Josef Stalin’s nuclear legacy remains in East Kazakhstan Scotsman.com, 9 October 2012 “…..It was over 20 years after the end of atomic testing in the Polygon that the world began to take notice, but Stalin’s legacy may yet have an impact that could threaten future generations across the globe. The mining of uranium to manufacture the atomic weapons tested in the Polygon has left a staggering 812 million tonnes of highly radioactive uranium tailings (waste byproduct). They lie in dilapidated dumps in four of the five Central Asian republics, posing not just an imminent threat to the environment but a potential flashpoint for violence and conflict.
The most dangerous radioactive waste storage sites are concentrated in the “Ferghana radioactive belt”, home to over ten million people in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Flash floods have on several occasions threatened to inundate some of these dumps, which would spread lethal radioactive pollution far and wide. The Ferghana Valley is not only one of the most polluted areas on Earth it is also one of the poorest. Continuing misuse of water resources could become a potential source of intra and even inter-state conflict between the upstream and downstream nations in the zone, in what is a seething hotbed for Islamic fundamentalism.
Stalin’s brutal collectivisation programme and rapid industrialisation of the USSR has created an atomic lake, an imploded mountain, a disappearing sea, a top-secret biological weapons-testing site, hundreds of millions of tonnes of radioactive waste, contaminated food, deformed babies and widespread illness and death. But his lasting legacy could well be regional or even international conflict. http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/books/features/josef-stalin-s-nuclear-legacy-remains-in-east-kazakhstan-1-2565733
• Readers of The Scotsman can purchase Stalin’s Legacy: The Soviet War on Nature by Struan Stevenson, published by Birlinn (RRP £20), at the special price of £15 (including free p&p in the UK), ISBN 9781780270906. Please call Booksource on 0845 370 0067 and quote reference SM912. Stevenson’s previous book Crying Forever raised around £62,000 all of which was donated via Mercy Corps to children’s hospitals and oncology hospitals in the Polygon.
Uranium or plutonium? , The Korea Times, By Andrei Lankov”….. It makes a big difference whether they test a plutonium device, as they have done twice before, or if this time we will see the first test of a uranium one. There is a major difference between the two.
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