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Monitoring of the Issyk-Kul Lake Inhabiting Zone


Creation of Analytical and Informational Base for the Impact Environmental Monitoring of the Inhabiting Zone of the Issyk-Kul Lake

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment
  • BIO-RAD/Radiobiology/Biotechnology
  • INS-DET/Detection Devices/Instrumentation

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Kulikov G G

Leading Institute
Tynystanov State University, Kyrgyzstan, Karakol

Supporting institutes

  • Ural State Technical University, Russia, Sverdlovsk reg., Ekaterinburg


  • Oppenheimer Institute for Science & International Cooperation, UK, London\nWismuth GmbH, Germany, Chemnitz\nCNRS/Université de Claude Bernard-Lyon 1 / Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie des Materiaux Luminescents, France, Lyon\nUniversity of New Mexico, USA, NM, Albuquerque\nSandia National Laboratories / The Cooperative Monitoring Center, USA, NM, Albuquerque

Project summary


Lake Issyk-Kul is one of a number of reservation sites, with worldwide significance,e defined by the Ramsar Convention in 1975. In Kyrgyzstan, the Issyk-Kul region was given the status of a Biosphere Territory. This requires the continuous environmental monitoring of the Biosphere’s state. At present UNESCO considers the question of the confirmation of the international status of Biosphere Territory to Lake Issyk-Kul that shows the role of this unique natural site in the global geo-biosphere system. In this connection, the problems of environmental protection of the adjacent territories become especially urgent. These territories are located in ecosystems with a high content of natural radionuclides. The environmental problems of the Issyk-Kul zone are additionally heightened by the fact that, for a long time, in this region uranium raw material has been obtained for the atomic industry of the USSR. Tailings and dumps being subject to the influence of natural factors – wind, rains, mudflows, and landslides – are weathered and washed out. This results in the radionuclide contamination of soils, underground waters, flora and fauna on the adjacent territories of the Issyk-Kul basin.

For the development of protective measures for the population against environmentally unfavourable factors, in particular, it is necessary to really evaluate the radiation load on the population. This raises the problems of organization of the control for radon, its "daughter" products of decay, transuranic elements and other natural radionuclides released into the soils air, underground and drinking waters.

In this connection, ensuring the safety of the Biosphere territory of Lake Issyk-Kul requires the creation of the complex automated system of the impact environmental monitoring allowing the accumulation of databases on the state of the natural environment surrounding humans (background and impact monitoring of the geochemical and anthropogenic dispersion on the elemental and radionuclide levels) within the inhabited zone of Lake Issyk-Kul.

Solution of these tasks requires the attraction and development of special techniques and technologies, controlling both the release of harmful substances (including radioactive ones) and their distribution in soils, water, the soil-vegetable layer and air. The above listed matters may be solved within the frame of a radiation-biogeoecological conception with the use of well known approaches, recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), as well as the approaches developed by the European Union.

The goals of the project are as follows:

Creation of a complex automated, technically equipped, system for the background and impact ecological monitoring of the natural environment's state at the biosphere territory of the inhabiting zone of Lake Issyk-Kul and creation of a database on the sources and objects of the natural and technogenic radiation effect.

The objectives of the project are as follows:

1. Creation of a technically equipped analytical base using high-sensitive (stationary and mobile) detectors and detecting complexes with the required software for radioecological monitoring.

2. Development of technologies and methods of obtaining radiometric and dosimetric information, which meet the requirements of "expressness", low cost, trustworthiness, ease of operation and simplicity.
3. Metrological attestation of the created equipment and methods.
4. Creation of the radon measuring net based on track detectors.
5. Development of methodic and programming-mathematical software for the processing and analysis of the registered information and its submission in electronic format.
6. Holding the impact radiogeoecological monitoring of the inhabiting zone of Lake Issyk-Kul with the use of a technically equipped analytical information base.
7. Collecting and managing the databases, data processing, creation of the archive databases, presentation of the data in table and visual screen formats.
8. Zoning of the inhabiting zone of Lake Issyk-Kul by radioecological and geoecological factors.
9. Creation of a Web-site on the Internet, containing the updated radiological and geoecological information on the environment state in the basin of Lake Issyk-Kul.

Participants of the project are highly qualified experts in the field of radiation physics, radioecology, spectroscopy and spectrometry; they have sufficient experience in the creation of materials and equipment for the registration and study of ionizing irradiation by different methods, experience in the field of radioecological control of the environment and of nuclear wastes. They participated in the development of the equipment for the registration of super-small doses of irradiation; took part in the radioecological examination of the World Ocean's waters, territories of Chernobyl AES and East-Ural radioactive track. They have all the necessary methods and equipment for carrying out the research on the project and methods of interpretation of the experimental results.

Expected Results and their Application.

The project refers to the category "Applied researches".

As a result of the project implementation, at the inhabited zone of the Biosphere territory of the Issyk-Kul oblast, Kyrgyz Republic, there will be created a technically equipped laboratory-analytical base, which will allow performing the background and impact radiogeoecological express-control of the state of the examined territory. On the basis of the created technically equipped measuring net, performed measures with the use of the developed methodical and programming-mathematical software there will be organized databases on the results of the background and impact radiogeoecological control. The results will be distributed among the interested authorities of Kyrgyzstan and the international organizations working on this problem within the ISTC-projects.

Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives.

The proposed project fully corresponds to the aims and tasks of ISTC, as it

- Promotes the solution of the actual environmental problem - receiving the operative information on the radioecological situation in the inhabited zone of the biosphere territory of Lake Issyk-Kul for making correct administrative decisions;

- Responds to the main goal of ISTC - re-orientation of scientific and engineering potential of CIS weapon-makers towards peaceful activities;
- This subject matter solves the problem of the deeper integration of the Kyrgyz scientists into the international scientific community through joint work with collaborators, participation in international conferences and international research projects.

Scope of Activities.

In accordance with the stated goals and objectives during the project execution, the following work is supposed to be implemented:

– The creation of a laboratory analytical base of background and impact radioecological monitoring for forecasting and control of the environmental state in the inhabited zone of Lake Issyk-Kul, equipped by the developed devices of different purposes.

– To create a measuring radon net based on the track detectors. To conduct a wide radon survey and pision of the Issyk-Kul inhabited zone into districts by the degrees of radon hazard.
– To carry out the collection of information and the assessment of the level of radioactive contamination of territories and the level of radon hazard. To develop the recommendations on the antiradon protection of dwelling and social buildings.
– To create the software and complex electronic databases, system of database management for the control and forecast of the environment state in the inhabiting zone of Lake Issyk-Kul.
– To perform a multifactor complex analysis of the radioecological data on the biosphere territory of Lake Issyk-Kul and to determine the extent of the environmental hazard, connected with the dispersion of substances on the elemental and radionuclide levels in the inhabited zone of Lake Issyk-Kul.
– To organize the transfer of information about the results of the background and impact environmental control to the interested authorities in Kyrgyzstan and to the international organizations in order to support and coordinate the work, carried out within the ISTC-projects, governmental and academic projects, directed at the improvement of the natural environment of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The role of the foreign collaborators

during the project execution may be connected both with consulting and auditing. All the collaborators on this project are the world's leading experts in the field of radiogeoecological audit and monitoring. There will be information exchange with the collaborators during the project execution, getting recommendations on the execution of the main sections of the project, joint interpretation of the results and expertise of the results and methods developed during the project implementation, organization of the joint workshops and research schools.

The Technical Approach and Methodology.

For the implementation of the indicated goals, recognized methods and equipment will be widely used, as well as new ones, developed during the project execution. Among the methods to be used will be the following ones:

– Gamma-spectrometric and microfluorescent analysis of samples on the radionuclide and element levels with high resolution.

– Method of integrating track detectors for the radon survey. This method is the optimal one for the assessment of the radiation load on the population because of radon effects; it can be used for measuring the background characteristics.
– Method of the thermoluminescent dosimetry.
– Method of radiochemical analysis with the use of the thin-film sorbents.


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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