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Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan

Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan

  • Potentially Affected People: 25,000
  • Type of Pollutants: Uranium
  • Source of Pollution: Mining

The Problem

There are twenty three tailing dumps and thirteen waste rock dumps scattered throughout Mailuu-Suu, home to a former uranium plant built in the Soviet era. The plant produced and processed more than 10,000 metric tons of uranium ore from 1946- 1968. The total tailings volume is about 1.96 million cubic meters and waste rock about 0.8 million cubic meters. Millions of people in Central Asia are potentially at risk as this area is highly prone to seismic activity. The Obschestvenny Reiting newspaper reported that about 300,000 cubic meters of material fell into the Mailuu-Suu River near the uranium mine tailings after an earthquake in 2005.

Health Impacts

A 1999 study conducted by the Institute of Oncology and Radioecology showed that twice as many residents suffered from some form of cancer than in the rest of the country.

Status of Clean-Up Activity

The World Bank and Kyrgyz government are undertaking several projects to reduce the risk posed by these dumps.


Kyrgyz Republic Funded to Secure Uranium Waste Dumps

KYRGYZSTAN: Landslide Close to Mailuu-Suu Uranium Dump

KYRGYZSTAN: Mailuu-Suu Closely Monitored Following Recent Landslide

OSCE Photo Gallery

Worries Fester Over Radioactive Tailing