Belgium donates 2 million euros to efforts to remediate uranium sites in Central Asia

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is pleased that Belgium will donate 2 million euros for the rehabilitation of radioactively contaminated sites in Central Asia. By doing so, our country contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, particularly in the field of public health and sustainable livelihoods. Apart from Belgium, the European Commission, the United States, Switzerland, and Norway are already participating in the initiative.

Belgium has extensive experience with civilian nuclear applications, for example in the field decontamination of uranium sites, improvement of laboratory analysis, assessment of the environmental impact or monitoring of the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation on public health. Belgian nuclear institutions were already involved decontamination of uranium sites in Central Asia and our country will once again make its expertise available.

After 50 years of uranium mining and processing, its consequences are a major risk to the population of Central Asia. To address this problem, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has pooled several donor funds to help the affected region clean up the most dangerous sites. Belgium will now contribute to this donor fund. In a first phase, projects will focus on priority sites in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.