Date of Award

Fall 12-1993

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Philip S. Gillette

Committee Member

John Q. Zhao

Committee Member

Donald Zeigler

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45M38


This thesis studies the radioactive contamination of Kazakhstan's environment, concentrating on the period between February 1989 and January 1993. For each type of nuclear degradation in Kazakhstan the thesis asks the questions: what is its cause and extent, what are its consequences for humans, and what are the human responses. The main causes of Kazakhstan's nuclear devastation are atomic weapons' tests, uranium mining, manufacturing of uranium fuel, and the operation of a fast breeder reactor power generator unit. The amount of radioactive contamination is colossal. The consequences for the health of the population, especially at Semey, are severe. The human responses have succeeded in stopping the testing, but additional steps should be taken. In the future Kazakhstan will need to deal with both the legacy it has inherited and with continuing nuclear activities--in order to save its land and people. Materials used in this study are in English or English translation.


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