Near Issyk Kul Lake

The formation of a pollution leakage mostly by underground waters in the Kadzi-Sai tailings repository area is caused by the complex interrelation of cumulative stratigraphic, hydrological, and climatic factors (KAJI-SAY uranium tailings demonstration, 2006). The most probable primary source of environmental pollution is a very permeable water-bearing horizon of proluvial-talus sediments laid down in former channel beds. The pollution is possibly a result of washout and removal from places where it is buried on the right bank of the Western Sai by rain and freshet waters, and also a result of washout of a protective dam, heap number 2, which is in an unstable condition, by freshet waters from the Dzilubulak-Sai. A secondary influence on the pollution could be water-bearing horizons of lake sediments and the Issyk-Kul Lake, but the main source of pollution would be surface freshet waters.

The hydrological network of the area is represented by temporarily active or ephemeral channels. From the eastern part of the toxic tailings burial site, the Eastern Sai channel flows to join Western Sai channel. The

Dzilubulak-Sai channel, being formed at the merging of the two river branches, runs into the Issyk-Kul Lake. The basic hydrological characteristics of the Dzilubulak-Sai area are given below.

Picture 1. SCHEME OF CYANID WAREHOUSE AND ALPINE GOLD-MINING COMBINE

Picture 1. SCHEME OF CYANID WAREHOUSE AND ALPINE GOLD-MINING COMBINE

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Figure 1. Map of the cyanide storage building and the gold mining works

TABLE 1. Uranium tailings on the banks of the Mailuu-Suu River

Name and place

Date of construction

Volume (1,000 m3)

Exposition dose min/max (microroentgen per hour)

Number 2a, Ailampa

1967

85

20/40

Number 2b, Ailampa

1967

65

20/40

Number 3, "Izolit"

1954-1958

110-150

20/800

Number 4, Ailampa

?

115

25/330

Number 5, Mailuu-Suu River, right bank

?

111

20/400

Number 6, in the same

1970

35

15/30

Number 7, same

1958

600

15/55

Number 8, same

?

90

15/30

Number 9a, Mailuu-Suu River, left bank

?

115

30/60

Number 9b, in the same

?

50

40/70

Number 10, Mailuu-Suu River, right bank

?

70

20/30

Number 12, Ailampa-Say

?

62

20/30

Number 13, the same

?

40

30/360

Number 14, the same

?

99

15/30

Number 15, Suget-Say

?

47

15/90

Number 16, Ashvaz-say

1968

303

16/20

Number 17, Mailuu-Suu River, left bank

destroyed in 1994 by landslides

Number 18, near no. 3

?

3

25/800

Number 19, Mailuu-Suu River, left bank

?

1

15/25

Number 20a, Mailuu-Suu River, right bank

?

1

15/25

Number 20b, Mailuu-Suu River, right bank

?

2

18/85

Number 22, Mailuu-Suu River, left bank

?

2.2

25/18

Figure 2. Dwelling destroyed by landslide on banks of Mailuu-Suu River

The beginning of the pollution event is located approximately 150 m below the bridge across the Dzilubulak-Sai channel. At the start of the zone, the channel is entrenched into red sandstone and gritstones of the Kyrgyz ravine to a depth of about 10 m. As a result of the road being constructed on ash heaps, the channel easily breaches the barrier. The holding capacity created by the barrier is estimated at approximately 1.6-2,000 m3. As inflow increases above the holding capacity, the water would pour across the ash heap along a length of about 220 m, concentrating erosion at the foot of the slopes. A breach across the barrier is quite probable and the debris flow wave from higher up the drainage system would add to this. In this case, the sediment-laden water flow is transformed into a mud-flow, full of sand and ash heap products. Recharge with sediment occurs as a result intensive destruction of the banks by debris flows, both by direct abrasion and washout, and as a result of cave formation and shock or corrosive action involving crack formation and subsequent collapse of whole blocks of the bank.

At present, understanding of the characteristics of debris flows is limited to natural conditions, i.e. without taking into consideration the human-induced factors. The conditions of debris flow movement in the zones undergoing human economic activity are very complex, and urgently require careful scientific research, which at present is practically absent.

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