Hiroshima Peace Science Volume 26
2004 発行

A full-text english database of testimonies of those exposed to radiation near the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, Kazakhstan

Matsuo, Masatsugu
Hirabayashi, Kyoko
Tooka, Yasuyuki
Apsalikov, Kazbek Negamatovich
Hoshi, Masaharu
The present paper is a sequel to the initial report (Kawano et al 2003a) of the project for a full-text Japanese database of the testimonies of those exposed to radiation near the nuclear test site of Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan. 139 testimonies were gathered in four villages near Semipalatinsk in 2002. We translated them into English from Russian and Kazakh, and created a full-text database by using a Latin script text retrieval program, TERESA. The present paper attempts at essentially the same thing as our first report mentioned above, using the English version of the database. We attempt to show how the database can be used to understand tragic realities of the effects of exposure to radiation from nuclear tests. In the attempt, we try to demonstrate that radiation exposed residents near the test site are affected physically and mentally, by citing retrieved testimonies which complain of illness and bad health, environmental pollution, and mental disorder, resulting finally in suicide. We also try to demonstrate differences between experiences in Semipalatinsk, and those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Besides, we add our conceptual and methodological premises for conducting this kind of research, as well as some new findings concerning the radiation exposure in Semipalatinsk.