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Uranium Deposits Radioactive Hazards

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Assessment of Radioactive Hazard of Developed Jilskiy (Kyrgyzstan), Adrasman and Taboshar (Tajikistan) Uranium Deposits, Development and Typification of Actions on Rehabilitation of the Areas and Facilities for the Central Asia Region

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-SPC/Solid Waste Pollution and Control/Environment

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
25.08.2010

Leading Institute
Social Scientific Research Center "GEORISK", Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Supporting institutes

  • Rare Metals Combine of the Orient, Tajikistan, Chkalovsk

Collaborators

  • [Individual specialist]\nInstitute Josef Stefan, Slovenia, Ljublana

Project summary

Objective of the works under the present project is to study and assess radioactive hazard of waste dumps and premises of the former uranium processing plant on Jilskiy (Kadji-Sai Village, Kyrgyz Republic) and Adrasman and Taboshar deposit sites (Taboshar city, Tajikistan), development of measures to bring the radioactive contamination territories to safe condition. The hazard degree of contaminated sources will be determined as well as their parameters and grounds will be developed and recommendations of technical actions to bring the radioactive wastes to the safe state depending on the Central Asia conditions.

The sites to be investigated are:

  • Tailing Pond No. 2, formed as result of the uranium ores processing at the Adrasman deposit, with area of 59 thous. sq. km, and 350 000 tons of disposed wastes.
  • Re-deposited wastes along the Sarymsakhlysai Hole within the area of the Taboshar city with area of 100 000 sq. km.
  • Tailing ponds and waste dumps remained after uranium mining and processing in Kadji-Sai Village (Kyrgyz Republic) that threatens with radiation contamination to population and the Issyk-Kul lake.

The population of villages and neighboring settlements, formerly involved into the uranium mining activity, at the present time in most cases is not employed. Some population groups are engaged in servicing tourists as well as in production of agricultural products. The availability of radioactive waste areas is the strong negative factor that prevents mass tourism and production, processing and marketing agricultural products.

The Central Asian region is characterized by high level of seismicity, permanent earthquake sources, arid climate with mudflow rain fallouts and other hazardous natural phenomena effecting to the physical integrity of the tailing ponds. Existing experience on rehabilitation of areas, where uranium was mined is mainly referred to Europe, America and Australia. Studying of international experience and typification of measures on rehabilitation of areas radioactively contaminated in respect to the region will allow to exclude considerable costs. The works conducted under the project will facilitate the elimination of radioactive contamination of the environment.

Institutes-participants of the given project are:

  1. “Georisk” Public Scientific and Research Center (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan).
  2. “Rare Metals Eastern Complex” (Vostokredmet) State Enterprise (Chakalovsk, Tajikistan).

The basic expected results of the project are the following:
  • Implementation of complex territory researches including chemical, hydrological, hydro geological, radiological works, and social observations;
  • Based on the research results, radioactive hazard for local population and environment will be evaluated;
  • Analyses of the world practice for liquidation and conservation and re profiling of mining and processing radioactive ore plants.

As a result of the Project implementation, measures on rehabilitation of areas will be defined, and standardization of protective actions to protect tailing ponds against dangerous nature and techno genetic environmental problems under Central Asia conditions taking into account climatic, geological, hydro geological and seismic characteristics.

The Project promotes:

  • involvement scientists and experts of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan into international scientific and technical cooperation to solve regional ecological problems, retraining of staff engaged in mass search of uranium deposits, mining and processing, rehabilitation of radioactive waste territories;
  • providing the weapon scientists and experts with opportunities to re-orient their knowledge and experience to peaceful activity.

Designed scope of works is expected to implement the following tasks:
  • implementation of complex research;
  • radioactive hazard assessment;
  • based on studying the world practice to develop rehabilitation measures and bring the tailing ponds and contaminated areas to safety condition;
  • standardization of actions on rehabilitation of waste dump areas under the Central Asian region conditions.

Scientific and technical approach:
  • study of records of previous years;
  • analysis of radioactive situation at the sites;
  • analyses of similar project solutions in the world practice;
  • analyses of hazardous natural processes available at the sites , characteristics of their occurrence and development actions on their neutralization;
  • implementation of geological, hydro geological, seismic, radiological, topographical-and-geodesic and climatic investigations will be carried out considering the previous similar works at the sites investigated.
  • evaluation of options for rehabilitation works implementation from ecological a nd economical points.

The methodology of solution explanation on territory rehabilitation:
  • In accordance with the concept and principals of interference to the basics of solutions taken there is a concept of averted detriment
  • Rehabilitation of the areas will be justified if the net rehabilitation benefit is positive, i.e. the net rehabilitation benefit from radioactive impact before and after rehabilitation and damage caused to population and environment during the rehabilitation.
  • Choosing of optimal interference option, where the net benefit will be maximal.

The role of foreign collaborators during project implementation:
  • information exchange during the project implementation, participation in technical inspection of project activity, conduct of joint seminars and working meetings, and technical participation in solving inpidual project tasks.


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