U.S. Journalists: Apply for IRP Reporting Trip to Kazakhstan by MIDNIGHT Tonight!

IRP's trip in August to focus on nuclear issues in this Central Asian nation.

Kazakhstan 2013


April 19, 2013

OSI staff measure the electrical conductivity of the ground to identify disturbances related to an underground nuclear explosion.

Photo: The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)

The International Reporting Project (IRP) is now accepting applications from U.S. journalists for a media reporting trip to Kazakhstan, a huge but little-known Central Asian country whose government has been active in global nuclear nonproliferation talks. The trip, which will take place on August 3-14, 2013, is a unique opportunity to visit a key country of 17 million persons bordering Russia and China.

The trip is open to editors and reporters from all U.S. organizations, as well as to U.S. freelancers with an interest in nuclear security and proliferation issues. All candidates must fill out an application form, which includes an essay describing their interest in participating in the trip. The deadline for applications is June 14.

Kazakhstan, the world’s largest producer of uranium, was the world’s fourth largest nuclear power when it became independent 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Years of Soviet nuclear tests near the now-shuttered Semipatlatinsk test site left a legacy of radiation-related health issues that are still unresolved. President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s government recently hosted talks on Iran’s nuclear program and has proposed its own country as a site for a global nuclear fuel bank to be operated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In addition to examining nuclear issues, the IRP trip will also look at Kazakhstan’s political and economic status, examine the country’s environmental problems such as the drying up of the Aral Sea, look at the nation’s energy potential and examine civil society issues.

More than ten metric tons of highly enriched uranium and three metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium in Kazakhstan are secured in long-term storage.

Photo: National Nuclear Security Administration

The International Reporting Project (IRP) will select up to 11 U.S. journalists on this trip. All selected journalists will be asked to gather in Washington D.C. on Saturday, August 3, for a lunch briefing with an expert speaker on Kazakhstan. The group’s flight will depart that evening. Participants will return to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday August 14.

Participants are responsible for paying their own way between their home cities and Washington, DC. The IRP will cover all of the costs of the participants’ visas, air travel and accommodations in Kazakhstan, as well as meals that are part of the program schedule.

Journalists will be strongly encouraged to post stories during and after the trip. Multimedia content and social media posts during the trip will be encouraged. All of the material produced by the participants on the trip will be posted on the IRP site and co-owned by the IRP and the journalists or their organizations.

Applicants must have a passport that is valid for travel for at least six months following the end of the trip. All applications must be received at the IRP office by June 14, 2013. If you have questions about the application process, please contact us at irp@jhu.edu.

Read our frequently asked questions and apply for the Kazakhstan trip by June 14!