[Al admires statue of Igor K]
04/06/10 Named after “Father of the Soviet Bomb” – nuclear physicist Igor Kurchatov -the town of Kurchatov was once the operations hub for the adjoining Semipalatinsk Test Site .
During the Cold War Kurchatov was a closed city – one of the most secretive and restricted places on earth. With the end of nuclear testing, Kurchatov’s population has fallen from over 40,000 in its heyday to around 11,000. I saw block after block of empty apartment buildings and houses.
[Abandoned apartment housing.]
[Director Dr. Erlan G. Batyrbekov of Kazakhstan’s Institute of Atomic Energy]
[Bust of Lenin in Kurchatov’s office.]