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Ready at last for cleaning up Kyrgyzstan’s old uranium sites

Kyrgyzstan one step closer to remediation of uranium legacy sites, 18 August 2017BISHKEK (TCA) — The EU welcomes the swift ratification by Kyrgyzstan of an agreement that allows environmental remediation in a number of uranium legacy sites in the country to go ahead, the Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic said on August 18.

All the basic conditions are now in place to start actual remediation work. Support has been provided to the Kyrgyz Government on the matter as part of the EU’s environmental strategy for Central Asia. The importance of these initiatives was once more confirmed in June when the EU discussed the overall progress of this environmental strategy.

The areas concerned are the uranium legacy sites of Min-Kush, Shekaftar and Mailuu-Suu. The EU has funded technical studies and environmental impact assessment. These studies allow remediation work to first start in Min-Kush and Shekaftar.

It is now clear what needs to be done to improve the living conditions in the areas. Remediation work will be implemented through the EBRD managed multilateral Environmental Remediation Account for Central Asia (ERA). The EU is currently the only contributor to the ERA fund with an initial contribution of €16.5 million.

The preparatory work done so far is also supported by a Strategic Master Plan for Environmental Remediation of Uranium Legacy Sites in Central Asia. This plan was prepared under the leadership of the IAEA and it has further strengthened the technical basis on which the activities are to be done.

As a next step, the Kyrgyz Government is asked to set up the necessary structures to manage the projects. Technical assistance will be provided.

The Strategic Master Plan will be signed in September during the IAEA’s General Conference. At the same time in New York a special event will take place to further explain and discuss the progress made following a UN resolution of 2013 calling for international support to mitigate the risks in Central Asia as a result of the uranium legacy.

August 19, 2017 Posted by | environment, Kyrgyzstan | Leave a comment

Danger of Kyrgyzstan’s uranium-polluted rivers extends way beyond national borders

the more we delay the process of lands reclamation and conservation, the more risk of trans-border catastrophe we have

 the country has 92 tailing dumps with the total volume of 254.4 million cubic meters (457 billion tons) of mining wastes.

Kyrgyzstan’s uranium-polluted rivers threaten Central Asia , 30.10.2012, Pollution of Kyrgyzstan’s water resources with the wastes of uranium tailing dumps poses a threat to the whole Central Asian region, KazTAG reports.

“Regional risks of degradation and destruction of the uranium tailing dumps are related to a whole range of factors, especially since many of the dumps are located very close to water resources. Since they are located at the river heads (of the rivers that start in Kyrgyzstan),
the potential catastrophe may cause major mass and ecological disasters and have a long-term effect on health of millions of people in the lower reaches of the rivers,” first Vice-PM of Kyrgyzstan Dzhoomart Otorbayev said at the international conference called
Uranium tailing dumps in Central Asia: Join Efforts on Lowering Risks on Wednesday, October 24. Continue reading

November 12, 2012 Posted by | Kyrgyzstan, Uranium, wastes | Leave a comment

KYRGYZSTAN highly polluted by uranium tailings

KYRGYZSTAN: Mailuu-Suu ranked third in the list of world’s worst polluted places URANIUM TAILINGS 8 Dec 09  URANIUM.KG Mailuu-Suu in Kyrgyzstan ranked third in the list of the world’s worst polluted places according to the report issued by the New-York-based of Blacksmith Institute for 2009.This list, which is compiled annually, is formed from 1100 geographical spots, where state of environment causes serious concern Continue reading

December 15, 2009 Posted by | environment, Kyrgyzstan | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kyrgyzstan suffering from uranium tailings pollution

Kyrgyzstan makes progress on toxic dumps but needs to do much more – UN expert  Web Newswire October 12, 2009

Kyrgyzstan has made progress in addressing the significant problems of radioactive and toxic waste dumps and in raising international awareness of the serious trans-boundary threats of contamination of groundwater and rivers, but much more remains to be done, a United Nations expert reported today. Continue reading

October 11, 2009 Posted by | 1, Kyrgyzstan, wastes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive uranium tailings problems in Central Asia

PM: We expect prompt decisions on Kyrgyz uranium tailings from our foreign partners 28/09-2009 Bishkek – News Agency “”, By Daniyar KARIMOV
“We expect prompt decisions on uranium tailings’ problem in Kyrgyzstan from our foreign partners and international organizations,” Continue reading

September 29, 2009 Posted by | 1, Kyrgyzstan, wastes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kyrgyzstan: Soviet-Era Boom Town – radioactive pollution


EURASIANET David Trilling 9/22/09

“…………The town Min Kush bore another, more troubled, legacy: it was one of the Soviet Union’s leading sources of uranium. Continue reading

September 23, 2009 Posted by | 1, environment, Kyrgyzstan | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kyrgyzstan: Radioactive Legacy Vexes Bishkek

Friday, May 29,  KYRGYZSTAN: RADIOACTIVE LEGACY VEXES BISHKEK David Trilling 5/27/09 – “…………………..In March 2008, officials from Kyrgyzstan’s Emergencies Ministry began moving radioactive uranium waste from Soviet-era dumps — located in poorly fortified ravines and along riverbeds downstream — into the hills just above his home. “It gives us headaches; our eyes itch,” Toko says as he gestures across the road. Now he grows his fruits and vegetables in water potentially contaminated by the radioactive materials.

A few kilometers downstream from Toko’s house there are even more lethal radioactive deposits — known as tailings. They line the river and surround the former industrial town of Mailuu Suu, now home to acres of derelict factory buildings. Not too long ago, the area was a desirable place to live. ………………………….as much as 10,000 tons of yellowcake (U3O8), a refined form of uranium that can be used either to produce nuclear energy or atomic weapons, was produced in Mailuu Suu for Soviet weapons programs. The first Soviet atomic weapon was made from uranium mined at Mailuu Suu, say officials at Kyrgyzstan’s National Academy of Science. Communist central planners tended to care about results, not the potential consequences of their decisions. Thus little thought was given to the disposal of radioactive waste. Approximately 2 million cubic meters of uranium tailings were buried in the area, according to Kyrgyz government statistics. It is the largest such site in the country. In addition to the 23 tailings dumps, workers sprinkled almost a million cubic meters of uranium waste rock atop 13 dumps nearby, on land still exposed to the rain and annual mudslides.

Many of the tailing sites and waste rock dumps are now poorly marked. Sheep graze on them. Water drains through the radioactive material and downstream into Uzbekistan and the Syr Darya, which winds its way through Central Asia’s most densely populated areas.

Mailuu Suu residents complain of goiter, anemia, cancer and early death. Radiation in some areas is 30 times normal levels. Former Mailuu Suu mayor Bumairam Mamaseitova, currently an MP in Bishkek with the opposition Communist Party, says rates of cancer in Mailuu Suu are the highest in Kyrgyzstan. “All of the diseases are related to those uranium tailings in the area.” For her, it is a personal issue. “This issue of uranium tailings worries me a lot because my father died when he was only 52 years old. He used to work in the uranium mines. I was born and have lived in Mailuu Suu. Most of my relatives died in their 50s.”

Dumps there are thought to be the most dangerous in Kyrgyzstan, due to the valley’s higher-than-avera

EurasiaNet Civil Society – Kyrgyzstan: Radioactive Legacy Vexes Bishkek

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Kyrgyzstan, wastes | , , , , | Leave a comment