The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has signed the first framework agreements for uranium mining legacy fund in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
The Bank reported that these agreements will provide the legal basis for implementation of projects for dealing with uranium mining legacy in these countries.
The uranium mining legacy fund was established at EBRD in May 2015 at the request of the European Commission (EC) to finance projects to rehabilitate high-priority sites in Central Asian countries.
“The conclusion of framework agreements with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan marks an important milestone. The preparatory phase of the Environmental Remediation Account has come to a close and work can start to address a serious hazard for the population of Central Asia and for stability in the region,” said EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett
The purpose of the “Environmental Remediation Account for Central Asia” is to support measures to deal with the legacy of Soviet-era uranium mining and processing in the region.
The EBRD has been managing nuclear safety and decommissioning funds on behalf of the international community since 1992, when the G7 requested the creation of the Nuclear Safety Account to deal with the legacy of Soviet-era nuclear facilities.
Central Asia served as an important source of uranium in the former Soviet Union. Many of the uranium legacy sites are concentrated along the tributaries to the Syr Darya River, which runs through the densely populated Fergana Valley, the agricultural center of the region that is shared by the Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.