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A voice for the victims of atomic bomb testing – no more nuclear weapons!

Kuyukov,-Karipbek,-KazakhstI am asking you to wave goodbye to these weapons, though I cannot do so myself. But I can raise my voice, and my paintbrush, and I will do that until the day I die, to ensure that the world sees what has happened in my country and my community, and more importantly, to make sure that this never happens again, in rich countries or in poor countries or in any other hidden place on earth. Children like me were hidden for long enough. I want to use my voice to tell you about us, now, and use my brush to show you the beauty and heartbreak of my landscape

Eliminating the World’s Nuclear Weapons by Bicycle Silk Road Reporters, by Karipbek Kuyukov  23 Apr 15 On April 21, another push – many miles worth, in fact – was added to the growing worldwide drive to rid the planet of nuclear weapons as the Bike Away the Atomic Bomb riders begin their journey from Washington, D.C. to New York to call for real action to be taken at the UN Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York on April 27. I won’t be riding with them. I couldn’t hold the handlebars, or anything else, for that matter: when I was born, outside the now-closed Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site in eastern Kazakhstan, it was without arms.

Mayak disaster

I’m not unusual, where I come from. Forty years of nuclear testing and hundreds of nuclear explosions have blighted swathes of the beautiful steppe there and shattered the surrounding communities, as their effects began to be seen in birth defects and diseases, which continue to this day. The UN estimates that 1.5 million people in Kazakhstan have been affected by the Soviet Union’s nuclear test programme. There are many people like me.

I am determined to be the last.

In a sense, I am lucky: Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, shut down the poisonous Semipalatinsk test site in 1991, in defiance of the government in Moscow, and upon independence set about dismantling Kazakhstan’s formidable nuclear arsenal. Ukraine, Belarus and South Africa join Kazakhstan among the list of countries to renounce their nuclear weapons.

But I and they are also citizens of the world, and while our countries may be free of nuclear weapons, we remain vulnerable as long as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty remains a dream. We have been waiting since 1996 for this ban to become a reality, and I call on China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States to finally sign and/or ratify this treaty. They must ensure that not one more person suffers from the consequences of nuclear testing and nuclear weapons use in the future.

I may not be able to ride with them, but I will be joining Mayors for Peace, Bike for Peace and The ATOM Project in Washington D.C. before the bikers start this new leg of our journey toward nuclear sanity. We are joining Global Wave 2015 in its schedule of coordinated public actions urging humanity – and particularly the decision-makers at the UN conference – to wave goodbye to nuclear weapons.

Tore Nærland, co-founder of Bike for Peace, and Thore Vestby, mayor of Frogn, Norway, who is also vice president of Mayors for Peace and a member of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament are among those who will be riding for four days from Washington to New York.

For this tour, Vestby says, he has a specific message: That nuclear weapons cannot be used, because of their enormous humanitarian and environmental consequences, and are therefore useless………

I am asking you to wave goodbye to these weapons, though I cannot do so myself. But I can raise my voice, and my paintbrush, and I will do that until the day I die, to ensure that the world sees what has happened in my country and my community, and more importantly, to make sure that this never happens again, in rich countries or in poor countries or in any other hidden place on earth. Children like me were hidden for long enough. I want to use my voice to tell you about us, now, and use my brush to show you the beauty and heartbreak of my landscape………   The author is the honorary ambassador of The ATOM Project.  http://www.silkroadreporters.com/2015/04/23/eliminating-the-worlds-nuclear-weapons-by-bicycle/

April 25, 2015 Posted by | Kazakhstan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Review: an apocalyptic nuclear film with a strangely pro nuclear spin

After the Apocalypse: The anti-nuclear film that wasn’t, Nuclear Free by 2o45? by Dennis, 27 Feb 15 

As the fourth anniversary of the earthquake-tsunami-meltdown syndrome approached, I looked back at an example of pro-nuclear spin that appeared in the media in the spring of 2011. Ironically, the pro-nuclear message discussed here is a film about the horrors of atomic weapon blasts in The Polygon, the sacrifice zone in Kazakhstan where the Soviet Union detonated hundreds of nuclear and thermonuclear bombs. I’m timing this article to also commemorate the birth of the Nevada-Semipalatinsk anti-nuclear movement which is marked every year in Kazakhstan on February 28th.

After the Apocalypse [1] is a one-hour documentary that takes place in Semipalatinsk, a town in north-eastern Kazakhstan where the USSR detonated 456 nuclear weapons, many of them large-yield megaton hydrogen bombs. The camera goes to radioactive craters where herders still take their animals to graze. It goes to a museum where the pickled corpses of deformed babies sit in jars. However, the horror show of the past is not the main attraction. The film concentrates on the fierce struggle that still goes on today over the reproductive rights of the Kazakhstan hibakusha. The director, Antony Butts, follows a pregnant woman, Bibigul, whose wide-set eyes suggest chromosome damage. She wants to give birth despite the protestations of Toleukhan Nurmagambetov, a doctor who talks of the deformed, and too often abandoned, babies in the region as “monsters.” Continue reading

February 28, 2015 Posted by | Kazakhstan, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

The dream of Karipbek Kuyukov, on UN International Day against Nuclear Tests

I have a dream: A world free of nuclear weapons Aljazeera,  28 Aug 2014  China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the US are still to sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Karipbek Kuyukov is the Honorary Ambassador of The ATOM Project. The UN International Day against Nuclear Tests on August 29 is an opportunity to remind the world about the inhumane consequences of nuclear explosions. It is a day which has a special meaning for the many thousands of people who, like me, grew up in Eastern Kazakhstan.
Kuyukov,-Karipbek,-KazakhstI was born 100 kilometres from the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site where the Soviet Union exploded more than 600 nuclear devices between 1949 and 1991.  They have had terrible physical consequences for the people who lived near them.
I came into this world without arms. People often ask me if I can be sure that radiation was the cause. If you had lived in my home town or region, this would not be a question.

In the place where I grew up, I saw mothers and midwives shocked at the sight of their babies. 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 for fresh air and sun.
I witnessed families and whole communities decimated by radiation-related cancers. As the United Nations confirms, more than 1.5 million people in Kazakhstan have suffered the effects of Soviet nuclear weapons testing.
The most terrifying fact about this story is that we didn’t understand the impact these explosions would have. We were taken completely by surprise – and this, I believe, is why it is so important that we use August 29 to warn the world about the impact of nuclear testing. We must never forget what happened or allow others to remain in the dark.
I saw so much tragedy and suffering in my homeland that I decided to do everything possible to ensure that my generation is the last to suffer such damage. I became an activist in an anti-nuclear weapons movement and found peace in expressing my pain through art.
I use my feet and mouth to hold my brush and pour out in my own colours my inner world, calling on others to follow my cause. Today, I am an honorary ambassador of The ATOM Project, an online campaign to encourage the global leadership needed to totally eliminate the nuclear threat.
Since its launch two years ago, The ATOM Project has taken the stories of Kazakhstan’s nuclear testing survivors around the globe. On my travels, I have made many new friends in many countries who have encouraged us to continue our work.
We now have over 90,000 supporters from more than 100 countries and have set ourselves a goal of reach the 100,000 mark by August 29. You can help us reach this milestone by signing the petition and showing your desire for a nuclear-weapons-free world.
And over the last two decades we have seen progress. Even before Kazakhstan became a fully independent country, our leader, and now President, Nursultan Nazarbayev shut down the Semipalatinsk test site in 1991 in defiance of then Soviet government in Moscow. On independence, our country also voluntarily gave up the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal, which we had inherited from the Soviet Union. Similar courageous decisions were taken by Ukraine, Belarus and South Africa who all renounced their nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons programmes………http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/08/i-dream-world-free-nuclear-weap-201482874433467528.html

 

August 29, 2014 Posted by | health, Kazakhstan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Deformities in Semipalatinsk area due to radiation from nuclear bomb testing

HBO: ‘Genetic passports’ for major population exposed to nuclear radiation? “It has deformed their genes, sorry it’s a bit of a bummer” — Twins attached by organs growing outside body, ’1-eyed cyclops’, babies with giant heads… “they respond to the people around them” (GRAPHIC PHOTOS & VIDEO) http://enenews.com/hbo-genetic-passports-major-population-exposed-nuclear-radiation-deformed-genes-sorry-bit-bummer-twins-attached-organs-growing-body-one-eyed-cyclops-babies-heads-photos-video

PVICEby Thomas Morton, May 4, 2014: “How Fucked Are Nukes? […] way worse than Hollywood has the special effects to depict. A lot of mainstream accounts […] soft-pedal the body horror that acute radiation poisoning causes […] eyewitness testimony from Robert Jay Lifton’s Hiroshima classic Death in Life: […] “at a glance you couldn’t tell whether you were looking at them from in front or in back […] very young girls, not only with their clothes torn off but with their skin peeled off as well. My immediate thought was that this was like the hell I had always read about.” […] If you haven’t already gone to the bathroom to slit your wrists […] VICE on HBO covers the second major population intentionally exposed to atomic radiation—the Kazakhs living around the Semipalatinsk Testing Polygon, where the Soviet Union tested 456 nuclear bombs.

While they weren’t close enough to the blasts to experience the sort of immediate deformities [suffered by the Japanese –] It deformed their genes. Sorry it’s a bit of a bummer.”

Watch the part of the HBO broadcast here

See also: Japan Professor: I believe airborne release of cesium-137 from Fukushima equals 400 to 500 Hiroshima nuclear bombs — Another 400 to 500 bombs worth has already flowed into Pacific Ocean (VIDEO)

May 14, 2014 Posted by | children, Kazakhstan | Leave a comment

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

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