Asia

U.N. Issues Warning Over Tajik Radioactive Waste

Soviet-era mines causing headaches

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The United Nations warned Friday that nearly 55 million tonnes of radioactive waste from old Soviet-era uranian mines remain in unsecured sites in northern Tajikistan.

The former Soviet republic, where Stalin's empire once mined uranium to create its first nuclear bomb, is still stuck with about 54.8 million tonnes of unsecured waste from the now mainly abandoned mines, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) said.

The waste is "not treated, not confined, not secured," agency spokesman Jean Rodriguez told reporters in Geneva.