Russia continues remediation of uranium sites in Kyrgyzstan

28 August 2017

Russia’s RosRAO has won the tender for work to decommission (make safe) uranium mining tailing dumps located near the village of Min-Kush in the Naryn oblast of Kyrgyzstan, as well as to reduce the radiation load on the population in the settlement of Kadji-Sai in Issyk-Kul oblast. This involves decommissioning the Tuyuk-Suu and Dalneye tailings dumps, and recultivating the Kadzhi-Say tailing pond. The work comes under the second phase of the inter-state target programme "Reclamation of the territories of states exposed to uranium mining operations". RosRAO is a specialised organisation responsible for managing radioactive waste (RW) throughout Russia.

Earlier, specialists from Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom carried out complex engineering surveys at Min-Kush and Kaji-Say, including detailing geological and hydrological conditions at the sites, and undertaking a topographical survey. Gamma surveys were performed selected soil types and vegetation. Jointly with specialists from Russia’s Federal Medical-Biological Agency and the Sanitary Inspection of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, an assessment of the impact of the sites on public health was carried out; a programme of social hygienic monitoring was developed; an examination of project documentation was carried out; and approvals were obtained from the relevant bodies.

Earlier in August, the European Union also announced the start of environmental remediation work at a number of uranium legacy sites from the Soviet-era. The work is focused on the areas of Min-Kush, Shekaftar and Mailuu-Suu and will be funded by the international Environmental Remediation Account for Central Asia (ERA), managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). 

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