Skip to main content


Dr. Dauren Aben


November 16, 2017, 15:00

The Eurasian Research Institute invites you to participate Politics, International Relations and Security Studies Seminar titled “Social, Economic and Environmental Consequences of the Soviet Nuclear Testing at the Semipalatinsk Test Site” which will be held on 16 November, 2017 by Dr. Dauren Aben Senior Research Fellow

During the Cold War Soviet Union was at the forefront in developing, testing and building nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan played an important role in the Soviet nuclear weapons program. Kazakhstan accommodated on its territory a wide range of military and nuclear research facilities including Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site (known generally as “the Polygon”). The former USSR used an area of 18.000 square km. located 180 km west of Semipalatinsk, a city with a current population of 400 thousand as its primer venue for nuclear testing. This land has since become an environmental disaster zone. Between 1949 and the cessation of atomic testing in 1989, 460 explosions were conducted at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. The lives and health of approximately 1.6 million Kazakhstani people became the victims of the Soviet nuclear program. This tragic legacy helps to demonstrate the antinuclear sentiments of majority of people in Kazakhstan.