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Re: Radiation Safety Percaution in Kazakastan

>He will be spending several weeks in a village called Semitau which is 
>located in Eastern Kazakastan.

I visited a place about 150 km north of Almaty (very close to the Chinese 
border) in 1996 (about 60 kms south of Semipalatinsk I think). It was very 
dry - rocky mountain type of nature and beautiful in a way - it was some 
military zone (my Kazakh is "kinda rusty" - didn't get too much). There are 
other dangers there (besides any Bq) that I remember: Very bad roads (they 
drive in the middle of the road regardless of direction - passing is on any 
side), too fast driving, no safety belts, vodka drinking drivers and 
whenever you find the "restroom" (little creeks with grass/bushes) - watch 
out for cobras (use a big stick and beat the grass carefully). Don't use any 
of the cab drivers at the airport (Almaty) - they are dangerous (I had to 
pay 90 USD for a 5 USD ride - I said "nyet eta normal" which approx. means 
"this is not normal" - then he threatened me with his fist - I was all alone 
- my arranged cab had failed because a prof. couldn't understand a fax in 
English and threw it away instead). Don't pick up any wallets on the 
streets. Don't take ice cubes in your drinks. Be careful with any officials 
(like the police) - some of them are very paranoid and can be upset for the 
most innocent behavior. There are more things to watch out for. So I say - 
put any radioactivity into a reasonable perspective (it may still be a good 
idea to bring Geiger counter I guess). Sorry about this off-topic set of 
condensed reflections but I wouldn't want anyone to get into unnecessary 
trouble there.

Send me an email if you are going to the ICRR in Dublin on Sunday and want 
to discuss DNA damage in relation to carcinogenesis etc.

Any opinions expressed above are those of mine and may not necessarily 
coincide with those of others.

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