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News: April 2007

MES OF KYRGYZSTAN ESTIMATES RECULTIVATION OF TAILINGS NEAR MIN-KUSH TO COST THE COUNTRY $5 MLN.

Some $5mln. will cost the recultivation of tailings dump near the village Min-Kush of Naryn oblast, Turatbek Junushaliev, Minister of Emergencies of the republic stated at the international conference on radioactive wastes burial held in Bishkek.

As the head of the agency noted, sarcophagus containing hazardous wastes of uranium production have been for many years ownerless. As a result of erosion proofness of protective covering of some objects were destroyed what poses a serious problem for environment.

According to Turatbek Junushaliev in case of landslides and mountain slides with radioactive release into one of the rivers flowing near the tailing dumps this will be a catastrophe not only for Kyrgyzstan but also a number of neighbor regions of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. This region has a population over 5 mln people, the minister notes. If in 1954 at uranium deposits near Min-Kush 30 landslides were registered then now there occur up to 500 landslides a year.

Head of MES stresses that the republic can not solve problems on radioactive wastes burial alone. Grants provided by the governments of US and Czech Republic have been successfully used for rehabilitation of tailings near the populated areas Kadzhi-Say, Ak-Tyuz and Kichi Kemin of Issyk-Kul and Chui oblasts. Similar project of the World Bank is being implemented in Mailuu-Suu of Jalal-Abad oblast.

Currently Bishkek is hosting an international conference on problems of radioactive wastes burial which is participated by experts of foreign organizations, business and government institutions of Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. As part of the activity tomorrow participants will set for a one day exploratory trip to min-Kush.

Source: IA 24.kg, 11.04.2007