Practical Experience in Applying Remediation Methods at the Semipalatinsk Test Site (Kazakhstan)



The paper gives estimated results of remediation efficiency in the radioactively contaminated territory by plowing soil. Efficiency of three tilling technologies has been estimated. The research showed the efficiency of soil plowing in terms of reduced surface contamination in the territory. Equivalent dose rate (EDR) levels and levels of β-particle flux density after plowing research areas, decreased, on average, by 56 and 87% respectively. Radionuclide migration is observed from top soil to underlying horizons. Maxima of activity concentrations in some research areas can occur in soil strata of 20–25 cm. The mechanical soil composition is found to change in remediated areas and humus content, which may point to the presence of both weathering processes and silt fraction and humus movement into the soil depth under gravity and by precipitation.

The paper also looks into the issue of radionuclide carry-over by plants onto the daylight soil surface and the impact of a plant root system type on this process, and an estimate is given to the influence of selected remediation technologies on the overgrowing process in remediated areas with vegetation. On the whole, it is found that soil plowing at a depth of 30 cm by overturning at 180о is a preferable technology followed by sowing with steppe vegetation. The paper also gives information on other remediation measures taken in areas contaminated with radionuclides in the territory of Semipalatinsk test site.


Radioactive contamination Remediation Semipalatinsk test site 


  1. Aidarkhanov AO, Lukashenko SN, Lyakhova ON, Subbotin SB, Yakovenko YY, Genova SV, Aidarkhanova AK (2013) Mechanisms for surface contamination of soils and bottom sediments in the Shagan river zone within former Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. J Environ Radioact 124:163–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dzhanpeisov RD, Zonov GV, Smagulov T (1990) Effect of erosion and deflation on soil cover structure of semi-deserts and deserts of Kazakhstan. Nauka Publishing House, Alma-Ata, pp 28Google Scholar
  3. Lyakhova ON, Lukashenko SN, Larionova NV, Tur YS (2012) Contamination mechanisms of air basin with tritium in venues of underground nuclear explosions at the former Semipalatinsk test site. J Environ Radioact 113:98–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Panitskiy AV, Lukashenko SN (2015) Nature of radioactive contamination of components of ecosystems of streamflows from tunnels of Degelen massif. J Environ Radioact 144:32–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Report on scientific and technical activities of the Institute of Radiation Safety and Ecology (2011) NNC RK made within the framework of measure 0346 «development of nuclear energy in the Republic of Kazakhstan« for 2010–2011: IRSE NNC RK; headed by Lukashenko SN, Report by STP – Kurchatov, p 98Google Scholar
  6. Turchenko DV, Lukashenko SN, Aidarkhanov AO, Lyakhova ON (2014) Studying of tritium content in snowpack of Degelen mountain range. J Environ Radioact 132:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Nuclear Center of KazakhstanKurchatovKazakhstan

Personalised recommendations