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Cleaning up and moving on: Kazakhstan's 'nuclear renaissance'

Alexander, Catherine

Cleaning up and moving on: Kazakhstan's 'nuclear renaissance' Thumbnail



How do we reconcile a resilient nuclear past with what appears to be a radiant nuclear future? Kazakhstan has freed itself from the legacy of the Cold War - contaminated lands and radiation-related pathologies - to move forward. Cleaning, after all, can indicate either removing contamination or simply cashing out. Is the reconfiguration of the relationship between the city and the test site another example of the post-industrial city of Kurchatov reinventing itself and putting itself on the map - or is there something special or exceptional about the nuclear work, heritage, towns and people? The article shows that sometimes there are insurmountable tensions in state actions to ensure the security of both a particular version of the nuclear past on Kazakh soil and the nuclear future as a distinctly Kazakh enterprise. This, in turn, affects the ability of the city of Kurchatov to rebuild its relationship with the site and move forward.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 14, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 15, 2021
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Feb 12, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 12, 2023
Journal Bulletin of the Kazakh National Women's Teacher Training University
Print ISSN 2306-5079
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Article Number 84
Pages 113-125
Public URL
Publisher URL


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