Improvement of control and measurement capabilities of a state regulatory authority of Tajikistan

The aim of the project is to improve regulatory and oversight capabilities of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Agency of Tajikistan (NRSA) in anticipation of active work to implement the commitments of the Republic of Tajikistan and international donors for remediation of uranium ore tailings and processing waste in the country. 

 

Details: This project is proposed to be financed in the framework of the Norwegian Government Action Plan. Under this project NRSA will be provided with new calorimeter, derivatograph, and laboratory reagents needed for validation of the data submitted by site operators and for independent measurements and analyses of soil, water, air, and waste samples. The database equipment will be supplied for NRSA to record, track, and have an easy access to the measurements and samples data.  

 

The proposed project fits into the geographical area of the Norwegian Government Action Plan for 2018-2022, which covers projects and activities in North-West Russia and in the countries of the Former Soviet Union (FSU). The proposed project fits into three of seven focus areas of the Norwegian Government Action Plan for 2018-2022, namely: 

 

1) Cooperation with/strengthening of regulatory authorities of the FSU countries; 

2) Radioactive waste; 

3) Environmental monitoring.

 

The direct beneficiaries and target groups of the project are:

 

Primary beneficiaries:

  • NRSA licensing and inspection department/personnel;   

 

Secondary beneficiaries: 

  • Operators of uranium ore tailings and processing waste sites in Tajikistan;

  • Greater Tajik, Central Asian, and global community in terms of improved monitoring and regulatory control of uranium ore tailings and processing waste legacy sites in Tajikistan before, during, and after their remediation.  

 

Project Background: 

 

During the time of the Soviet Union a number of uranium ore mining and processing facilities operated in Tajikistan resulting in more than 55 million tons of radioactive waste accumulated in the north of the country. This waste in a form of tailings and rock piles has a total estimated activity of 240-285 x 1012 Bq. It is concentrated within 180 hectares located in populated areas and in close proximity to the Syr Darya River and the second-largest city of Tajikistan - Khujand, presenting serious local, and wider regional health and environmental risks. 

 

Several international donors, such as European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Union (EU), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), EurAsEC/Russian Federation, USA, Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA), and other donors provide assistance to the Government of Tajikistan in implementation of the above-mentioned Strategy and Program. Most of the assistance, however, except from DSA, is provided to the operators of the legacy waste facilities in the country. 

 

For the last 10+ years DSA assists the regulatory authority of Tajikistan NRSA in developing legal and regulatory frameworks for radioactive waste management in the country. In addition, NRSA and its technical support organization (TSO) are in urgent need of instruments and lab accessories that will allow them to perform analysis in accordance with international standards and to validate the data submitted by operators during their activity. Currently, NRSA and its TSO have certain infrastructure and equipment in place. They are technically and physically outdated and do not meet modern regulatory requirements. Certain instruments, such as calorimeter and derivatograph, which are needed to perform measurement of different samples from legacy sites, have never been available at NRSA. 

 

 

Project Milestones:

30 September 2019 - Project approved by DSA;

16 December 2019 – Visit to NRSA facilities in Dushanbe and Khudjand, Tadjikistan for detailed planning and preparation for project execution;

27 December 2019 – the project is registered at the Tajik Ministry of Economic Development and Trade as international technical assistance/aid; 

29 May 2020 - 3 tenders for equipment and reagents announced for procurement (TED Europa and Doffin); 

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