Visit of Specialists from People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

08 June 2017

The reason for visiting was concernment of Algerian specialists in NNC experience on bringing the former STS and its infrastructure to a safe condition.

There is the former nuclear test site in Algeria. Algerian specialists currently are dealing with the same problems National Nuclear Center specialists used to deal with: that is bringing the test site to a safe condition, including remediation activities.

Such a unique experience of research and remediation activities is available in Kazakhstan and specialists from the National Nuclear Center of RK perform these operations.  

One of the main tasks that was set to NNC during its establishment was the liquidation of nuclear weapon testing infrastructure. In this sphere for the first time techniques were developed and applied on nuclear test consequences elimination at Semipalatinsk test site. These techniques enabled to prevent proliferation of mass destruction weapon and relevant materials, technologies and knowledge. STS testing infrastructure was eliminated including 181 tunnels designed for nuclear weapon testing were preserved and closed. Special technological equipment was removed, concrete and reinforced concrete protective barriers were constructed. Barriers were enhanced, an unauthorized access to residues of nuclear activity was excluded by construction of additional barriers, and boxes with RONA were filled with special binding solution.

Currently integrated ecological survey of the territory 9210 km2 (50% from total area of test site) in area was conducted. Positive expert opinion of IAEA was gained on results of “northern”, “western” and “south-eastern” territories survey at STS. Full-scale experiments were  performed at experimental “Farm”. As a result NNC specialists managed to obtain parameters of radionuclides transition to agricultural products, applied in environment conditions of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Lands that earlier were not supposed to be used were actually used. Thus, “Kazzink” Ltd. constructed Industrial Waste Polygon at “Balapan” site where earlier 105 nuclear explosions were carried out. Today 55.5 thousand tons of arsenic containing wastes had been already accepted.

These and other operations executed by NNC at the former STS were demonstrated to Algerian colleagues.

 This is their first visit and presented work results, skilled level of NNC specialists, work methods, modern hardware and methodical base were highly appraised by specialists of Algeria. Algerian specialists expressed their interest in further cooperation.