Thirty years ago August 29, the main Soviet nuclear testing site, located in eastern Kazakhstan, was officially shut down. The closure was the result of a remarkable and often overlooked anti-nuclear movement that arose in opposition to Soviet nuclear tests at the Semipalatinsk site. Kazakhstan's anti-nuclear movement Nevada-Semipalatinsk was linked closely with Western anti-nuclear testing movements, and together they leveraged the Soviet testing halt to advance a series of steps that would lead to the conclusion of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996.
On the occasion of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests (Aug. 29), we invite you to a special virtual briefing on the events that led to end of nuclear testing in Kazakstan and how it helped change the course of nuclear history.
HE Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States
Speakers and Topics:
- Kazakhstan’s Closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site — Togzhan Kassenova, senior fellow with the Project on International Security, Commerce, and Economic Statecraft at the Center for Policy Research at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of the forthcoming book Atomic Steppe: How Kazakhstan Gave Up the Bomb (Stanford Press, Feb. 2022).
- The impact of Kazakhstan’s anti-nuclear movement on the global anti-nuclear movement – Mary-Wynne Ashford, International Physicians Against Nuclear War Canada.
- The impact of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site on the Soviet & US moratoriums on nuclear testing, and subsequent opening for signature of the CTBT – Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, Arms Control Association.
Moderator: Dr. Francesca Giovannini, Executive Director, Managing the Atom project at Harvard's Belfer Center. Dr. Giovannini is the author of the new article “The CTBT at 25 and Beyond” in the forthcoming September issue of Arms Control Today.
Following comments from the speakers, there will be a question-and-answer session.