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Global Hibakusha

Global Hibakusha
KazakhstanMaidan Abishev
“Nevada – Semey” International Anti-Nuclear Movement
2001 World Conference against A & H Bombs, Hiroshima

The Contemporary Ecological and Radiological Situation on the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site

This year is the 10th anniversary of the closing of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.  The international antinuclear movement ?Nevada ? Semey? has done research work on the consequences of the nuclear tests at the site and carried out a program called ?Rehabilitation of the Earth and Human Beings.?The main goal of the movement today is to help rehabilitate the damaged earth and people?s health. The serious damage to the environment of the region caused by more than 500 tests has been confirmed in a report of the UN General Secretary at the 53rd Session.In order to address the problem, the Radiation, Ecology and Health Committee has been established and the committee?s experts in scientific and other fields are active in work such as monitoring of the ecological situation of the test site.The environment was polluted with nuclear fallout produced by the testing of 124 atomic and hydrogen bombs carried out above ground, at various heights.  The committee reported that nuclear clouds were monitored for only 24 of the 124 tests and that for the rest of the tests there was no monitoring and the fallout caused global contamination.About two million hectares of agricultural land were contaminated with radioactive substances.  Land contaminated with the maximum radioactive level extends as much as seven million hectares.  Villages around the test site are situated at 15 to 50 kilometers from the test site.  In comparison, the nearest village to the Nevada test site in the USA was 150 kilometers from the test site. Nuclear fallout covered a territory of 340,000 square kilometers where one million seven thousand people live.Research has shown that about 30% of the test site is contaminated with Cesium-137 and Strontium-90.  In the research, the schematic maps made by the Institute of Nuclear Safety and Ecology of the National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 1997 have been used.  According to the research, areas called Testing Field, Balapan, and Degelen within the vast test site are highly contaminated with radiation.  Other areas in the test site show notable concentration of transuranic elements, i.e. plutonium and americium, and this represents a serious danger to the people.It is necessary to find the border between polluted and unpolluted area; to research the danger of plutonium pollution and migration of radionuclides through underground and surface water; and to provide results of monitoring of water and the quality of agricultural lands.The significance of the problems facing the Semipalatinsk test site has also been confirmed by the fact that the UN General Assembly?s adoption of a special appeal on this issue.  With an initiative of the president of Kazakhstan, the appeal calls on the international community to give attention to helping the region.The environmental consequences of the atomic and hydrogen bomb tests have not been completely studied yet.  Research must be coordinated in order to grasp a complete picture of the situation.  The main measures necessary for rehabilitation are the following:- Immediate and detailed research into and rehabilitation of the territory where settlements, villages and agricultural land are located; and
- specified research into the radiological contamination level of the underground water and to define the migration of radionuclides in the biological chain, in order to take preventative measures.On 29 and 30 August this year, an international conference, ?21st Century For a World at Peace and Free of Nuclear Weapons,? will be held in Alma-Ata.  All former heads of the states that contributed to the closing of the site are invited.  The conference will address issues related to the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Global Hibakusha
KazakhstanShahantaev Akimbay
Doctor in Chief, Abralinsk District
International Symposium; “Fifty Years since the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”, August 1995, HiroshimaI will speak on behalf of the Abralinsk District, Semipalatinsk Region of the Kazakhstan Republic, where the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site is located.  I would like to extend my hearty thanks to the Organizing Committee of the Symposium for inviting me here and giving me the opportunity to speak from this podium.Fifty years have passed since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US.  We understand better than anyone the damages and sufferings caused by the atomic bomb nightmare, because we, the people living so close to a nuclear test site, have witnessed and lived with the damage of  nuclear testing.Our district is sadly well-known.  The Soviet Union had been testing its nuclear bombs here, at a place 130 km from Semipalatinsk.  These tests were conducted on the ground and in the air from 1949 to 1963, and under the ground from 1963 to 1989.The nuclear tests and all other activities of the Semipalatinsk Test Site were carried out in total secrecy, and the local people were not informed of the testing and aware of the danger and hazards of these nuclear tests and their consequences.Not only the people who lived in the areas neighboring the test site, but also those living in places like Semipalatinsk City which is more than 100 km  from the epicenter, could see the "nuclear mushrooms", due to the natural and climatic conditions around the test site.  The radioactive clouds carried by strong winds sometimes spread over the areas hundreds kilometers away from the test site.As a result of this, the people living in the Regions of Semipalatinsk, Pavrodar, Karaganda and Eastern Kazakhstan in Kazakhstan as well as the Altai Region of Russian Federation were affected by the tests.The attempt made in the 1960s by a group of scientists led by Mr. Barmukhanov to expose the harmful effects of nuclear testing on the people was subject to the strict control of a special organization.According to official data, during the period of nuclear testing, the people living in the radiation-affected areas were exposed to external and internal gamma ray radiation of 5 to 100 rem.After nuclear tests, at certain places in some residential areas, the radioactivity sometimes reached levels higher than 500 roentgen per hour.The results of a study made by the Kazakh National Research Institute of Radiology and Ecology (now called Clinic) show that, during the nuclear testing period, radioactive clouds passed over the residential areas and the people suffered from external gamma ray exposure as well as chronic internal radiation exposure by absorbing radioactive substances contained in food, water and air.After underground tests, radioactive gases leaked to the ground surface and the people were repeatedly exposed to low-level radiation.During the forty years of nuclear testing conducted at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in the Semipalatinsk Region, radioactive fallout fell several times on different residential areas, including the villages of Dolon, Cheremyshki, Mostik, Kanonerka, Znamenka, Sarzhal, Karaul and Kainar, and the people were exposed to massive amounts of radiation.It is worth noting that the ground and atmospheric tests conducted in the Delegen Mountains were accompanied with radioactive fallout  over the districts of Abaisk, Abralinsk and Zhana-Semeisk in the Semipalatinsk Region.  The residential areas such as Abarla and Kainar were under particularly unfavorable conditions.On September 24, 1951, a ground test was conducted in the Degelen District.  It was identical to the atomic explosion made in 1949.  The radioactive fallout affected mostly the people of Kainar village (radiation exposure of less than 60 rem).  In August, 1953, when the nuclear bomb exploded (with a yield of 470 kt), the people of Kainar Village was again affected, because some of them had not been evacuated to the safety zone.  By 1963, the people of these areas were affected by the radioactive fallout at least 10 times.  According to the information we could obtain, during the whole period of nuclear testing, the total radiation dose the people of Kainar were exposed to is estimated to be not less than 250 rem.The unique demographic condition of these areas, which have an extremely low population mobility, created a situation in which the people who experienced virtually all the nuclear tests made from 1949 to 1989, still live there.Such a situation naturally has had an unfavorable influence on the residents? health.The first information on the serious radiation damage suffered by the people of Kainar Village was obtained in 1957 by an Academy member, S.B. Barmukhanov.  Despite the prohibition, he and Professor T.D. Atchabarov sent a medical investigation team to these areas.  We have got the report of their investigation findings.  Barmukhanov found out that specific syndromes that appeared in the form of bleeding from gums, mucous membrane, nose and intestines were mainly observed among 30 to 40% of the people of Kainar Village.  Fall of hair, extreme fatigue, general weakness and loss of working abilities were also concentrated among these people.  As the people themselves pointed out, they had never had any of these diseases before the nuclear testing began.  The sequela of these diseases were named "Kainar Syndromes".   It is worth noting that these radiation troubles seen among the people living close to the test site later began to appear among the people of other areas.S.B. Barmukhanov also discovered the symptoms of skin aging among the people of Kainar for the first time.After the government in Moscow published a report in 1958, S.B. Barmukhanov was ordered to revise the report of his own investigation, but he refused to do so.  As a result of this, medical investigation in the Abaisk and Abralinsk districts was banned.This is a brief history of the village where I work now.From 1961, a special medical institution called the "Fourth Dispensary of the Health Ministry of the USSR", set up upon the order of the government in Moscow, secretly conducted investigation on the health conditions of the people of Kainar Village.After the declassification of archives in 1991, the findings of this investigation was made available for us.  Most people living in the Abralinsk District and Kainar Village receive medical examination at the Clinic.Six to 10 years after the basic radiation exposure period (1960 to 1965), the oncological morbidity and mortality rates of the people of these areas radically increased.  At its first peak (1965), the oncological mortality rate was as high as 300 to 350 for a population of 100,000.   The major causes of death were tumors in stomach, intestines and lungs and leukemia.  The second peak was observed between 1970 and 1975, 19 to 25 years after the radiation exposure.  During this period, the oncological mortality rate of the people of Kainar was raised to 300 per 100,000.  The mortality rate from tumors caused by radiation was 184 per 100,000 (1983).The infant mortality rate in Kainar Village dramatically increased because of the effect of radiation which the village people were exposed to in the early years and the following period:  98 deaths out of 1000 newborn babies 2 to 9 years after the radiation exposure, and 82 out of 1000, 22 to 25 years after the exposure.Genetic radiation aftereffect on the people of Kainar Village was the cause of the increase in the incidence of growth disorders (congenital  disability) observed among newborn babies.  There were some years when the growth disorder incidence of newborn babies reached 1.9 to 2.6%.  The fact that growth disorders consisted in their major part of microcephalia and growth disorder of the skull provides clear evidence that the increase in these disorders was caused by radiation.  There are 3200 children in the Abralinsk District and 149 of them are handicapped and have serious congenital abnormalities.  Among minor and adult members of the people of the Kainar Village, immuno-deficiency, leukemia and lymphatic tumors have almost continuously appeared.  These diseases have weakened the defense mechanism of the human body and caused an increase in the incidence of (mortality from) infectious diseases especially among children.In addition, the special medical investigation findings provided proof that in the Abralinsk District, including Kainar Village, 17 to 25 years after the radiation exposure, the involution syndrome, which is a congenital disorder, began to appear among the people.  This syndrome causes dysfunction of blood vessels and leads to arterial sclerosis.Despite the fact that more than 40 years have passed since the beginning of nuclear testing, radiation continues to affect the people's health.The investigation carried out by the Kazakh National Research Institute of Radiology and Ecology from 1993 to 1994, showed a high morbidity rate among minor and adult members of the people of Kainar Village.  The number of diseases per capita reached unprecedented high levels: 13 to 14 for children and 11 to 12 for adults.  The average incidences of cardio-vascular, infectious, endocrinal, mental, blood and hematopoietic diseases are twice or even three times higher than the averages for the non-exposed and the entire republic.  The most frequent oncological diseases are cancers in mammary glands, stomach and intestines.  The incidence of mammary gland cancer of Kazakh women in Kainar Village increased by 10 or 15 times since 1980 and is now 20 to 28 cases for a population of 100,000.  The infant mortality rate remains at high levels: 46 to 52 per 1000 for the newborn babies of the radiation-exposed parents.The extent of the damage caused by nuclear testing is so considerable that it is not possible to eliminate it completely.  It can only be reduced or eased.  But even this needs a lot of money and resources as well as time.It is time to grasp the tragic situation created by nuclear testing in these areas and enact relevant laws, but this coincides with a period in which the republic is going through an aggravated economic crisis.The efforts made for the registration of radiation victims have therefore hardly progressed and radioecological monitoring has not yet been implemented.  In addition, there is no national program for medical and social rehabilitation of the sufferers.  The "Law on Social Support for Nuclear Test Sufferers of Semipalatinsk Test Site" has been only partially enforced.In the Semipalatinsk Region alone, there are about 850,000 registered sufferers.The problems related to the consequences of the nuclear testing on the people and the environment are multiple and it is difficult to cover them all in one speech.Kazakhstan is the first and only country among the nuclear weapon states to ban nuclear testing and it closed the test site where nuclear tests had been conducted most frequently in the world.Semipalatinsk now needs international support for eliminating the damage of nuclear testing, especially for implementing urgent measures for medical and social rehabilitation.The Union of Nuclear Test Victims is cooperating with physicians and doctors who are able to carry out this work.  It also requires medical equipment, medicines and funds.We thank all of you who have supported the sufferers of the Semipalatinsk Test Site.  On behalf of my fellow countrymen, I would like to make a proposal to set up an international fund for the reconstruction of the Abralinsk District.Nuclear test victims, eminent scholars, representatives of social movements and non-governmental organizations from all over the world are taking part in this symposium.  We request you, dear participants, that you urge your own state and government, international organizations and world opinion to take every measure useful for totally banning and eliminating nuclear weapons.We must never allow a repetition of the tragedies of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Semipalatinsk.  Let all the people of the world know the realities of the damages caused by the use and testing of nuclear weapons.  The states and governments that have produced and tested nuclear weapons should take the responsibility of compensating for the damage and victims of nuclear weapons.We must unite ourselves to achieve these goals.  This is our duty for the nuclear test victims and future generations.  Thank you for your attention.

Global Hibakusha
KazakhstanUrkys Ilieva
International Association of Women of Orient
1997 World Conference against A & H Bombs, Hiroshima
 Dear friends, and those who are struggling for a nuclear free world,Environmental condition in Kazakhstan is ranked by the United Nations as one of the most problematic situations in the world.  Our country is surrounded by nuclear test sites including Semipalatinsk, Lop Nor, Kapustin, Yar and Baikonur.  I would like to thoroughly examine nuclear tests conducted in the Lop Nor test site in China, as well as test records and uninspected test results.Threat of nuclear arms expansion in China would not have occurred without assistance from the former Soviet Union.  That was prepared by more than 60 nuclear physicists with master's degrees in a nuclear research center in Dubna City in Moscow State.  It was realized under cooperation between China and the Soviet Union before 1960, or before the Soviet Union transferred production technology for nuclear weapons to China.  Immediately, China mobilized all its resources, and five years later it completed production of a nuclear bomb near the Lop Nor Lake in northwestern China. Three years later, after generals started nuclear tests, young scientists and generals participating the nuclear development project lost their hair and became sick.  Later, generals ordered to strengthen the measures against radioactivity.When China conducted its first nuclear test in the Lop Nor test site, physicists of the Al Farabi Kazakhstan National University launched an observation balloon to a high altitude in the suburb of Alma-Ata in order to record the level of radioactivity.  Almost all the radioactive clouds passed through Alma-Ata.  A series of observation and research by the National Science Academy in Kyrgyztan following the underground explosion of a nuclear bomb in Lop Nor showed that small radioactive particles reached a mountainous region in Kyrgyztan in 20-40 kiloton explosions.  They also showed that a larger explosion of 1.5 megaton in May 1992 strongly affected radioactivity near Bishikek.Physicists in Kyrgyztan showed that the amount of radioactive nuclide accumulation in a glacier during atmospheric nuclear tests in the Lop Nor test site is surprisingly bigger than during atmospheric tests conducted in any other test site by 1963.  We believe all the nuclear-armed superpowers will follow suit of Kazakhstan, a multi-racial nation that closed down the Semipalatinsk test site.International Association of Women of Orient has held conversations, lecture meetings and seminars in the south of Kazakhstan for the past year since the end of the World Conference against A- and H- Bombs in Hiroshima in 1996.  We distributed 10,000 leaflets, and collected more than 50,000 signatures for the "Appeal from Hiroshima and Nagasaki".  We also published in English as well as in Russian pamphlets titled "What we know about the Lop Nor test site?" which carry materials on the test site, and the Hiroshima Declaration adopted at the 1996 World Conference.  More than 700 women have joined our organization since we attended the 1996 World Conference.We Kazakhstan women hope to join hands with action-taking Japanese women and other women from all over the world.  Our organization, together with all the other anti-nuclear forces, will firmly protect the world from threat of nuclear weapons. International Association of Women of Orient agrees on elimination of nuclear weapons from the Earth.  We hope our planet will remain green and covered with flowers.  And we will make efforts for respect of each other, equality and justice.

Global Hibakusha
KazakhstanFeat Ismailov
1999 World Conference against A & H Bombs, HiroshimaDear friends - delegates to the conference,My name is Feat Ismailov.  I come from Kazakhstan.  I was born and grew up in a small town of Ayaguz in the Semipalatinsk Region.  I have lived in this region for almost 30 years.  Because of the absence of information and total secrecy we, residents of this area in the Semipalatinsk region were quite unaware about the danger of radiation for human beings, and about contamination of environment by radioactive pollution as a result of nuclear explosions.I for one clearly remember that while living in that part of the country my friends and I often used to go out of town for picnics, gathered wild berries in the woods, went to the river for a swim.  There were so many berries on the hills.  Sometimes we were really amazed by the abundance of berries, now I understand that they definitely might have been radiation effected.  But because of the absence of any information we were quite unaware about this.  In my childhood I heard stories told by eyewitnesses of nuclear warfare tests.My neighbour, who lived next door, had served his army term in the military security unit in the Semipalatinsk Test Site at the beginning of its operation as a nuclear test site.  He used to tell us, children, then not knowing anything about the effects of atomic tests, his stories with so much admiration at the "beauty" of the nuclear mushroom and also such a bright flash so that right after it day turned into night.  That man only lived up to 45 years of age.All my close relatives: brothers and sisters suffer from various diseases of internal organs such as stomach, liver, and pancreas.  I think the reason for this is the bad consequence of nuclear tests.  While I was living in Semipalatinsk region I often had headaches; I also think that another bad effects of nuclear tests is that I suffer from an ulcer which was diagnosed in 1989.  I also remember that so many times windows were broken by the blast in the course of those tests.It is quite obvious to me that the health of the population in rural districts surrounding the test site has been greatly damaged by the effects of radiation after atomic tests.  Not only people who themselves had been exposed to radiation, but also their descendants suffer from diseases not known to their ancestors, such as psychic disorders, mental retardation, various types of abnormality, cancer diseases, immature pregnancy.No measures were take to protect the local population from radiation, no medical investigation was conducted at that time.  Military officials did not notify the local population about forthcoming tests. Medical specialists were not allowed to diagnose correctly diseases connected with the effects of radiation.My family was confronted with this problem when our younger daughter Renata was born.  She was born in the town of Ayaguz in Semipalatinsk oblast on May 9, 1982.  Right after her birth it became quite evident that she has in-born pathology of upper and lower extremities (shortening and curvature).  Later on chest scoliosis started developing.  At present Renata is 17 years of age, she is only 82 cm. tall, her weight is 14 kilograms.  In spite of the fact that she is physically handicapped she is intellectually normally developed.  She was taught at home and finished Senior High School with honors.  Renata writes poems, she has taken part in local and all-country competitions for young poets.  She has taken to drawing and painting recently.  Now I have some of her paintings with me, she asked me to give them to the museum of Hiroshima.For 17 years, we have been carrying our daughter in our arms as if she were a newborn child.  I would never wish anyone to have such a personal tragedy.  Renata also received an invitation to this conference, but she was not able to come to Japan and speak to you for doctors recommend her not to travel long distances.But still she is full of determination and hope to meet with you in the future.  In our country at present thousands of atomic test victims remain with no support from the government.  Although the legislation has been adopted "on rehabilitation of the population who suffered from nuclear tests", because of constrained economic situation in the country, this legislation is not effective yet {is not working}.  Scientific-technical progress in modernization of nuclear weapons and its testing caused innumerable hardships to the environment and millions of people.  To abolish nuclear weapon testing and its application has just become a must.On the eve of the third millennium mankind should re-consider some of its achievements in science and technology and cast aside everything that brings damage to people and nature.  Environment protection should occupy the first place among human kind's urgent problems.  My family and I are firmly determined to fight for the nuclear- free Planet, not only in Kazakhstan, but throughout the whole world.  We will spread the ideas of Hiroshima Conference.NO MORE HIROSHIMAS, NO MORE NAGASAKIS!

Global Hibakusha
KazakhstanRenata Izmailova
Disabled Children’s Facility “Alpamys”
2000 World Conference against A & H Bombs, HiroshimaDear friends,
The participants of the conference,I am Izmailova Renata.  I was born in Ayaguz of Semipalatinsk oblast.  That is very beautiful wide steppe area.  Once herds of horses pastured there freely, proud camels walked and kites floated high in the sky.  People lived happily in absolute harmony with nature.  Unfortunately, the happiness of those people and their lives were disturbed with the appearance of the nuclear test site.In August 1947, the Soviet government reached the decision to make Semipalatinsk nuclear test range.  During the 40 years of its existence, thermonuclear and hydrogen weapons were tested.  The biggest number of explosions were made from 1964 to 1989.  I was born in 1982 and, of course, the test site left an indelible mark in my life.  I am a victim of the nuclear tests.  In my childhood, I often stayed at home alone.  Other children went to playgrounds, which were intended for healthy children.  In winter, the sun went down early and I was lying in the dark room and was crying.  I was sad and didn?t understand why other children played and laughed, and I didn?t.Growing up, I began to understand my state.  I was taught at home according to school curriculum.  The teachers came and told me lots of interesting things.  But I always wanted to go to school.When I see children of my age I want to walk along the street, visit libraries and take part in everyday life like other people.  The nuclear tests put an end to such hopes.  Despite illness, however, I try not to get depressed.  I have successfully completed secondary school and I have friends.   I like painting and composing poems.  I like animals and going to the country.I want to ask a question to those people who stand on the side of making nuclear weapons.  ?Do you want to have such a generation??I am very thankful to the people who gave me a chance to take part in the conference.

Global Hibakusha
KazakhstanRenata Izmailova
Message to 1999 World Conference against A & H Bombs, HiroshimaDear delegates participating in the World Conference!The problem of nuclear tests and the damage they cause is a very real one. Contrary to common sense, some countries are still continuing nuclear tests, and this greatly reduces the possibility of living in peace and health for the next generation!I am still amazed at the gigantic scale of the nuclear tests that are conducted. The entire planet where we live has been turned into a testing site.The manufacture, testing and proliferation of nuclear weapons is a crime not only against the human race but also against nature, the creator and the rule of life in this world. We were not created to have arms races all over the world!We must all understand and recognize that we were born to live in harmony and mutual understanding with Nature.  We must also understand that weapons, especially nuclear weapons, have never and will never bring about a good outcome.  If we go ahead and use nuclear weapons then that will be followed by nuclear winter.  In that case, all life on earth, and perhaps the very earth itself will perish and disappear for ever!If the next generation is not provided with the basic conditions of existence, then it is meaningless to talk about their well-being.With each additional nuclear test, the human race takes two steps backward. The first step is the damage to human health and the threat to life.  And the second is the threat to the earth itself!We must not take any more steps backward.  Nuclear weapons must be completely destroyed so that we can forget that they ever existed.  We must put an end to this stupidity, while our planet is still willing to endure the recklessness of her children!I love to live, and I love humans very much! And I would like everyone to understand a simple fact.  That is that beauty is all around us: in our everyday life and in Nature that surrounds us. I would like everyone to understand the pleasure of greeting the rising sun, the freshness of the flowers and the grass and the splendor of the clear blue sky.Together let us defend them all!

Global Hibakusha
KazakhstanAlyona Kuidina
Anti-nuclear Ecological Public Fund “Phoenix”
2000 World Conference against A & H Bombs, HiroshimaMy name is Alyona Kuidina.  I represent the Ant-inuclear Ecological Public Fund ?Phoenix?.I heard for the first time about the Japanese tragedy when I was 10 years old, but I couldn?t realize that in my land we had one of the most terrible things of humanity ? the Semipalatinsk test site.  I was 11 years old when I saw pictures of victims, which were taken by my father.  I think you have seen my father?s photo exhibition in the hall of the Conference.  It?s called ?Kazakhstan Nuclear Tragedy.?  My father, Yuri Kuidin is no longer with us, but we still have his pictures as a silent witness of this sorrow.  It?s a weird thing, but in the territory of Kazakhstan, we had not only the Semipalatinsk test site but also several small ones, secret ones.  For many years people didn?t know the truth.The truth was proved with the photos and the work of the organization of Nevada-Semipalatinsk.  When we found out about other test sites in Kazakhstan we decided to invite organizations which would tell the world and show the true picture of victims? lives and which would do their best to help these people.  After this the Fund ?Phoenix? was established and its first work, the photo album ?Kazakhstan Nuclear Tragedy?, was published.  Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev brought 300 copies of this photo album to the U.N. General Assembly, where the resolution on rehabilitation of this region was adopted.  As a result of this, about 1 million 6 hundred people have been helped.Seeing the horrors of victims? lives when they don?t have money to buy medicine, food, clothes, when they don?t have friends we decided to publish addresses of children who are suffering from this or other test sites and who people can help on the internet (www. phoenix.org.kz).  I think if everyone helps at least one child we?ll make this world better.I?d like to emphasize once more the importance of the elimination of all nuclear weapons.  Look at the pictures of the children: they are vivid examples of what would happen to our next generation if we don?t stop the government.  And the elimination of nuclear weapon and their remains is our priority.  You cannot see the radiation, you cannot feel it and you cannot touch it, but the consequences of it are terrible.The Fund ?Phoenix? is planning to publish another photo album, on Chinese test sites ?Lop-Nor? and ?Azgir? and consequences of explosions on these test sites.  We are also planning to publish more addresses of victims of Azgir test site territory and to continue educational programmes. I?d like to thank all of you who share your thoughts and ideas about peace with me.  Let?s continue to struggle for a nuclear free future!

Global Hibakusha
KazakhstanKulimkhan Rakhimova
Union of Nuclear Test Victims
1998 World Conference against A & H Bombs, Hiroshima

Assessment of Health Condition of People of the Semipalatinsk Region Who Have Repeatedly Suffered External and Internal Exposure to Radiation

Nuclear tests were repeatedly conducted in the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site since 1949.  As a result, a part of the population in the region was made to live in a highly radioactive area.  Geographically closest to the test site are Abaisky, Beskaragaisky, Janasemeisky and Abrarinsky districts.  Radioactive contamination was not limited to the above but spread to the Chubartauski and Borodulichinski districts.  The testing period can be categorized into two parts according to the level of radiation these people were exposed to.  The first period is from 1949 to 1965 when atmospheric tests and tests erupting and blowing off soil above ground were conducted.  The second is from 1965 to 1989 when all tests were conducted underground.  It is said that in the former period, the atmospheric tests from 1949 to 1953 caused the greatest radiation damage to people living in the region.  During this period, an enormous amount of radiation accumulated in the land, which later brought about awful consequences.According to official data issued by the military, the nuclear tests conducted in the Semipatatinsk test site totaled approximately 500: 166 atmospheric and above-ground tests plus underground ones.  When we assess the health condition of the residents and environmental damage in these areas, we have to take the following points into consideration as causes of the contamination.   The above-ground tests
   The atmospheric tests
   The hydrogen bomb test in 1953
   The underground testsThe exposure of the population in the Semipalatinsk Region is characterized by a combination of exposure causing acute symptoms and chronic ones.  Because of the lack of sufficient safety measures, our soil, water sources and food were heavily polluted.  No medical survey with a clear purpose had been conducted until 1962.  Courageous specialists who questioned the safety of people living in these areas were expelled.In 1962 Semipalatinsk Radiation Clinic started a medical study which covered 10,000 people living in 14 residential areas of the three districts of Abaiski, Beskaragaiski and Zhana-Semeisky.  It was made clear by the long years of medical observation on their  health condition that disorders of the circulatory and neurological systems were  conspicuous.  The study also revealed that due to the nuclear tests, their longevity decreased by 10 years and they were aging quickly.According to epidemiological research, both morbidity and mortality rates of tumors among people living nearby the test site increased dramatically first in the period from the 4th to the 15th year and then from the 23rd to the 27th year since it was begun.  Annual average morbidity of tumors is found to be 40% higher than that of those who were not exposed to radiation.Data compiled by the Regional clinic of oncology showed that the number of leukemia patients in the Semipalatinsk Region grew sevenfold from 1975 to 1985 compared with the previous decade.  Long-term environmental damage has affected their genes and caused congenital deformities and developmental abnormalities.The incidence of chromosome aberrations in leukocytes among people living in the Semipalatinsk Region is 4.5 to 5 times higher than those not exposed to radiation.  Congenital deformities came to account for 6.4 % of all diseases and 2.3 to 7.3 % of deaths in the period between 1986 to 1988.  The number of children with diseases of the neural system or mental disorders is increasing.  The birth of babies with mental and/or physical disabilities is increasing.We surveyed the medical history of three families (the Tleubekov family, the Syzudykov family and the Baiguzhiknov family) living in Karaul village of the Abaiski district and in the Semipalatinsk Region.  Their ancestors who had lived there for 4 to 7 generations before from now all led healthy lives and lived long.  The tragedy for these families began to happen in 1949 and still continues.The incidence of disorders of the endocrine system in 1985-1989 was 26.7% among  these people whose families lived here for generations.  Of them, Enlik Tleubekova, born in 1978, is suffering from disorders of the endocrine system.  Though she is 20 years old, she looks like only a 4 year-old girl.  She was diagnosed as having a serious case of congenital hypothyroidism.  She has bad physical and mental retardation.Until 1949, the family was physically fit and lived long.  The key to their health and longevity can be considered to have been clean air, safe food and proper labor.  In those days, because of there being no factories to pollute the environment, soil, air and water were all clean.  Then the cause of dying young was at most the prevalence of epidemics.During the years when above-ground and underground tests were conducted, the Tleubekova family lived in an area considered to be heavily contaminated by radiation.  They were exposed to radiation externally and internally.  They consumed meat, milk and water contaminated by strontium 90 and cesium 137.  I think this is why  Enlik?s relatives and father died; her mother and niece got sick and her pituitary gland became unable to function properly.In addition, let me talk about Berik Syzdykov whose life has been tragic.  Berik is a victim of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.  He is 19 years old but he is short in height.  He is blind from birth.  His entire face is swollen with tumors.  His story has appeared in the paper of the Reuters.  We traced back the history of Berik?s family and found they moved from China to Znamenka Village in 1962.  In 1963, there was a nuclear explosion test which brought about the release of a large amount of radiation.  At the time of the testing, Berik?s father was grazing his sheep inside the test site.  Berik is an outgoing and cheerful person in spite of his handicap and has many friends in Italy.  When I talked with him, I noticed that he had good ears and memory.  He reads books in braille and speaks Italian a little bit.Thanks to the support of Mr. Olzhas Suleimenov, a leader of anti-nuclear movement of Kazakhstan, Berik has been receiving medical treatment in Italy.  His family is very much grateful to Ms. Retana Yosnameru in Albanera City, Italy, who has kindly hosted Berik and taken him to the hospital.I also would like to express our gratitude to Dr. Chieko Uto, pediatrician, her family and friends in Japan for your spiritual and material support to us on behalf of Aizhan Dzhampozyck, Nurdzhan Dzampozych, Anara Salimbetova, Olzhas Baiguzhinov, Asem Kalibasova, Schichali Kasenova, Asei? Kasenov, Arman Rachimov, Erbol Rachimov, Asei? Achmetkaliev, Ernur Achmetkahev, and children in Semipalatinsk.I would like to conclude my speech, citing the words of Nadezhda Rublyova, a journalist as saying, ?Our homeland is woman.  Our history originates from woman and so does the earth.  We must protect her with all our might if you wish to enrich the earth?.

Solidarity with Hibakusha

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