue reading

May 17, 2012 Posted by | health, Kazakhstan | Leave a comment

Japanese govt’s nuclear push with Kazakhstan, and the global nuclear industry web

A complex web of agreements across national borders links many of the biggest players in the nuclear industry.

 “Japan hasn’t used the Fukushima disaster as an opportunity to push for renewable energy or energy efficiency,”   “Instead, it has used the time since the disaster to push for the restart of nuclear reactors.”

How Long Will Japan’s Nuclear Recess Be? Enter KazakhstanTruth Out , 15 May 2012  By Steve Horn,    “……Japan Announces Big Nuclear Deal with Kazakhstan Unmentioned by all but two news outlets was the fact that a day before the announcement, the Japanese government signed a deal with Kazakhstan’s state-owned nuclear giant, KazAtomProm, to begin supplying Japan with more nuclear fuel starting in 2013. Continue reading

May 17, 2012 Posted by | Japan, Kazakhstan, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran poses no nuclear threat. But what about Kazakhstan?

Uranium Diplomacy:The US Double-Standard in Kazakhstan and Iran, THE REAL NEWS, 18 APRIL 2012  By Allen Ruff and Steve Horn [This is a slightly revised version of  "Uranium Double-Standard: The U.S., Kazakhstan and Iran," that originally appeared at Nation of Change. It is the second installment of an ongoing series on U.S. involvement in Kazakhstan. The first originally appeared at Truthout and is also available here.]

Iran’s alleged “nuclear threat” has taken center stage among diplomats, military men, and politicians in Washington, Tel Aviv, and the West at-large.
Despite the fact that investigative journalists Seymour HershGareth Porter and others have meticulously documented the fact that Iran, in fact, poses no nuclear threat at all, the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress have laid down multiple rounds of harsh sanctions as a means to “deter” Iran from reaching its “nuclear capacity.”
The most recent round featured a call to boycott Iran’s oil industry by President Obama.
While rhetorical attention remains focused on Iran’s “threat”, there is an “elephant in the room”: Kazakhstan’s booming uranium mining and expanding nuclear industry –  a massive effort involving U.S. multinational corporations and an authoritarian regime increasingly tied to Washington.
Double standards have long reigned supreme in U.S. foreign policy. Few examples illustrate that better than the contrast between Washington’s stance toward the nuclear ambitions of Iran and Kazakhstan…… Continue reading

April 19, 2012 Posted by | Kazakhstan, politics international | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan says Japan will continue to buy its uranium

Japan to Purchase Contracted Kazakh Uranium, Kazatomprom Says Bloomberg,  By Nariman Gizitdinov and Yuriy Humber - Feb 23, 2012 Kazatomprom (KZAP), the state nuclear company in the world’s biggest uranium-producing nation, said its Japanese customers will take delivery of the fuel they agreed to buy even as the country idles its atomic stations.

The supply contracts with Japan haven’t changed, Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Shkolnik told reporters in Almaty, Kazakhstan, today without identifying the buyers…..
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-24/japan-to-purchase-contracted-kazakh-uranium-kazatomprom-says.html

February 25, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, Kazakhstan, Uranium | Leave a comment

Nuclear bomb testing – a horror that is hard to ban

Perhaps because its people understand firsthand the horrors of living with the effects of nuclear testing, Kazakhstan has fully supported efforts to ban nuclear testing and nuclear weaponry, and has given up its nuclear arsenal. 

Politics Clouds Efforts to Ban Nuclear Testing, By Elizabeth Whitman, UNITED NATIONS, Sep 5, 2011 (IPS) – On Aug. 29, 1949, the Soviet Union conducted the first of 456 nuclear tests in Semipalatinsk in Eastern Kazakhstan, at the site where it ultimately held over two-thirds of all Soviet nuclear tests without warning inhabitants of the region of the impact of exposure to these tests.On Aug. 29, 1991 the site closed, yet the devastating health and environmental effects continue to plague the region to this day. Continue reading

September 6, 2011 Posted by | Kazakhstan, politics international | Leave a comment

Kazakhtsan – land of nuclear human nuclear radiation guinea pigs

 

 

As for the locals, they were little more than guinea pigs…. it is so hard to prove the link between nuclear fallout and the diseases that may strike afterwards.According to Dr. Marat Sandybaev, head of the local oncology centre, cancer rates in the area are still twice as high as the national average, and it is estimated that birth defects are up to 10 times higher.

 

Bringing life to a nuclear wasteland Can a nuclear test site be reclaimed? The Soviets detonated hundreds of bombs in Kazakhstan, poisoning the land and people. Louise Gray of the Telegraph travels to the notorious Polygon site and reports on plans to restore the region By Louise Gray, The Telegraph September 4, 2011 “…. Between 1949 and 1989, the Soviet Union detonated more than 456 nuclear devices on the Semipalatinsk test site, better known as the “Polygon.” Continue reading

September 5, 2011 Posted by | health, Kazakhstan | Leave a comment

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