Safety of Uranium Dumps in Kirghizia Calls For Attention of International Community

To avoid the destruction by landslides of uranium ores' tails rigs in the Kirghiz city of Mailu-Suu and prevent a global radioactive contamination in Central Asia will require 200 million dollars.

Such a conclusion was made by a special parliamentary commission of Kirghizia upon studying the problem in detail at an international conference on the prevention of an ecological disaster in the region just over in Bishkek.

The conference gathered scientists from Kirghizia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Germany, Austria, Great Britain, Turkey, the USA and experts of the OSCE, the World Bank, the IAEA and other international organisations.

According to them, frequent landslides and earthquakes near Mailuu-Suu may push uranium dumps to the Naryn river, and as the result a region with a population of 50 million will be contaminated.

Back in the Soviet era, more than 2 million tons of waste from uranium ores were buried hastily in 23 rigs and 13 dumps in Mailuu-Suu. The level of gamma-radiation in the dumps makes from 100 to 600 micro-roentgens per hour.

Today, according to preliminary estimates, 15-20 million dollars is required to implement emergency measures to prevent the destruction of uranium dumps at the most dangerous sites of landslides.

However, experts believe only next generations will be able to put a stop to the threat of an ecological disaster in Kirghizia.

It's worth noting that earlier the World Bank said it would give Kirghizia 5 million dollars to re-cultivate the uranium tails' rigs in the Dzhelal-Abad region.

The governments of Russia and the US also intend to give the republic some 640,000 dollars to launch a pilot project for the rehabilitation of tails rigs in the Kadzhi-Sai district of the Issyk-Kul region, the Kirghiz Press agency reported.

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