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).