Turkmenistan: NATO Scientists Focus on Radioactive Dump Near Tourism Resort
A team of scientists and experts from NATO are assisting Turkmenistan address the country's radioactive past.
Turkmenistan has more than 21,000 tons of radioactive waste stored primarily at two sites, Khazar and Balkanabat, situated 600 kilometers and 400 kilometers from Ashgabat, respectively. The waste is a legacy of the Soviet era, the byproduct of iodine and bromine production.
According to news reports, a delegation, led by Dr. Chris De Wispelaere, director of NATO's Science for Peace and Security Program, and French expert Jean-Louis Tison, recently met with representatives from Turkmenistan's Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Nature Protection.
NATO's work focuses largely on the Khazar site where some 420 tons of radioactive waste are stored in wooden containers or in open storage over a 3 square-kilometer area. The situation at Khazar is reportedly "serious," as the hazardous waste is located just 200-meters from the shores of the Caspian Sea, according to NATO experts. Khazar is also less than 100-kilometers away from Turkmenistan's flagship tourism project, Avaza.