Uzbekistan uranium tailings

Sign of radiation hazard in the tailings area in Kyrgyzstan.
Photo by Ekaterina Ivashchenko, Ferghana

Under the USSR, dumps and uranium tailings (storage sites for uranium processing waste) were constantly looked after and did not allow them to be destroyed. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, everything here was left to its own devices. Similar problems are now bothering Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Uzbekistan has both mothballed uranium mines (Uchkuduk, Sugrali, Sabyrsay, etc.) and tailings containing pulp of processed uranium ores. The largest (15 million tons, area of ​​630 hectares) containing various, including radioactive waste tailings is located on the left bank of the river. Zeravshan near the city of Navoi (Navoi region); on a dam with a height of 13-15 m register a gamma field of 300-500 μR per hour.

Near the village of Charkesar of the Namangan Region, the total activity of radionuclides is at the level of 3×10 at minus 13 degrees Bekkerel or 810 Curie (survey by D. Aitmatova, 2003).

Uranim factories view, Uchkurduk, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan uranium tailings
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