Burial of foreign waste

3 June 2002

Kazakhstan's national atomic company Kazatomprom has given its support to the establishment of a central site for burial of radioactive waste which could also take foreign material.

Kazatomprom head Mukhtar Dzhakishev said radioactive burial sites are scattered all over the country at the moment.

If Kazakhstan sets up a burial site on its territory for low- and medium-level radioactive waste, including waste from other countries, then it will be able to raise significant revenues.

There is an estimated 237 million tonnes of radioactive waste with an activity of 15.5 million Ci currently in Kazakhstan. This includes high-level waste, such as spent fuel from the BN-350 fast reactor at Mangyshlak.

Kazakhstan needs $1.1 billion to implement its programme for reprocessing radioactive waste. According to some estimates, Kazakhstan can raise about $30-40 billion from burying imported medium- and low-level waste over 25-30 years.

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