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Bitcoin miners in Kazakhstan will rely on government building new nuclear power plant

Kazakhstan bitcoin miners could use nuclear energy as gov’t might build power plant, Kazakhstan’s government is discussing a plan to build a nuclear power plant, which might boost the country’s Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto mining industries in the long run. Micky.com By Jet Encila -January 2, 2022…….. construction might take up to 10 years……..

Since September’s crackdown, an estimated 88,000 mining rigs have been smuggled across the border from China, increasing electricity demand in many places, based on multiple sources.

Not only in Central Asia, but also in the United States and Europe, the cooperation between mining and nuclear energy providers is deepening. 

In the United States, a handful of miners have already begun getting power from nuclear reactors, while in Ukraine, the national nuclear energy supplier has been collaborating with miners at Europe’s largest nuclear plants in an attempt to mitigate financial losses.
https://micky.com.au/kazakhstan-bitcoin-miners-could-use-nuclear-energy-as-govt-might-build-power-plant/

January 3, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, Kazakhstan, politics | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan may build nuclear power plant to provide electricity for energy-guzzling Bitcoin mining.

Kazakhstan Mulls Nuclear Power to Deal With Electricity Shortages Blamed on Crypto Miners,  Bitcoin.com, 31 Dec 21,  The government in Kazakhstan is considering building a nuclear power plant to overcome an electricity deficit allegedly caused by the booming crypto mining industry. Problems with power supply are driving away miners that saw the Central Asian country as a new home when China recently cracked down on the industry.

NPP Project Revived Amid Short Supply of Energy for Crypto Mining Sector in Kazakhstan

Authorities in Kazakhstan are now thinking of implementing a decade-old plan to construct a nuclear power plant (NPP) in order to solve the country’s pressing issues with a growing electricity deficit. With capped tariffs and a crypto-friendly attitude, the former Soviet republic attracted a throng of Chinese miners chased away by Beijing’s offensive against the crypto industry launched in May of this year. However, some of them are now leaving the country as their hardware is idling.

Two locations are currently under consideration as potential sites for a nuclear station, Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister Magzum Mirzagaliev revealed this week. These are the village of Ulken in the Alma-Ata region and the city of Kurchatov in the East Kazakhstan region………… https://news.bitcoin.com/kazakhstan-mulls-nuclear-power-to-deal-with-electricity-shortages-blamed-on-crypto-miners/

January 1, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, Kazakhstan, politics | Leave a comment

 At the Global Alliance of Leaders for Nuclear Security and Nuclear-Weapons-Free World (GAL) meeting, Nursultan Nazarbayev proposes  Global Forum on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament

Nazarbayev proposed to launch the Global Forum on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmamenthttps://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nazarbayev-proposed-to-launch-the-global-forum-on-nuclear-nonproliferation-and-disarmament-301433017.html

Astana Club , Nov 29, 2021, NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan, Nov. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Global Alliance of Leaders for Nuclear Security and Nuclear-Weapons-Free World (GAL) was held on the platform of the VI meeting of the Astana Club in the capital of Kazakhstan.

Addressing the members of the GAL, Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that negotiations on nuclear strategic stability on inter-state level are facing a stalemate, and there is a strong need for an alternative form of dialogue on this issue.

To break this deadlock, Mr. Nazarbayev proposed to set up the Global Forum on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament in the capital of Kazakhstan.

Forum should bring together all key international NGOs and world moral authorities in the anti-nuclear field to forge a unified global agenda.

In his statement Nazarbayev also called on the world community to develop a step-by-step Plan for a comprehensive reduction of strategic offensive arms with the participation of all nuclear states under the auspices of the UN.

Nazarbayev expressed confidence that the GAL can become the central platform and driving force in the development of this document.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also addressed the Alliance members with the support of the Nazarbayev’s initiative and noted that without the elimination of the nuclear threat, the world community will never be able to guarantee its security.

The address of the former President of the USSR, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mikhail Gorbachev to Nursultan Nazarbayev and members of the Alliance became a significant moment at the GAL session.

Mr. Gorbachev expressed his full support for the initiative of the First President of Kazakhstan to establish GAL, noting that “there can be no other final goal than a world without nuclear weapons.”

He also noted that the meeting of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in June this year in Geneva marked a positive trend. According to Gorbachev, it is extremely important that the meeting of two presidents reiterated the idea that there will be no winners in a nuclear war,” which was first voiced in 1985 at his meeting with US President Ronald Reagan.

The meeting of GAL was also attended by the leaders of the global anti-nuclear movement such as Nobel Peace Prize laureates Mohamed ElBaradei and ICAN Executive Director, Beatrice Fihn, as well as former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and UN Under-Secretary-General Angela Kane, and many others.

All the meeting participants unanimously acknowledged that Kazakhstan, which voluntarily renounced the world’s fourth largest nuclear military arsenal of 1,200 atomic warheads in 1990s, has the full moral right to undertake such global anti-nuclear initiatives.

This year’s GAL meeting refers to the Doomsday Clock, the symbol of likelihood of nuclear war – One Minute to Midnight: Time for Action for the Nuclear Dialogue. This is because at the beginning of 2021, the Doomsday Clock moved the closest it has ever been in its history since 1947: 100 seconds to midnight.

Nursultan Nazarbayev.

GAL’s mission is to provide impetus to the anti-nuclear agenda through the joint efforts of the leaders of major international NGOs, well-known politicians, and world moral authorities in the anti-nuclear field.

In 2020, GAL’s Open Call to world leaders to demand the need for strengthening joint efforts on nuclear safety, non-proliferation and disarmament was registered as an official document of the UN and the IAEA.

To date, the GAL is supported by over seventy prominent international figures, including politicians, experts, and Nobel Peace Prize laureates..   

November 30, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Kazakhstan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Crypto currency mining is rampant, so Kazakhstan looks to nuclear energy, despite its dreadful history there.

Kazakhstan is now home to 50 registered and an unknown number of unregistered crypto mining companies.    The decision to build new nuclear power plants is a serious one for a country that suffered severe nuclear fallout from weapons testing during the Soviet occupation. Kazakhstan’s last nuclear power plant closed in 1999.

Bitcoin mining power crunch: Kazakhstan looks toward nuclear solution, CoinTelegraph, 25 Nov 21

The country saw a great influx of miners this year, but it might have to sacrifice the immense tax revenue from Bitcoin miners if power grid issues are not resolved.
–The exodus of Bitcoin miners from China into Kazakhstan has contributed to an energy crunch that the central Asian country’s president has proposed solving with nuclear energy.

Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Energy has attributed the 8% increase in domestic electricity consumption throughout 2021 to Bitcoin miners. The country received at least 87,849 Bitcoin mining machines from Chinese companies so far this year, following China’s crackdown on crypto miningaccording to data from the Financial Times.

The substantial increase in demand has led to a deficit in the domestic power supply and contributed to unreliable electricity services, according to the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company. President Tokayev told bankers at a Friday meeting that he thinks building a nuclear power plant will help ease the stress on his country’s electrical infrastructure:………………

Kazakhstan is now home to 50 registered and an unknown number of unregistered crypto mining companies.    The decision to build new nuclear power plants is a serious one for a country that suffered severe nuclear fallout from weapons testing during the Soviet occupation. Kazakhstan’s last nuclear power plant closed in 1999……..https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-mining-power-crunch-kazakhstan-looks-toward-nuclear-solution

November 29, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, Kazakhstan, politics | Leave a comment

Mohamed bin Zayed Receives Nazarbayev Prize for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World and Global Security


BY ASSEL SATUBALDINA in INTERNATIONAL on 1 NOVEMBER 2021

NUR-SULTAN – Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Mohamed bin Zayed received the Nazarbayev Prize for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World and Global Security on Oct. 28 for his contribution to peace, regional stability, and sustainable economic development during the meeting with Former Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, reports the press service of First President.

The award was established in 2016 with a goal to urge international actors to pursue more vigorous efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. King Abdullah II of Jordan was the first person to receive the prestigious award back in 2017 during his visit to Kazakhstan. ……….. https://astanatimes.com/2021/11/mohamed-bin-zayed-receives-nazarbayev-prize-for-a-nuclear-weapon-free-world-and-global-security/

November 2, 2021 Posted by | Kazakhstan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan’s moves toward a world free of nuclear weapons

Leading the way to a world free of nuclear weapons, Today more than ever, the world needs leadership in the field of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Kazakhstan keeps providing this leadership, writes Jonathan Granoff.   https://www.euractiv.com/section/central-asia/opinion/leading-the-way-to-a-world-free-of-nuclear-weapons/  28 Aug 20, Jonathan Granoff is the president of the Global Security Institute.In 1949, the first of over 450 nuclear explosive tests, surprised the residents in towns and villages in the northeast corner of Kazakhstan. The sky lit up with a blinding flash of light followed by an enormous mushroom cloud. In houses books falling from shelves and the crashing of dishes could be heard. They had not been forewarned.

For the next forty years, silently, in the bodies of at least one and half million citizens the consequence of the radioactive fall-out of those hundreds of explosions inflicted numerous diseases such as cancer and horrible birth defects. Not only did the explosions cause cracks in houses and roads.

It caused the crack of tragedy in the hearts of millions. The people of Kazakhstan, because of those nuclear tests in the windswept steppe test site at Semipalatinsk, know all too well the reality of nuclear weapons

Millions of activists worldwide in the late 1980s protested nuclear testing, prominent amongst those protests was the Nevada-Semipalatinsk Movement, bringing together the voices of citizens of the USA and the then Soviet Union.

The protesters in Kazakhstan demonstrated enormous courage for they were still living in a system where political repression posed serious dangers.

But times changed and that became very clear when Kazakhstan’s First President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, came into office. He did not ignore or avoid addressing these dreadful devices and their national and global impact.

He set out to bring his sense of responsibility as a witness to the reality of nuclear weapons into meaningful action, not only for his nation but also for the world.

First and foremost, he supported the brave activists who protested the testing in Kazakhstan and he signed the historic Decree shutting down the Semipalatinsk test site on 29 August 1991.

It should be noted Kazakhstan was then still part of the Soviet Union. In his speeches, Nazarbayev has always emphasized that the closure expressed the will of the people.

This bold gesture helped stimulate a moratorium on testing which has to this day restrained the five permanent members of the Security Council and holders of more than 97% of the world’s nuclear arsenals (the P5) – United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France from further testing.

It also gave momentum to the global movement to create a treaty to end all nuclear testing, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). 29 August is now the International Day against Nuclear Tests. It was established on December 2, 2009 at the 64th session of the United Nations General

Soon after the Soviet Union collapsed, Kazakhstan, under the leadership of Nazarbayev, set a precedent in world history by abandoning the world’s 4th largest nuclear arsenal and the status of a de facto nuclear power.

This decision was crucial not only for the formation and further development of Kazakhstan but also had far-reaching global consequences. Kazakhstan had inherited more than 100 stationary-based missiles with about 1,400 nuclear warheads.

In addition, 40 strategic Tu-95 MS bombers with 240 cruise nuclear missiles were deployed in Kazakhstan. Giving up this powerful arsenal gained the nation enormous international good will and recognition, and the moral credibility to demand progress on legal duties of all nuclear weapons states to negotiate the universal elimination of nuclear weapons.

Nazarbayev’s strategic decision was instrumental in stimulating confidence in the maturity of independent Kazakhstan. It remains an action of national pride and international respect.

Kazakhstan also set out to address the nuclear non-proliferation problem. In 2017, under the leadership of Nazarbayev, it created the world’s first bank for low enriched uranium under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

This unique mechanism provides countries around the world with the opportunity to develop peaceful nuclear energy without the need to create their own uranium enrichment programs, which represents a proliferation danger.

Kazakhstan has also become an active participant in absolutely all basic international treaties and institutions in the field of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and a strong contributor to stability in the world.

For example, under Nazarbayev’s leadership, it was a leading contributor in the creation of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (CANWFZ) signed into force by Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on 8 September 2006.

Current President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is continuing the country’s nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament commitments. The world needs leadership today in this field more than ever.

The Nursultan Nazarbayev Foundation has established the “Nazarbayev Prize for Nuclear Weapon Free World and Global Security”, which is awarded every 2 years on 29 August for outstanding contributions to non-proliferation and disarmament.

It was first presented in 2017 to King of Jordan Abdullah II. In 2019, the laureates were the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, Lassina Zerbo and former IAEA Director-General Yukio Amano (posthumously).

In 2012, Nazarbayev announced the launch of the ATOM Project (Abolish Testing – Our Mission). ATOM is an online petition to world governments to forever abandon nuclear testing and to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force as soon as possible.

Speaking at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2015, Kazakhstan’s First President called for making the construction of a world without nuclear weapons the main goal of mankind in the 21st century and the adoption of the UN Universal Declaration on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World.

In 2016, in his Manifesto: The World, The 21st Century”, Nazarbayev sets forth a comprehensive vision to move toward a world without reliance on militarism and war, but based on a cooperative human-centred approach to security. Now, a recognized official UN document, it contains realistic policy proposals worthy of serious debate today.

The solution of many problems in the field of global security, conflict prevention and resolution, and especially nuclear disarmament depend on the availability of environments and platforms for honest debate and dialogue.

President Nazarbayev thus established the Astana Club – a forum where annually more than 50 world renown politicians and experts discuss current security issues in Eurasia and beyond.

In November 2019, as part of the fifth meeting of the Club, Nazarbayev initiated the creation of an authoritative political platform, the Global Alliance of Leaders for a Nuclear-Free World.

GAL is an alliance of leaders that will allow for an open dialogue with members of the “nuclear club” and make a feasible contribution to strengthening global security.

Kazakhstan, within the framework of the GAL, will act as a neutral dialogue platform for both nuclear and non-nuclear states.

Those who have already supported the project and expressed their readiness to contribute to the implementation of this initiative include former heads of state, heads of international organizations and famous experts: Heinz Fischer (Austrian Federal President 2004-2016), Mohammed El-Baradei, IAEA Director General 1997-2009, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate), Lassina Zerbo (CTBTO Executive Secretary), and others of similar stature.

Nazarbayev, stimulated by perestroika and President Mikhail Gorbachev’s new thinking, developed a vision of a peace loving, open minded, dynamic nation respectful of the rule of law that could be a responsible actor in world affairs.

A bold perspective given the turbulence of these times, it requires diligent and courageous perseverance and a people of enormous dynamism to help advance it, including finding a path to ensuring that the ethnic and religious diversity of their nation can remain harmonious and not lead to conflict as it has been the case so many times in other places. Again, Kazakhstan is providing a good example.

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Kazakhstan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The nuclear test health toll – cancer and birth deformities in Kazakhstan

This Is What Nuclear Weapons Leave in Their Wake   https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/10/nuclear-ghosts-kazakhstan/  
A remote area of Kazakhstan was once home to nearly a quarter of the world’s nuclear testing. The impact on its inhabitants has been devastating.

BY ALEXANDRA GENOVA, PHOTOGRAPHS BY PHIL HATCHER-MOORE  OCTOBER 13, 2017
Decay and desolation scar the landscape of a remote corner of the Kazakh Steppe. Unnatural lakes formed by nuclear bomb explosions pockmark the once flat terrain, broken up only by empty shells of buildings. It appears uninhabitable. And yet, ghosts – living and dead – haunt the land, still burdened by the effects a nuclear testing program that stopped nearly 30 years ago.

The site, known as the Polygon, was home to nearly a quarter of the world’s nuclear tests during the Cold War. The zone was chosen for being unoccupied, but several small agricultural villages dot its perimeter. Though some residents were bussed out during the test period, most remained. The damage that continues today is visceral.

Photographer Phil Hatcher-Moore spent two months documenting the region, and was struck by the “wanton waste of man’s folly.”

His project ‘Nuclear Ghosts’ marries the wasted landscape and intimate portraits of villagers still suffering the consequences.

The figures are astonishing – some 100,000 people in the area are still affected by radiation, which can be transmitted down through five generations. But with his intimately harrowing pictures, Moore sought to make the abstract numbers tangible.

“Nuclear contamination is not something we can necessarily see,” he says. “And we can talk about the numbers, but I find it more interesting to focus on individuals who encapsulate the story.”

Moore interviewed all his subjects before picking up his camera and learned that secrecy and misinformation plagued much of their experience.

“[During the 50s] one guy was packed up with his tent and told to live out in the hills for five days with his flock. He was effectively used as a test subject to see what happened,” says Moore. “They were never told what was going on, certainly not the dangers that they may be in.”

Though human stories were central, Moore also documented the scientific test labs that are still uncovering the damage. The juxtaposition of these labs alongside portraits of people disfigured by radiation makes for uncomfortable viewing. But this proximity is deliberate.

“There was a history of humans being used as live subjects,” says Moore. “I wanted to marry these ideas together; the way people were used by researchers at the time and how that trickles down into every day life – what that looks like, what that means.”

While some of Moore’s subjects are severely deformed, many suffer from less visible health issues like cancer, blood diseases or PTSD. And the hidden, insidious nature of the thing is what is perhaps most troubling. “For a long time there hadn’t been much nuclear development but it is a very real issue right now,” says Moore. “But we don’t talk about what it takes to renew these weapons. These people are legacy and testament to what was done to meet those ends.”

See more of Phil Hatcher-Moore’s work on his website and follow him on Instagram.

July 16, 2020 Posted by | health, Kazakhstan | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan local residents may be stuck with costs of decommissioning nuclear reactor

March 2, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Kazakhstan | Leave a comment

“Chernobyl” TV series gets high rating, highly viewed in Russia and Ukraine

BBC 12th June 2019 , Hours after the world’s worst nuclear accident, engineer Oleksiy Breus
entered the control room of the No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear
power plant in Ukraine. A member of staff at the plant from 1982, he became
a witness to the immediate aftermath on the morning of 26 April 1986.

The story of the reactor’s catastrophic explosion, as told in an HBO/Sky
miniseries, has received the highest ever score for a TV show on the film
website IMDB. Russians and Ukrainians have watched it via the internet, and
it has had a favourable rating on Russian film site Kinopoisk. Mr Breus
worked with many of the individuals portrayed and has given his verdict of
the series.      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48580177

June 15, 2019 Posted by | Kazakhstan, media, Resources -audiovicual, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia keen to market nuclear reactors to Kazakhstan

Putin Offers Russian Help To Build Kazakh Nuclear Plant, April 06, 2019 Radio Free Europe, By Bruce Pannier

Rosatom does the same thing. The company boasts a $100 billion portfolio, and its website says it has 36 nuclear reactor projects in 12 countries — in places like Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Belarus, Iran, Turkey, Hungary, and China. Rosatom submits bids for every nuclear-power-plant contract worldwide. And Rosatom also has nuclear cooperation agreements with countries in South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

The cost of a nuclear power plant starts at around $8 billion, and that is in cases where there is only one reactor, such as Rosatom’s VVER-1000. During Putin’s visit to India in October, Rosatom signed a contract to construct six VVER reactors at a new site in India, in addition to the four other reactors Rosatom is already contracted to build at India’s Kudankulum site. Two VVER reactors are already in operation there.

Russian financial institutions usually loan most, or nearly all, of the money to those countries for the construction of such plants, and Russian nuclear-fuel provider TVEL frequently receives the contract for fuel supplies.

Different Sort Of Customer

Kazakhstan would be a different sort of customer for Rosatom. It has been the world’s leading uranium producer and exporter since 2009. And Kazakhstan does more than just extract uranium. State company Kazatomprom has worked for years, and is now able to take uranium through all the cycles, from raw uranium to nuclear fuel. From 2007 to 2017, Kazatomprom owned a 10-percent stake in Westinghouse.

So Kazakhstan has a large domestic source of uranium and can produce its own nuclear fuel; and Kazatomprom has nuclear technicians trained mostly by Russia but also some trained in Japan, France, and other countries.

Russia and Kazakhstan cooperate to mine uranium in Kazakhstan. Putin mentioned “six Russian-Kazakh enterprises for extracting and enriching uranium.”
Kazatomprom exported nearly 15,290 tons of uranium in 2018, and about 17 percent of that went to Russia.

Kazakhstan and Russia established the International Uranium Enrichment Center in Angarsk in 2007. As its name suggests, the center will provide low-enriched uranium (LEU) to interested parties. The center has been internationally hailed as ensuring a steady supply of uranium for nuclear reactors while not transferring the technology to enrich uranium.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Kazakhstan’s government also established an LEU bank at Kazakhstan’s Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Oskemen, “a physical reserve of up to 90 metric tons of low enriched uranium suitable to make fuel for a typical light water reactor.”

The IAEA and Russia have an agreement on transporting the uranium to the LEU bank in Oskemen.
The April 4 statement from Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry said nuclear-power-plant technologies from five countries, “including Rosatom,” were being studied. But the ministry also said other projects were being reviewed, such as more gas-fired plants, hydropower projects, and coal-fired thermal plants.

Proposed Locations
Russian news agency Interfax noted in its report that Russian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Aleksei Boroodavkin said in February, “We are hopeful that a decision will be taken soon for the construction of an atomic power station that we hope Rosatom will construct.”………. https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakhstan-putin-offers-russian-nuclear-plant-help/29865177.html

April 8, 2019 Posted by | Kazakhstan, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Research on gene mutations caused by nuclear radiation – Kazakhstan

Over the years, those who sought care from Dispensary No. 4 or the IRME were logged in the state’s medical registry, which tracks the health of people exposed to the Polygon tests. People are grouped by generation and by how much radiation they received, on the basis of where they lived. Although the registry does not include every person who was affected, at one point it listed more than 351,000 individuals across 3 generations. More than one-third of these have died, and many others have migrated or lost contact. But according to Muldagaliev, about 10,000 people have been continually observed since 1962. Researchers consider the registry an important and relatively unexplored resource for understanding the effects of long-term and low-dose radiation2

Geneticists have been able to use these remaining records to investigate the generational effects of radiation…….

In 2002, Dubrova and his colleagues reported that the mutation rate in the germ lines of those who had been directly exposed was nearly twice that found in controls3. The effects continued in subsequent generations that had not been directly exposed to the blasts. Their children had a 50% higher rate of germline mutation than controls had. Dubrova thinks that if researchers can establish the pattern of mutation in the offspring of irradiated parents, then there could be a way to predict the long-term, intergenerational health risks.

The nuclear sins of the Soviet Union live on in Kazakhstan  https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01034-8 Wudan Yan 3 Apr 19, Decades after weapons testing stopped, researchers are still struggling to decipher the health impacts of radiation exposure around Semipalatinsk. The statues of Lenin are weathered and some are tagged with graffiti, but they still stand tall in the parks of Semey, a small industrial city tucked in the northeast steppe of Kazakhstan. All around the city, boxy Soviet-era cars and buses lurch past tall brick apartment buildings and cracked walkways, relics of a previous regime.Other traces of the past are harder to see. Folded into the city’s history — into the very DNA of its people — is the legacy of the cold war. The Semipalatinsk Test Site, about 150 kilometres west of Semey, was the anvil on which the Soviet Union forged its nuclear arsenal. Between 1949 and 1963, the Soviets pounded an 18,500-square-kilometre patch of land known as the Polygon with more than 110 above-ground nuclear tests. Kazakh health authorities estimate that up to 1.5 million people were exposed to fallout in the process. Underground tests continued until 1989.

Much of what’s known about the health impacts of radiation comes from studies of acute exposure — for example, the atomic blasts that levelled Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan or the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in Ukraine. Studies of those events provided grim lessons on the effects of high-level exposure, as well as the lingering impacts on the environment and people who were exposed. Such work, however, has found little evidence that the health effects are passed on across generations.

People living near the Polygon were exposed not only to acute bursts, but also to low doses of radiation over the course of decades (see ‘Danger on the wind’). Kazakh researchers have been collecting data on those who lived through the detonations, as well as their children and their children’s children. Continue reading

April 4, 2019 Posted by | Kazakhstan, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan signs the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons

Azer News, 5 Mar 18 On the day of the 26th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s accession to the United Nations, an official ceremony was held at the UN Headquarters for signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kazinform to the Foreign Office’s press service reports.

March 5, 2018 Posted by | Kazakhstan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan’s U.N. ambassador – nuclear testing harmed his country, dismantling nuclear arsenal has benefited it

Former nuclear power Kazakhstan shares lessons for North Korea, Nikkei Asian Review, January 30, 2018  UN ambassador highlights benefits of denuclearization, harm suffered by testing, ARIANA KING, UNITED NATIONS –– Few nuclear powers have ever volunteered to dismantle their arsenals, but Kazakhstan’s U.N. ambassador makes the case that a country stands only to gain by such a dramatic gesture.

 Kazakhstan, which once held the fourth-largest nuclear stockpile with over 1,400 warheads, relinquished all of these Soviet-era weapons by April 1995.

“With the time passing, we more and more are convinced that that was a very right decision at the right moment,” Kairat Umarov, the ambassador and current president of the Security Council, told the Nikkei Asian Review in a recent interview. “And today we are very much proud of this decision,” he said, because Kazakhstan “gained a lot from this step.”……….

“The nuclear-free status of Kazakhstan may serve as an example and as practical guidance for other countries,” Nazarbayev said at that meeting, noting the “high international standing” his country gained by renouncing nuclear weapons. “We call upon all other states to follow our example. We called upon Iran to do so. Now we call upon North Korea to do so.”

“One thing we know for sure: Nuclear capability is not a good defense,” Umarov told The Nikkei. “It’s not a good way to protect a country.”

Possessing such weapons makes a country a target for other nuclear-armed nations, the ambassador added. “So that’s our experience, and we think that anything can be avoided if there is enough political will,” he said.

Umarov said attempts to persuade his North Korean counterparts of the merits of denuclearization have not been fruitful. “But at the end of the day, we think that it is political courage of leaders which really makes things different,” he said. A decision by North Korea to denuclearize would be “received with applause in the international community.”

For Kazakhstan, however, the voices of the victims of nuclear testing at the Semipalatinsk site also led Nazarbayev to dismantle the country’s nuclear program, Umarov said. Though decades have passed since the former Soviet republic closed Semipalatinsk, the legacy of nuclear testing continues.

“We right now have 1.5 million people who are suffering from the nuclear testing site,” Umarov said, citing genetic deformities that have plagued the population and continue to affect newborn children — three generations later.

“It is a very acute, sensitive issue for us,” Umarov asserted, recalling his work for a nongovernmental group in which he fought to shut Semipalatinsk. “So it’s not just we are playing with the politics, or trying to show that we are so principled because of political reasons. It is a very real thing with our population, with our people, and we are reflecting here the will of the people on that issue.”……….https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Former-nuclear-power-Kazakhstan-shares-lessons-for-North-Korea

January 31, 2018 Posted by | Kazakhstan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan’s international low-enriched uranium bank makes the world LESS SAFE

Banking on Uranium Makes the World Less Safe https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/08/banking-on-uranium-makes-the-world-less-safe/  There is a curious fallacy that continues to persist among arms control groups rightly concerned with reducing the threat of the use of nuclear weapons. It is that encouraging the use of nuclear energy will achieve this goal.

This illogical notion is enshrined in Article IV of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which rewards signatories who do not yet have nuclear weapons with the “inalienable right” to “develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”

Now comes the international low-enriched uranium bank, which opened on August 29 in Kazakhstan, to expedite this right. It further reinforces the Article IV doctrine— that the spread of nuclear power will diminish the capability and the desire to manufacture nuclear weapons.

The uranium bank will purchase and store low-enriched uranium, fuel for civilian reactors, ostensibly guaranteeing a ready supply in case of market disruptions. But it is also positioned as a response to the Iran conundrum, a country whose uranium enrichment program cast suspicion over whether its real agenda was to continue enriching its uranium supply to weapons-grade level.

The bank will be run by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose remit is “to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy.” Evidently the IAEA has been quite successful in this promotional endeavor since the agency boasts that “dozens of countries today are interested in pursuing nuclear energy.”

A caveat here, borne out by the evidence of nuclear energy’s declining global share of the electricity market, is that far more countries are “interested” than are actually pursuing nuclear energy. The IAEA numbers are more aspiration than reality.

Superficially at least, the bank idea sounds sensible enough. There will be no need to worry that countries considering a nuclear power program might secretly shift to nuclear weapons production. In addition to a proliferation barrier, the bank will serve as a huge cost savings, sparing countries the expense of investing in their own uranium enrichment facilities.

The problem with this premise is that, rather than make the planet safer, it actually adds to the risks we already face. News reports pointed to the bank’s advantages for developing countries. But developing nations would be much better off implementing cheaper, safer renewable energy, far more suited to countries that lack major infrastructure and widespread electrical grid penetration.

Instead, the IAEA will use its uranium bank to provide a financial incentive to poorer countries in good standing with the agency to choose nuclear energy over renewables. For developing countries already struggling with poverty and the effects of climate change, this creates the added risk of a catastrophic nuclear accident, the financial burden of building nuclear power plants in the first place, and of course an unsolved radioactive waste problem.

No country needs nuclear energy. Renewable energy is soaring worldwide, is far cheaper than nuclear, and obviously a whole lot safer. No country has to worry about another’s potential misuse of the sun or wind as a deadly weapon. There is no solar non-proliferation treaty. We should be talking countries out of developing dangerous and expensive nuclear energy, not paving the way for them.

There is zero logic for a country like Saudi Arabia, also mentioned during the uranium bank’s unveiling, to choose nuclear over solar or wind energy. As Senator Markey (D-MA) once unforgettably pointed out: “Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Arabia of solar.” But the uranium bank could be just the carrot that sunny country needs to abandon renewables in favor of uranium.

This is precisely the problem with the NPT Article IV. Why “reward” non-nuclear weapons countries with dangerous nuclear energy? If they really need electricity, and the UN wants to be helpful, why not support a major investment in renewables? It all goes back to the Bomb, of course, and the Gordian knot of nuclear power and nuclear weapons that the uranium bank just pulled even tighter.

Will the uranium bank be too big to fail? Or will it even be big at all? With nuclear energy in steep decline worldwide, unable to compete with renewables and natural gas; and with major nuclear corporations, including Areva and Westinghouse, going bankrupt, will there even be enough customers?

Clothed in wooly non-proliferation rhetoric, the uranium bank is nothing more than a lupine marketing enterprise to support a struggling nuclear industry desperate to remain relevant as more and more plants close and new construction plans are canceled. The IAEA and its uranium bank just made its prospects a whole lot brighter and a safer future for our planet a whole lot dimmer.

September 15, 2017 Posted by | Kazakhstan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan’s international low-enriched uranium bank will NOT make the world a safer place

Banking on Uranium Makes the World Less Safe https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/08/banking-on-uranium-makes-the-world-less-safe/  There is a curious fallacy that continues to persist among arms control groups rightly concerned with reducing the threat of the use of nuclear weapons. It is that encouraging the use of nuclear energy will achieve this goal.

This illogical notion is enshrined in Article IV of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which rewards signatories who do not yet have nuclear weapons with the “inalienable right” to “develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”

Now comes the international low-enriched uranium bank, which opened on August 29 in Kazakhstan, to expedite this right. It further reinforces the Article IV doctrine— that the spread of nuclear power will diminish the capability and the desire to manufacture nuclear weapons.

The uranium bank will purchase and store low-enriched uranium, fuel for civilian reactors, ostensibly guaranteeing a ready supply in case of market disruptions. But it is also positioned as a response to the Iran conundrum, a country whose uranium enrichment program cast suspicion over whether its real agenda was to continue enriching its uranium supply to weapons-grade level.

The bank will be run by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose remit is “to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy.” Evidently the IAEA has been quite successful in this promotional endeavor since the agency boasts that “dozens of countries today are interested in pursuing nuclear energy.”

A caveat here, borne out by the evidence of nuclear energy’s declining global share of the electricity market, is that far more countries are “interested” than are actually pursuing nuclear energy. The IAEA numbers are more aspiration than reality.

Superficially at least, the bank idea sounds sensible enough. There will be no need to worry that countries considering a nuclear power program might secretly shift to nuclear weapons production. In addition to a proliferation barrier, the bank will serve as a huge cost savings, sparing countries the expense of investing in their own uranium enrichment facilities.

The problem with this premise is that, rather than make the planet safer, it actually adds to the risks we already face. News reports pointed to the bank’s advantages for developing countries. But developing nations would be much better off implementing cheaper, safer renewable energy, far more suited to countries that lack major infrastructure and widespread electrical grid penetration.

Instead, the IAEA will use its uranium bank to provide a financial incentive to poorer countries in good standing with the agency to choose nuclear energy over renewables. For developing countries already struggling with poverty and the effects of climate change, this creates the added risk of a catastrophic nuclear accident, the financial burden of building nuclear power plants in the first place, and of course an unsolved radioactive waste problem.

No country needs nuclear energy. Renewable energy is soaring worldwide, is far cheaper than nuclear, and obviously a whole lot safer. No country has to worry about another’s potential misuse of the sun or wind as a deadly weapon. There is no solar non-proliferation treaty. We should be talking countries out of developing dangerous and expensive nuclear energy, not paving the way for them.

There is zero logic for a country like Saudi Arabia, also mentioned during the uranium bank’s unveiling, to choose nuclear over solar or wind energy. As Senator Markey (D-MA) once unforgettably pointed out: “Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Arabia of solar.” But the uranium bank could be just the carrot that sunny country needs to abandon renewables in favor of uranium.

This is precisely the problem with the NPT Article IV. Why “reward” non-nuclear weapons countries with dangerous nuclear energy? If they really need electricity, and the UN wants to be helpful, why not support a major investment in renewables? It all goes back to the Bomb, of course, and the Gordian knot of nuclear power and nuclear weapons that the uranium bank just pulled even tighter.

Will the uranium bank be too big to fail? Or will it even be big at all? With nuclear energy in steep decline worldwide, unable to compete with renewables and natural gas; and with major nuclear corporations, including Areva and Westinghouse, going bankrupt, will there even be enough customers?

Clothed in wooly non-proliferation rhetoric, the uranium bank is nothing more than a lupine marketing enterprise to support a struggling nuclear industry desperate to remain relevant as more and more plants close and new construction plans are canceled. The IAEA and its uranium bank just made its prospects a whole lot brighter and a safer future for our planet a whole lot dimmer.

September 13, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Kazakhstan, politics international, Reference | Leave a comment