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Accepted Paper:

Working together for the development of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site region in the context of the local environmental degradation and related socio-economics and health policies.  
Artur Antimonov (KIMEP) Mukhtar Amanbaiuly Aigerim Mussabalinova (KIMEP University) Nikita Durnev (Nazarbayev University)


How nuclear past is perceived by the local population? How is this perception related to the development of the whole region? This research delves into the intertwined dynamics of nuclear history, environmental degradation, and regional development in the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site region. Despite the acknowledged unsuitability of these sites for habitation, certain communities persist in residing there, grappling with profound challenges. This study focuses on understanding the needs of these local communities and addressing their conditions.

This paper seeks to comprehend the broader social and economic dimensions of development in the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site region through the lens of local perspectives. In contrast, previous studies primarily focused on expert disputes regarding social protection policies.

Drawing on social justice theory this paper examines the distribution of impacts and responsibilities in the context of nuclear legacies. Through 40 semi-structured in-depth interviews with diverse stakeholders including NGO representatives, local doctors, social workers, individuals affected by radiation, and active youth, it was possible to capture various viewpoints and experiences. Employing social and environmental justice frameworks, these insights elucidate the complex interplay between nuclear history, environmental degradation, and regional development. By scrutinising how environmental degradation and health issues stemming from radiation exposure contribute to the region's economic decline, this study aims to propose the concerns of the local communities and what they need in their development.

By integrating social justice principles, this study contributes to a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by regions impacted by nuclear legacies and advocates for equitable and inclusive development strategies.

Panel PUB01
Legislating the Environment: Resource-Based Economies in the post-Soviet Period
  Session 1 Thursday 6 June, 2024, -