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Russian Nuclear Testing That Could Change the World

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Russian Nuclear Testing That Could Change the World

nuclear weapon testingFrom 1949 through much of the ’90s, the former Soviet Union detonated over 600 nuclear weapons in an area known as the Polygon.

Also known as the Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS), the Polygon was located in northeast Kazakhstan and was used as the primary testing grounds for Soviet nuclear weapons.

The site has been closed for nearly 20 years, but the effects of the testing have lasted the past two decades and it appears it could last for many more decades to come.

According to Struan Stevenson, the Conservative MEP for Scotland, these decades old effects can be seen throughout the Kazakhstan countryside.

Seepage from the underground tests has polluted watercourses and streams. Farmland has been heavily irradiated. Radioactive contamination has entered the food chain. Cancers run at five times the national average.

nuclear weapon testing

Birth defects are three times the national average. Babies and farm animals are born with terrible deformities. Children are mentally retarded and Down syndrome is common. Virtually all children suffer from anemia. Many of the young men are impotent. Many young women are afraid to become pregnant in case they give birth to defective babies.

Just as the Chernobyl accident had long-lasting and global impact, Stevenson asserts that the STS possesses the same environmental repercussions. “It would be a grave error to think that this problem is in a far-away country about which we know little and therefore can have no impact on us in the West. This is a man-made environmental problem of global significance.”

Referring to the environmental impact as “Stalin’s Legacy,” Stevenson states that if clean-up of the site goes unchecked, then its seepage could leak into rivers. This contamination would eventually make it out to the world’s oceans, ultimately creating a global catastrophe. To avoid such a catastrophe, Struan Stevenson is trying to bring more attention to these environmental issues through a campaign of lectures across Scotland.

If Stevenson is right, the nuclear decisions made over 60 years ago could possibly usher in a global change that would rival the effects of the comet impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Originally published on

  • Cragg

    My simple nuclear wastes safe storage system, would be best used here, due to the tonnage and the size of the radioactive lake.
    If there is such a bad problem I spoke to the United Nations three years ago about this and have yet to hear back!!

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