August 29, 2012

ASTANA, August 29 – The Atom Project launches in advance of the UN-sanctioned International Day Against Nuclear Tests and the international conference “From a Nuclear Test Ban to a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World” to be held in Astana & Semey, Kazakhstan, August 27-30, 2012. Conference participants include parliamentarians and leaders from scores of countries and activists from the non-proliferation movement all over the world.

The Atom Project is an international petition campaign designed to unify global public opinion against nuclear weapons testing. The Atom Project went live with short documentary and video profiles of current survivors of nuclear testing.

The Project is an initiative of The Nazarbayev Center, whose mission includes the promotion of nuclear responsibility, nuclear disarmament, and nuclear nonproliferation according to the vision of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

“We have an opportunity to once more remind the world about tragic consequences of the nuclear testing, and push the global community towards more decisive actions to achieve final and definitive ban of such testing. In this regard, Kazakhstan launches today the International campaign The ATOM Project.”

“Under the Project any human being on Earth, who is standing against nuclear weapons, can sign an online petition urging governments of the world to abandon nuclear tests forever and ensure early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Ban Treaty. I urge the participants of the conference and all the people of the goodwill to support the ATOM Project and make the creation of the non-nuclear world our main goal,” the President said.

In his turn, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle thanked President Nazarbayev for launching the Project and firmly supported it.

The Atom Project hopes to affect real and lasting change by engaging millions of global citizens to stop nuclear weapons testing by joining together to show the world’s leaders that its citizens deserve and demand a world safe from additional nuclear weapons testing.

The Atom Project will tell the tragic and hopeful stories of survivors of nuclear testing from the region of Semey, Kazakhstan, the site of more than 450 Soviet-era nuclear tests. The survivors and their children continue to suffer from illness, disease and severe deformities caused by exposure to nuclear radiation during and after the testing, which took place 100 miles outside of the city, then called Semipalatinsk.

The images of the survivors, though sometimes difficult to witness, are featured in the campaign in order to raise awareness surrounding the damage nuclear testing can cause.