June 21, 2023

The Mazhilis adopted a document on the Semipalatinsk nuclear safety Zone


The deputies of the Mazhilis adopted the law “On the Semipalatinsk nuclear Safety Zone” in the second reading, as well as related documents.

The draft law was developed in order to ensure an appropriate level of radiation and environmental safety on the territory of the former Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and adjacent lands, strengthen state control over the use of the lands of the former nuclear test site, rehabilitate the territory, develop the scientific potential of the country, strengthen the position of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The bill provides for the creation of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Safety Zone (NWFZ) with a special legal regime in the territories subjected to excess radioactive contamination.

The draft law also establishes the goals, objectives, the procedure for the creation and functioning of the NWSS, the competence of the Government, the authorized body, state and local executive bodies.

During the work on the bill for the second reading, the deputies made amendments aimed at:

1) clarification of the tasks of creating the NWF;

2) establishment of the principles of legislative regulation of the activities of the NWF, which includes the principle of safety to ensure a qualitative and reliable analysis of the radioecological situation during a comprehensive environmental survey;

3) clarification of the competence of state bodies in the field of the creation and functioning of the NWSS;

4) clarification of the competence of the authorized body for the registration (re-registration) of the passport of the NWFZ territory and the development and approval of a methodology for conducting a comprehensive environmental survey of land plots where nuclear weapons tests were carried out.

A number of new proposals are aimed at clarifying the procedure for appointing an authorized organization to ensure the functioning of the NWFZ, from among state-owned enterprises under the jurisdiction of the authorized body.

In order to carry out state control and supervision over compliance with sanitary and epidemiological requirements aimed at protecting the health of citizens in the NWFZ, as well as to conduct a sanitary and epidemiological examination of the materials of a comprehensive environmental survey justifying the boundaries and areas of NWFZ land plots and their changes, the relevant competencies of the state body in the field of sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population were established.

During the discussion at the meetings of the working group, part of the norms of the draft law was concretized and editorially improved, the text of the draft law was brought into line with the rules of legal technique and rule-making practice.

The working group received more than 150 amendments, which were considered at eleven meetings of the working group and two extended meetings of the Committee with the participation of representatives of interested ministries, departments and the RSE “National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan”. In the final comparative table, all amendments have been accepted.