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

H. Vandenhove, L. Sweeck, D. Mallants, H. Vanmarcke, Abdilamit Aitkulov, O. Sadyrov, M. Savosin, B. Tolongutov, Muradil Mirzachev, Jean Jacques Clerc, Holger Quarch, A. Aitaliev

    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
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 2006


    This work was funded under the European Commission-TACIS project SCRE/N°38: Remediation of uranium mining and milling tailing in Mailuu Suu, Kyrgyzstan. This study was made possible through assistance of numerous people whose contribution is acknowledged: O. Grosfils, O. Mombekov, J. Paridaens, V. Shoudro, X. Sillen, O. Sornogoev, S. Neboga, I. Torgoev, F. Vanhaevere, and Th. Zeevaert.

    FundersFunder number
    Report produced in frame of EC-TACIS projectSCRE/N°38

      ASJC Scopus subject areas

      • Environmental Chemistry
      • Waste Management and Disposal
      • Pollution
      • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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