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Uranium Provinces of Central Asia

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Complex Ecological and Biogeochemical Study of the Uranium Provinces of Central Asia (on the Example of Kyrgyzstan)

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-RAD/Radiobiology/Biotechnology
  • MED-OTH/Other/Medicine
  • BIO-DIV/Biodiversity/Biotechnology
  • BIO-CGM/Cytology, Genetics and Molecular Biology/Biotechnology
  • ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
09.02.2004

Leading Institute
Institute of Biology and Pedology, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Supporting institutes

  • Kyrgyz Scientific Research Institute of Obstetrics and Pediatrics, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Collaborators

  • Tohoku University / Graduate School of Life Sciences, Japan, Sendai\nUS Geological Survey, USA, VA, Reston\nNational Institute of Radiological Science, Japan, Chiba

Project summary

During the mining production and processing of uranium minerals the enormous amount of the waste with high content of uranium and potentially dangerous chemical elements and their compounds are deposited on the territory of republic (about 600 millions cubic meters). The condition of these stock-piles and deposits is so pickle, that radioactive waste products, heavy metals and the toxic substances pollute an environment (soil, air, water) and living organisms. They are involving in biochemical cycles with formation of biogeochemical provinces.

Nevertheless, these uranium provinces and features of life activity of various organisms remain not investigated (the reactions of organisms on the possible raised contents of radionuclides, the condition of microbial complex, biopersity etc.) The real biogeochemical situation is not clear. There are no forecasts of biogeochemical provinces' evolution. According to the limited 50-years period facts of doctors and geologists, the significant change of uranium technogenical provinces has been in republic.

Thus, the problems of ecology, geochemistry and biogeochemistry of rare and rare-landed elements in republic have primary meaning. The elucidation of ecological and biogeochemical features of enriched by uranium and other microelements territories and the estimation of organisms’ reactions in biogeocenoses with high contents of radionuclides and polymetals are most urgent. The connection between selenium and uranium is of interest. In natural conditions selenium frequently accompanies uranium. And if we take into account radioprotected action of selenium compounds the identification of this connection between selenium and uranium on the background of a various degree of environment radioactivity has not only theoretical, but also practical meaning.

Taking into account the weak investigation of the territory of Kyrgyzstan on the distribution of uranium and other dangerous chemical elements and increased interest to this problem of a world public, the purpose of the project was formulated by "weapon" scientists as the complex ecological and biogeochemical estimation of uranium provinces of Central Asia (on the example of Kyrgyzstan).

The main purpose of project is the decision of scientific tasks by the "weapon" specialists and fundamental research scientists, who are dealing with the decision of peace questions (a real ecological situation in area of geochemical uranium anomalies and its prognosis estimation).

The purpose of the project – the complex study of biogeochemistry of uranium and selenium in natural technogenical uranium anomalies and realization of ecological and biogeochemical piding into districts in a republic scale.

Tasks:

1. to establish a real level of uranium, selenium and total radioactivity in soil, water, plants, agricultural cultures and foodstuff of the region with taking into consideration of the year season.

2. to estimate the connections between levels of the contents of uranium, selenium and total radioactivity in biogeochemical food chains (soil, water, plants and foodstuff, animals and human).

3. to study morphological and physiological reactions of organisms in natural technogenical landscapes with a different degree of enrichment by uranium.

4. to establish parameters of biological persity of biosphere taxons.

5. to study cytogenetic features of organisms in uranium provinces.

6. to carry out the medical and biological examination of the inhabitants of uranium anomalies.

7. to carry out the comparative ecological and biogeochemical estimation of natural technogenical environment of uranium anomalies and adjoining territories.

8. to execute ecological and biogeochemical piding into districts, mapping of researching territory and to prepare the recommendations for the Ministry of Ecology and Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Defense of Kyrgyz Republic.

The participants of the project are wide profile specialists, "weapon" scientists in various areas of ecology, geochemistry, biogeochemistry, biopersity and medicine. There is enough worked scientific-methodical basis. Here are some publications:

1. Ermakov B. B., Djenbaev B. M. Degtarev A. P. Ecologo-biogeochemical Regionning of Russia // The Proceedings volume "Trace elements in man and animals-TEMA-8". - Dresden. 1993.P.428-429.

2. Djenbaev B. M., Ermakov B. B. Selenium the South Fergana Biosphere Subregion //V-th International Symposium "Plant Life in South-West and Central Asia" - Tashkent, 1998. -p.149.

3. Djenbaev B. M., Ermakov V. V. Biogeochemistry of Uranium and Selenium Regional Problem of Ecology // Environmental Protection against Radioactive Pollution, 125-126. 2003. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

4. Djenbaev B. M., Ermakov V. V. The Geochemical Ecology of Poykilotermal Animals of Kyrgyzstan//Proceedings of BIOGEL, - Moscow, 1998. Vol. 23. – P.200-227.

5. Egemberdieva A.D., Djenbaev B. M. The Microelement Composition of Mayli-Suu River Water in Regions of Uranium Provinces (Kyrgyzstan)//Materials of 4th Russian Biogeochemical School "Geochemical Ecology and Biogeochemical Study of Biosphere Taxons", September 2003, - Moscow, - P.161-164.

The project promotes the modern development in the field of research with peace aims and the results will find an application in the decision of urgent problems of fundamental and applied sciences. The research will be carried out in 2 basic uranium biogeochemical provinces in Kyrgyzstan.

The foreign collaborators will carry out in whole the coordination of the project with the aim of the perfection of elaboration and conducting of projects, will coordinate the connections with foreign scientists, will promote the definition of corresponding sources of information on results of scientific research and elaboration in international scale, and also will took part in preparation of reports and organizing of seminars and conferences.

The project is referred to the area of fundamental-applied researches. Conducted researches will allow to elaborate the methodical recommendations for the ecological estimation of natural technogenical biogeochemical provinces enriched by uranium and to prepare the proposal on a theme of the project for realization on territory of other states (of Central Asia) and also to elaborate the measures on decrease of risk of being contaminated of biosphere territories by uranium, selenium and general radioactivity.

The results of the project may be used by medical, agricultural and other establishments on the correction of the adverse situation, for conducting of regional monitoring and also biogeochemical method in search of deposits of rare-landed elements.

After finishing of research the following results will be obtained:

- the database of the real contents of uranium, selenium and total radioactivity in a soil-plant complex, natural waters, organisms, forages and foodstuff on the territory of uranium anomalies and neighboring territories of Kyrgyzstan will be obtained;

- the quantitative mutual relations between U, Se and total radioactivity in biogeochemical food chains will be determined;

- the biological reactions of plants, animals and human will be estimated within the of uranium anomalies and comparative territories;

- the spontaneous level of chromosomal abnormalities of fauna and flora objects on the sites of uranium provinces and natural territories will be established;

- the ecological and biogeochemical pision into districts and mapping of region on uranium, selenium, general radio-activity and biological reactions will be conducted;

- the recommendations for medical, agricultural and other establishments of republic on the correction of an adverse situation will be developed;

- the proposals on the theme of the project for realization on the territory of other states will be prepared;

- the methodical recommendations for the ecological estimation of natural technogenical and biogeochemical provinces contaminated with uranium will be prepared.

After end of the project the inhabitants of these subregions will receive a real picture about the condition of environment, condition of a plant-soil surface, biopersity and appropriate recommendations about their improvement. The technical and economical task on the conduction of rehabilitation of uranium tail storage may be composed. The recommendations on the protection of different species of animals and plants on these territories, on planting of phytoindicators and etc. will be given, the measures on the using of different technical methods for healthy storage or regrounding radioactive wastes will be conducted, this will allow in future to obtain the definite technical and economical effect for the improvement of economical condition of region.

The results of the project may be used by the Ministry of Ecology and Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Defense and by scientific research establishments of Kyrgyz Republic, and also corresponding establishments of the other states. Thus, the expected advantage of the project is a large and it is very difficult to estimate it quantitatively.


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