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Mountain Ecosystem Polluted by Uranium Waste

#KR-1275


Restoration Broken Mountain Ecosystems in the Territories Polluted Technology Waste of Uranium in Kyrgyzstan

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
08.04.2005

Leading Institute
Kyrgyz Research Institute of Livestock, Veterinary and Pastures, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Supporting institutes

  • National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan / Biotechnology Institution, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Collaborators

  • George Mason University / Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, USA, VA, Fairfax\nLawrence Livermore National Laboratory / Operations and Regulatory Affairs Division / Environmental Protection Department, USA, CA, Livermore\nNational Institute of Radiological Science, Japan, Chiba

Project summary

Substantiation. Extraction and processing of radioactive elements has brought to mankind, both the certain blessings, and significant threat.

Rapid development of the uranium industry including ore mining and atomic engineering significant sources of ecological deterioration in Kyrgyzstan. As is known, during manufacture of metal uranium, in particular, by development of ore deposits, transportation and processing of radioactive raw material, as well as storage of solid and liquid waste products inevitably results environmental contamination.

For a natural-territorial complex of the Kyrgyz Republic, radioactive contamination is a great problem, since in the last 40-65 years 4 deposits of uranium were developed in Kyrgyzstan which became the main supplier of this ore to the former union. Following the discontinuance of mining activities, there were 49 uranium waste depositories and 80 mine tailing dumps 70 million cubic meters of the industrial wastes. This large mass of radioactive waste represents an ecological threat not only to Kyrgyzstan, but also adjacent states - Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. For the 50 last years these uranium waste depositories have not had appropriate preventive containment to protect them from seismic activity, -or wind and thermal erosion,-. At present an emergency condition like mud torrents and landslips,- could transport waste products of uranium into rivers that may carry the contamination significant distances and across country boundries.

Nonproductive works on waste disposal radioactive waste products in more safe places very expensive action also is inevitably connected to repeated environmental contamination.

The purpose of the project:

In the territories containing uranium waste depositories we plan to restore vegetative cover with the help phytomeliorants from the wood and grassy plants Phytomeliorants have low contents of uranium in elevated weight, high factors of its discrimination and possessing the necessary biological properties. Previous research (2002-2004) has identified such phytomeliorants appropriate for phytocenosis in each natural region of republic. Phytomeliorants will fix the ground, lower danger of landslips and earth flows, and suspend ecological pollution of environment.

The is project will to develop scientific principles and practical recommendations to apply agro-timber approaches for restoration of broken flora, soil stabilization, and reduction of risk of landslide at a uranium waste depository. We will also study the influence of ionizing radiations and radionuclide contamination on the immune systems of animals and the person.

To achieve this purpose our team will accomplish the following tasks:

  • provide additional data to existing surveys of geochemical uranium in the provinces of Kyrgyzstan;
  • identify potential territories, suitable for restoration of the broken flora;
  • perform field experiments on development of agrotechnical receptions and ways of planting and duplication phytomeliorants in territories waste depositories;
  • continue research on the influence of ionizing radiation and radionuclide contamination on animal and human systems.

Research Location: geochemical uranium provinces Mayluu-Suu and Kaji-Say, representing real threat for ecology of Fergana valley and a resort zone of lake Issyk-Kul.

Project Team: creative basis of the project weapon experts and geobotany, biochemists and physiologists will represent, long time working in these areas.

Expected results: this applied research project will reduce the impacts of radionuclide contamination in Kyrgyzstan.

Our results will identify science-based practical understandiong and recommendations to perform phytomelioration in the mountain territories polluted technogene with waste products of uranium. Reducing radionucleid transport will decrease the risk of ecological pollution of huge territories of the Central - Asian region and will promote restoration biophytocenosises these areas

In addition the fundamental principles of restoration polluted uranium mountain ecosystem will be applicable to other mountainous regions with similar is soil - climatic conditions facing contamination problems.

Influence of the suggested project on progress in the given area.

Successful completion of our tasks reveal common laws of restoration broken mountain ecosystem in the territories polluted with uranium and to develop measures of reduction in anthropogenous loading regular ionizing radiations and radionuclides on animals and humans. Our results will be significant in the field of rehabilitation of uranium waste depositories and ecological safety biophytocenosises in the given provinces.


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