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Radiation Risks Assessment on territory of Northern Kyrgyzstan


Uranium and Daughter Decay Products in Air and Water Enviromnent , their Space Distribution, Risks Assessment and Practical Recommendations on Territory of Northern Kyrgyzstan

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • ENV-MRA/Modelling and Risk Assessment/Environment
  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment
  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Water Problem & Hydropower Engineering, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek


  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory / Earth Sciences Division, USA, CA, Berkeley\nInternational Bureau for Environmental Studies, Belgium, Brussels

Project summary

Goal of the project determination of the radiation doses and risks for population based on the distribution of uranium-238 daughter decay products of natural and man-caused origin in water and air and formulation of the recommendations for the governing bodies of the Kyrgyz Republic (KR) for management of the radiation exposure of people.
The Kyrgyz Republic is characterized by increased natural uranium and its daughter decay products content in geological environment and in ground water. There are also highly active man-caused radioactive sources. In 1999-2005 the ISTC projects # KR-072, # КR-715 were focused on the research of the areas with the increased natural and man-caused radioactivity. These projects revealed the pollution sources and allowed to study the mechanisms of radionuclides migration from the host rocks, as well as determination of pollution transport pathways in in groundwater and air.
It was established that the main dose forming radionuclides are radium-226, radon-222 and its daughter decay products – polonium-210 and lead-210. It was established that the radium-226, radon-222 and its decay products – polonium-210 and lead-210, form the main dose-effect.
Well known, that the intensity of the radon emanation from rocks is strongly vary in the different geological environment and in the different time for same place, but previous studies did not gave representative data, which are sufficient for the reliable statistical assessment of the radon emanation. Only for the Kadjy-Sai village (Issyk-Kul region), which is located near the radioactive tailing dump, the assessment of radiation doses at population was made (project of European Commission Contract No FP6-509214). The dispersion and/or concentration of uranium and radium in aquifers was not investigated as the function of the different redox environments.
The development of the technical measures for the population protection and the polluted areas rehabilitation and also realization of the sustainable development programs of the region are rather difficult for lack of the quantitative assessment of the radiation influence on the population. The absence of the accessible and objective data about the radiological circumstance causes radiophobia at population and hampers to form a positive image of the Kyrgyz Republic, where the significant part of the economic development is connected with tourism.
Tasks to be solved during project implementation:
  • summarizing and analysis of archives, and creation of the radioactive pollution database of the water and air environment in the Chui and Issyk-Kul regions;
  • monitoring Ra, Rn and daughter products in water and air environments due to theirs releasing from the natural and man-caused sources at the key-study objects;
  • study the conditions of the surface and groundwaters formation in the corresponding catchments;
  • the analysis of hydro meteorological information;
  • creation of the mathematical models for simulation of the radionuclides distribution in the surface and groundwaters;
  • creation of the mathematical models for simulation of the radon transport in the air;
  • calculation of the current radiation doses for population;
  • forecast of the radiation risks taking into account the model assessment of the radionuclide’s distribution;
  • creation and actualization the maps of the radiation hazards on the base of the GIS-technologies and their publication (including in the Internet network);
  • development of the recommendations for the radiation risks management in Chiu and Issyk-Kul regions of Kyrgyzstan.
The work will be implemented on the four key-study objects:
  • in area of the Kara-Balta Mining combine, where the uranium concentrate was manufactured, as the example of the man-cause source of radioactivity (the enterprise is located in the central part of the Chui valley, which is a leading economic region of the Kyrgyz Republic);
  • on the Jety-Oguz radon resort (Issyk-Kul region), as an example of a natural-caused source of radioactivity;
  • on the two sites near the mentioned objects in order to study background variations of nuclides, which forming the main radiation dose.
Influence of proposed project on progress of researches in this field. The radiation doses and risks for population are determined by the man-caused pollution and the natural background. Decreasing of the radiation load can be achieved at the expense of the potable water sources change and as the result of the rehabilitation of the territory. The radiation load at population in the past will be determined through the archive data and the current load through the radionuclide’s contents in water and air environments. The effectiveness of the rehabilitation measures will be simulated by models, which will be precised on the basis of the operative data.
Realization of the recommendations, which will formulate as result of this work, for radiation risks management and for complex measures for the population protection and the polluted areas rehabilitation at a level of the governing bodies, as well as increasing of the people awareness will promote the population health restoration, and also will allow improving the conditions for the regional development programs realization, and reducing of the habitant radiophobia, and will promote forming the positive image of the Kyrgyz Republic, where a significant part of economic development is connected with tourism.
Project personnel competence in the pointed field of researches. All the project personnel are experienced in the radiation, hydrological, meteorological and isotope-geochemical researches both in Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Project authors will use skills of business partners. The cooperation is planned with Institute of Physical and Technical Problems and Materials Sciences National Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyz Republic (IPTP&MS NAS KR), which has an archive of radionuclide’s determination on the studied objects; with P.V. Ramzaev Institute of Radiation Hygiene of Russian Academy of Sciences (IRH RAS, RF), which is a leading organization in area of assessment of the radiation influence on population; Russian Federal Nuclear Center – E.I. Zababakhin All Russian Research Institute of Technical Physics (RFNC–VNIITF, RF), which is a leading organization in air mass transference; and Saint-Petersburg Department of E.M. Sergeev Institute of the Environmental Geosciences of Russian Academy of Sciences (SPD IHE RAS, RF), which are leading organizations in the field of numerical simulation of filtration and mass-transport in groundwater. All project personnel have positive experience in ISTC programs and in international and Russian grants.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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