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  • Location
    100-115km south-southeast of the village of Say-Utes in Mangystau Oblast.
  • Type
    Nuclear-Test Site
  • Facility Status

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From 1949-1989, the Soviet Union conducted more than 400 nuclear test explosions in Kazakhstan, for both military and peaceful purposes. 1 2 The majority of these tests occurred, including the first successful Soviet test in 1949, occurred at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan. 3 These tests imparted a legacy of radiation exposure to the local population, harmful environmental effects, and a negative health impacts for the people living near the testing sites. 4

The Soviet Union conducted three peaceful nuclear explosions at Say-Utes in 1969 and1970. 5


  1. Smantay Tleubergenov, Poligony Kazakhstana (Almaty: Gylym, 1997), pp. 56, 134.
  2. M. D. Nordyke, “The Soviet Program for Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Explosions,” Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 1 September 2000, www.llnl.gov.
  3. “The Soviet Union’s Nuclear Testing Program,” The Preparatory Committee for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, www.ctbto.org.
  4. James Lerager, “Second Sunset – Victims of Soviet Nuclear Testing,” Sierra: Vol. 77, No. 2, 1 March 1992.
  5. Smantay Tleubergenov, Ekologiya cheloveka (Almaty: Gylym, 1993), p. 195; Information provided to NISNP by the Kazakhstan Atomic Energy Agency, 26 October 1996; “Radiation Situation on the Territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan,” Aziya-Ezh, No. 47, November 1996, p. 23; in “Kazakhstan: Results of Radioactive Contamination Study,” FBIS-SOV-96-252-S.


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