Governor: Uranium tailings in Kazakhstan – huge environmental problem

Business Materials 15 November 2013 20:30 (UTC +04:00)

Astana, Kazakhstan, Nov. 15

By Daniar Mukhtarov - Trend:

Koshkar-Ata uranium tailings are huge environmental problems for Kazakhstan's Mangistau oblast, akim (governor) of the oblast, Alik Aidarbayev said on Nov. 15 in Astana.

"We need to find the means to gradually solve this long-standing and highly sensitive issue - remediation of Koshkar-Ata's uranium-containing chemical wastes. Radioactive and chemical contamination is accumulated in the natural pit, where some 105 million tons of toxic and radioactive wastes with a total activity in 112,000 curies were historically stored," the akim said.

According to him, in 2013, a feasibility study (FS) was developed and the state examination's positive conclusion on the reclamation project was obtained.

"Next year, the development of design estimates will start with help of the local budget's fund. Some 25.9 billion tenges ($1-153.08 tenges) are needed for the full realization of the project (in a territory of 66 square kilometers) over 10 years, as well as 14.8 billion tenges are needed for the implementation of the first stage (41 square kilometers) meant for five years," Aidarbayev said.

According to him, this year major projects are being implemented in the field of ecology, such as the construction of a plant for processing, recycling and disposal of solid wastes in the city of Zhanaozen (first-third stages), construction of a plant for the integrated waste processing with development of "green" electricity in the city of Aktau.