29 August – International Day against Nuclear Tests


On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests. The adoption of the document was initiated by Kazakhstan, on the territory of which the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, the first and one of the largest ones in USSR, were functioned for over 40 years. 26 countries are co-authors of the resolution.

It should be recalled that militaries held at least 468 explosions on the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. The total charge strength, tested from 1949 to 1963, in 2,5 thousand times exceeded the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Radioactive clouds of 55 aerial and ground explosions and also a gaseous fraction of 160 underground tests transcended the test site. Radiation exposure happened of the whole eastern part of Kazakhstan. The health of people and ecology were injured. More than 1 million people officially recognized as victims.

It is symbolically that 29 August is the date of the first detonation of a nuclear weapon at the test site in 1949 and officially closure of the object in 1991.

The UN call to honor the memory of victims of nuclear disasters in the International Day against nuclear tests and draw the attention to modern threats of environment, world stability and humanity at all, connected with the tests of a weapon of mass destruction. The Organization highlights if the total cessation of testing happens, the world will be free from this threat.

In this context, the thorny issue about ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is raised. According to it, each State party is obliged to abandon from testing and other nuclear explosions, to prohibit and prevent such actions in its territory.

The Treaty is opened for signature from 24 September 1996, but it hasn’t got legal force yet. 184 states signed CTBT and 168 ones ratified it to date. However, only after the treaty is be ratified by 44 certain states, it may enter into force. The document was approved by 36 states from among them (including Russia, Great Britain and France, possessing the powerful nuclear capacity).