NUR-SULTAN -- Kazakhstan Thursday (August 29) marked the 28th anniversary of the presidential decree that closed the Soviet-era Semipalatinsk (now Semey) nuclear weapon testing site, Kazinform reported.
August 29 is also the International Day against Nuclear Tests, which the United Nations (UN) established in 2009.
The 1991 decree by Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan at the time, noted the approximately 500 nuclear explosions conducted at Semipalatinsk from 1949 to 1989 by the Kremlin.
Since then, the area around the former testing site has seen elevated incidences of cancer and birth defects.
In 2017, Kazakhstan opened an international reserve bank for low enriched uranium (LEU), to keep aspiring nuclear powers from enriching uranium.