Assessment of radiation exposure in the uranium mining and milling area of Mailuu Suu, Kyrgyzstan

Hildegarde Vandenhove, Lieve Sweeck, Dirk Mallants, Hans Vanmarcke, Abdilamit Aitkulov, Oktyabrin Sadyrov, Maxim Savosin, Baigabul Tolongutov, Muradiel Mirzachev, Jean Jacques Clerc, Holger Quarch, Anarkul Aitaliev, Yves Thiry

    Research outputpeer-review


    The area of the town of Mailuu Suu, Kyrgyzstan, is polluted by radionuclides and heavy metals from tailing dumps and heaps resulting from the historic exploitation of uranium mines. In the frame of a European Commission-TACIS funded project, radiological assessment was performed for critical group members living in the city of Mailuu Suu, located downstream the tailings, or in the village of Kara Agach, partially located on a uranium mine-waste dump. The actual external exposure is around 1.2 mSv a-1 at both locations and exposure from radon is around 3 mSv a-1 at Mailuu Suu and around 10 mSv a-1 at Kara Agach.Ingestion dose was negligible for a critical group member living at Mailuu Suu. At Kara Agach, however, under the hypothesis that all food and fodder is cultivated locally, exposure from ingestion is much higher (~10-30 mSv a-1). In case of an accidental scenario [(part of) Tailing 3 content thrust to river], estimated additional maximum doses result in 45 and 77 mSv for an adult and a child, respectively.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)118-139
    JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
    StatePublished - 11 Apr 2006

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