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Clearing Kazakhstan's plutonium mountain

Audio 05:28
An atomic bomb exploding
An atomic bomb exploding United States Department of Energy

Scientists from Kazakhstan, the United States and Russia worked jointly for two decades to clear up the results of 40 years Soviet nuclear weapon tests, according to a report by Harvard Belfer Center. When the Soviets quit the test site in Kazakhstan's Semipalatinsk region they left behind a "plutonium mountain" big enough to make 10 atomic bombs. Siegfried Hecker, the the chief American scientist in the project, describes how the site was cleared and plutonium kept out of the wrong hands.

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