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Semipalatinsk poligon

Kazakhstan is a nuclear – free country, but as a heritage of the former USSR it has 3 nuclear testing grounds. The largest one is Semipalatinsk testing ground. On August 29, 1949 the first nuclear explosion in the USSR was set off on the Semipalatinsk testing ground. Until 1963 tests were conducted mainly on the surface and in the atmosphere. The consequences of these tests shocked even cynics and the tests were carried out underground. In all 456 tests with a total explosive power of 17420 klt. Were blasted in Semipalatinsk. October 19, 1989 was the last date a test was carried out on this nuclear testing site. The ancient steppe, its way of life, numerous animals and plants, all became hostages of the warfare of the powerful forces.

During the second half of the 80-s along with other processes that took place in various spheres of the changing society there was the surge for freedom. In 1988 an uprising with the demand to shut down the testing site grew into the international movement “Nevada - Semey” led by the well-known poet and public figure Olzhas Suleimenov. “Nevada - Semey” movement enlightened people and won the support and sympathy of the people all over the world. Meetings, demonstrations, letters, appeals to governments, collections of thousands of signatures, picketing at the testing sires…

At last the old system was forced to give away. The testing site is closed, but its trace still remains on our land. The region has the highest level of cancer disease, changes in the genetic structure of people and animals, the shortest life span and the highest mortality rate. There are different opinions on the solving the present situation in the area, but one is clear: it is necessary to evaluate the ecological and moral damage of the nature and health. Kazakhstan cannot solve this problem single-handed. What is more – it wouldn’t be in the interest of Kazakhstan alone. It is an issue of global importance.

The Aral Sea.

The Aral Sea is one of the most ancient lakes on Earth, with a history of 3.500 years. It was also the fourth largest lake in the world until the late 1950s. It is dying now. The sea has dropped by 16 metros and the water has become too salty. There are now three million hectares of land which were once covered by water. The climate has been affected and changed this land into desert. The ecological catastrophe led to the growth of sickness rate, dangerous demographic situation, unemployment and poverty of the people living in this area.

The Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers feed the Aral Sea. They travel through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

In the 1920s new irrigation technologies were introduced and larger – scale cotton cultivation was begun. Water from the rivers was diverted for agricultural and population needs. Until the 1950s between 50 and 60 cubic kilometers of water reached the Aral Sea each year. Since the 1960s the Aral Sea has lost almost 75 per cent of volume, and has shrunk to 75 per cent of its size. In some dry years in the 1980s no water flowed into the sea at all. The water has become over – salty and lost more most of its natural plant and animal life. The low quality of water has caused many diseases.

Annually thousands of tons of dust sand and salt are taken into the atmosphere from the deserted floor of the Aral Sea and some particles are found as far away as Canada. In 1989 a special Kazakhstan commission composed the most prominent scientists was set up. An International Public Aral Aid Fund was instituted to work out the programme on the restoration of the ecological balance in the Aral Sea basin. In 1996 the local authorities began to strengthen the Kokaral Dam.

National Geographical summed up the situation best by saying: “It has never happened within the time frame of a single generation, the disappearance of such a large body of water”.

Дата публикования: 2015-01-04; Прочитано: 750 | Нарушение авторского права страницы | Мы поможем в написании вашей работы!

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