Authorities in Kyrgyzstan's Naryn Oblast are calling attention to the danger posed by a group of tailings dumps near the village of Min-Kush that contain radioactive uranium ore. The dumps are left over from uranium mining in 1961. As is the case in other parts of Kyrgyzstan where radioactive materials were stored in the Soviet era, the integrity of the Min-Kush dumps is threatened by landslides and the possibility that dams on nearby rivers could break. The problems could be solved, however, at little expense, according to the Naryn authorities, who were quoted as complaining that only half the funds budgeted for repair work in 2002 were actually spent. A joint U.S.-Russian project to clean up and repair storage facilities for radioactive materials has been launched in Kyrgyzstan this year (see "RFE/RL Newsline" 17 April 2003). Presumably more "forgotten" sites such as Min-Kush will be publicized as the cleanup proceeds.
Eurasianet/akipress.org, June 05, 2003