Semey gardeners boast 'no radiation' mutant plants 31 июля 2013, 17:03
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Gardeners of Semey city (formerly known as Semipalatinsk) believe that their berries and sunflowers are worthy of the Guinness Book of Records, Tengrinews.kz reports.
In the end of July one of the gardeners presented an unusual strawberry. It is in fact seven berries knitted into one that looks like a flower with seven petals. The man declared that he had used no chemicals to grow the strawberries. He believes the jointing of seven berries a sort of a miracle.
Another gardener grew a sunflower which is almost 3m tall. The plant has 20 heads with seeds on one stem. The plant is so high that a person of average height cannot even reach most of the heads. The gardener believes that the sunflower will grow a few more centimeters before the end of the season.
Semey city is located 150 km from the Soviet atomic bomb testing site. The Soviet Union operated the Semipalatinsk Test Site from the first explosion in 1949 until 1989. 456 nuclear tests, including 340 underground and 116 atmospheric tests, were conducted there.
Semey has suffered serious environmental and health effects from the time of its atomic prosperity: nuclear fallout from the atmospheric tests and uncontrolled exposure of the workers, most of whom lived in the city, have given Semey and neighboring villages high rates of cancer, childhood leukemia, impotence and birth defects.
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev recently urged the people to use the lands of the former Semipalatinsk test site. “I am getting reports that the territory of the testing site can already be put to use. There are 1.5 million hectares of lands. Scientists, both Kazakhstan and Russian, say that there is no radiation there and the lands can be used. There are subsoil riches at the territory as well, it is one of the richest territories. Let’s make them part of our economy again and use them to our advantage,” the President said.