August 29, 2019 marked the 70 anniversary of the first nuclear weapons test at the Semipalatinsk test site; Since then, a number of ground and underground tests have been carried out, which led to the exposure of people living around the nuclear test site. Radioactive pollution of the environment could lead to adverse health consequences not only for directly exposed people, but also for the descendants of the exposed people.
On October 4, 2019, the international symposium «Small doses of radiation and cancer: 70 years after the first test at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site» was held in the city of Semey.
The symposium is organized by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (Lyon, France) and the Scientific Research Institute for Radiation Medicine and Ecology of the «Semey Medical University» Non-commercial joint-stock company (Semey, Kazakhstan).
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC / WHO, Lyon) and the Scientific Research Institute for Radiation Medicine and Ecology (SRI RME, Semey) attach great importance to cooperation in the study of the long-term health effects of nuclear tests at the Semipalatinsk test site.
Welcoming remarks were addressed to the conference participants:
Akim of Semey, Mr. Ermak Bidakhmetovich Salimov
Scientific Coordinator, Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization, (Geneva, Switzerland), Dr. Zhanat Carr
Vice-Rector for Scientific and Clinical Work of the NCJSC «SMU», Professor Bulegenov Tolkyn Alpysbaevich
Director of the Scientific Research Institute for Radiation Medicine and Ecology of NCJSC «SMU», Professor Muldagaliev Talgat Zhumasitovich.
Scientific reports were presented by recognized experts in the field of epidemiology, dosimetry, risk communication and molecular biology.
The international scientific community was represented by scientists from France (International Agency for Research on Cancer, National Institute for Health and Medical Research), Japan (Hiroshima University, Okayama University of Science), Germany (Federal Office for Radiation Protection), Russia (A.F.Tsyb Medical Radiology Research Center, A.I. Burnazyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center, Urals Research Center for Radiation Medicine).
From the Kazakhstan side, the Symposium was presented by scientists of the Scientific Research Institute for Radiation Medicine and Ecology of NCJSC «SMU» (Semey), and the Institute of Radiation Safety and Ecology of the NNC RK (Kurchatov).
The symposium was also attended by Kazakhstan scientists from the L. N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Semey Medical University, Shakarim State University of Semey, Center for Nuclear Medicine and Oncology of Semey.
The main goal of the symposium was to review current knowledge about radiation levels and the remote carcinogenic effects of nuclear tests, which were obtained in the course of numerous scientific studies conducted by Kazakh scientists both independently and in collaboration with international scientists for 70 years, as well as a discussion of areas for further scientific research.
These studies will be aimed at improving the health and quality of life of the affected population and their descendants, as well as deepening our knowledge about the long-term health effects of chronic exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation, which is necessary to improve radiation protection measures for the population in case of nuclear incidents.