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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: I. A. Vasiliev, D. S. Barber, V. M. Alekhina, S. Mamatibtaimov, D. Betsill, and H. Passell

Summary  

In March of 2000, scientists from four nuclear physics research institutes in the Central Asia Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and the U.S. Sandia National Laboratories embarked on a three-year cooperative transboundary river monitoring experiment. The experiment, named Navruz (meaning “new beginning'), uses standardized methods to monitor basic water quality parameters, radionuclides, and metals in the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers. Overall, the project addresses three main goals: (1) to help increase capabilities in Central Asian nations for sustainable water resources management; (2) to provide a scientific basis for supporting nuclear transparency and non-proliferation in the region; and (3) to help reduce the threat of conflict in Central Asia over water resources. Contamination of these rivers is a result of growing population, urbanization, agricultural uses, and radioactive and metals contamination from a legacy of uranium mining, industry, and other activities of the former Soviet Union. The project focuses on waterborne radionuclides and metals because of the importance of these contaminants to public health and political stability in Central Asia. Moreover, the method of enabling scientists from bordering countries to study a transboundary problem, can lead to a greater scientific understanding, consensus on necessary mitigation steps, and ultimately the political resolution of the issue. The project scope, approach, and preliminary results are presented.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: D. S. Barber, J. D. Betsill, A. H. Mohagheghi, H. D. Passell, B. Yuldashev, U. Salikhbaev, A. Djuraev, I. Vasiliev, and V. Solodukhin

Summary  

This paper presents the results of radioecological investigation of Central Asian rivers.This work was done as part of the Navruz Project, a cooperative, transboundary river monitoring project involving rivers and institutions in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and facilitated by Sandia National Laboratories in the United States. The study of waterborne radionuclides and metals concentrations in Central Asia is of particular interest because of the history of nuclear materials mining, fabrication, transport, and storage there, when it was part of the Soviet Union. This development left a legacy of radionuclides and metals contamination in some Central Asian regions, which poses a clear health hazard to populations who rely heavily upon surface water for agricultural irrigation and direct domestic consumption.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: K. K. Kadyrzhanov, D. S. Barber, V. P. Solodukhin, V. L. Poznyak, I. V. Kazachevskiy, B. B. Knyazev, S. N. Lukashenko, S. Khazhekber, J. D. Betsill, and H. D. Passell

Summary  

As part of an international collaboration (the Navruz Project) between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and the United States of America on transboundary river monitoring, the Radiometric Laboratory of the Institute of Physics in Kyrgyzstan measured the isotopic composition of uranium (as measured by &, the ratio of activities of 234U/238U) for the water of the Naryn River basin. This ratio varies from 1.5 to 1.9 due to natural causes. The results point to the lack of the technogenic uranium along the Naryn River through territory of the Kyrgyz Republic and to the contamination of the Mailuu-Suu River by technogenic uranium from tailing dumps in the area. The share of technogenic uranium transported to Uzbekistan does not exceed 30&, and the total uranium content is considerably lower than the maximum admissible concentration (MAC) and is almost an order of magnitude lower than that of potable waters of the Chui Valley of Kyrgyz Republic.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: B. S. Yuldashev, U. S. Salikhbaev, A. A. Kist, R. I. Radyuk, D. S. Barber, H. D. Passell, J. D. Betsill, R. Matthews, E. D. Vdovina, L. I. Zhuk, V. P. Solodukhin, V. L. Poznyak, I. A. Vasiliev, V. M. Alekhina, and A. A. Djuraev

Summary  

This article presents the results of the investigation on radionuclide contamination, physical and chemical forms of plutonium in soil samples of various zones at the territory of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site (SNTS), and the analysis of these results in connection with characteristics of the performed tests. There was revealed the character of various sites differing by concentration level, 239+240Pu to 241Am concentration ratios, presence forms, area distribution, and magnetic fractions of transuranic radionuclides.

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