Kirghizia's uranium tailing dumps pose danger to entire Central Asia

Kyrghyzstan's uranium tailing dumps pose danger for entire Central Asia. This is the conclusion of international experts, who examined the tailing dumps near the uranium production and processing facilities not far from Kryghyz town of Mailuu Suu. The experts worked as part of the European Union's radiation security programme. The experts, staffers of the Belgian nuclear research centre Belgatom and the French centre Gester, for two years were monitoring the condition of this nuclear tailing dump. As many as 23 dumps and 13 disposal areas are located near Mailuu Suu. Buried there are close on 3 million cubic metres of radioactive material. Some of the dumps have been badly damaged by land slides and mudflows. The international experts insist on prompt measures to restore the dumps, which threaten Uzbekistan's Fergana Valley, home to about 10 million people. The Kyrghyz government has repeatedly stated that it would need at least $50 million to restore the uranium dumps throughout the country. The World Bank allocated $5 million of aid for the purpose. Russia and the United States, too, gave the republic around $640,000 to launch a pilot project to restore the tailing dumps in the Kaji Sai district of Kyrghyzstan's Issyk Kul region.

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