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EU to allocate €10 million to combat radioactive waste in Central Asia

The European Union will allocate €10 million to combat radioactive waste in Central Asia. The EU Delegation to Kyrgyzstan informed 24.kg news agency.

According to it, an International Donor Conference on the rehabilitation of uranium tailings in Central Asia took place in London. There was stated that the European Union (EU) would allocate additional €10 million to combat radioactive waste in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The amount will supplement €16 million allocated by the EU for this purpose earlier.

«The EU plays a leading role in the implementation of the program for the rehabilitation of uranium facilities in Central Asia. For more than a decade, preliminary studies have been conducted in three countries along with preparation of a feasibility study and assessment of the impact of future work on the environment. The EU allocated €14 million for this,» the EU Delegation stressed.

The next phase of the program is a direct rehabilitation of uranium facilities, supported by the governments of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and requiring immediate start of work.

According to experts, the region has more than 1 billion tons of toxic uranium production wastes that threaten the population and the environment.

The program selected seven sites in three countries in need of priority rehabilitation to prevent pollution of Fergana valley. These are uranium tailings in Mailu-Suu, Shekaftar and Min-Kush (Kyrgyzstan), Charkesar and Yangiabad (Uzbekistan), Istiklol and Digmai (Tajikistan).

The International Donor Conference was held in London at the initiative of the government of Kyrgyzstan on the sidelines of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It manages a fund that accumulates money raised by the international community for the rehabilitation of uranium facilities in the region. The donor conference was held in accordance with UN Resolution 68/128, which calls on the international community to support the program to combat uranium waste.