自1991年該區就封閉成為核武試爆區，而2008年9月一國際組織¬「全面禁止核子試驗條約組織」（Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization）開始在塞米巴拉金斯克核子試驗場（Semipalatinsk Site）進行一連串的儀器測試，以鑑定出核子試爆的痕跡。
Kazakstan's nuclear test zone has lain deserted for the last 20 years largely forgotten by the outside world, but experts say radiation will continue to be a health risk until the huge site is cleaned up thoroughly.
The testing ground was closed for use in 1991. This month, the international Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization is running a series of trials at the Semipalatinsk site to test equipment that can identify and give the location of nuclear explosions.
Semipalatinsk was chosen for the experiments because some of the testing can be done for real, for example checking radiation levels in the soil and atmosphere. In Kazakstan, it also is being seen as a tribute to the country's decision, soon after it became independent, to become the first state to voluntarily renounce nuclear weapons.
The persistence of high background radiation means the legacy of Semipalatinsk lives on. Academic researchers and pressure groups say the incidence of cancer, congenital defects, retarded development and psychiatric disorders in the surrounding area is much higher than in other parts of Kazakstan.
According to the cancer center for East Kazakstan Region, the disease occurs 10 to 15 percent more frequently than the national average, with a high proportion of cases falling within the 50-60 year-old age bracket - people who would have been around when nuclear testing was taking place.
Above ground blasts ended in 1962, but underground testing continued for many years until the program ended in 1989.
Some 1.7 million people are believed to have health problems caused by exposure to radiation.
These days, the radiation is at much lower levels. But experts warn that low doses and constant exposure can show up as genetic malformations. This is likely to persist until a complete clean-up is conducted over this vast testing area.