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Russia, Kazakhstan, U.S. Hail Nuclear Test Clean-Up

Equipment housings at the nuclear explosion site P-1, in Semey, formerly Semipalatinsk, stand as a testimony to the area's nuclear history.
The presidents of the United States, Russia, and Kazakhstan have hailed the success of a project to clean up a huge Soviet-era nuclear test site in Semey, formerly known as Semipalatinsk, in Kazakhstan.

At the nuclear security summit in Seoul, Presidents Barack Obama, Dmitry Medvedev, and Nursultan Nazarbaev issued a joint statement unveiling details of the operation to secure the former nuclear site, which was used for hundreds of Soviet nuclear tests between 1949 and 1989.

Additional work was carried out after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to secure the site and prevent terrorist groups from seizing nuclear material.

In a contribution published in "The New York Times" on March 26 called "What Iran Can Learn From Kazakhstan," Nazarbaev called on Iran "to follow our lead and build a world in which the threat of nuclear weapons belongs to history."

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax