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Coordination Group for Uranium Legacy Sites (CGULS)

Contributing to safe remediation and safe long-term management

The IAEA’s Coordination Group for Uranium Legacy Sites (CGULS) promotes cooperation among Member States with uranium legacy sites and national and international organizations that support work to safely remediate the sites.

Through CGULS, the IAEA supports a network of national and international organizations and institutions concerned with the safe remediation and management of residues at these uranium legacy sites. Most of the sites are located in Central Asia with some located in other Member States.

They stem from the mid-1940s to the 1990s, when uranium mining and processing were prevalent in Central Asia. As planning for end-of-life management was not common at the time, the sites were left with residues of radioactive and toxic contaminants. These pose ongoing threats to the health and the livelihood of people in the region, as do abandoned mines and processing infrastructure.

CGULS facilitates information exchange, coordination and optimization of resources in work to reduce risks to people and the environment.

The IAEA assists Member States in the development of regulatory frameworks, and in capacity building activities for regulatory bodies and operators of the uranium legacy sites. The CGULS project facilitates the application of IAEA safety standards and international good practices in remediation projects conducted in Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

 CGULS comprises the IAEA, the European Commission, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Germany, Norway, France and Belgium as well as other Member States support the Group.

In 2017, Central Asian countries in which remediation projects are set to be carried out endorsed a Strategic Master Plan developed with CGULS support for remediation of uranium legacy sites. The Plan provides a platform to prioritise remediation activities.

 CGULS activities include:

  • Facilitating meetings between Member States and international organizations planning remedial activities in their countries;
  • Proficiency testing for laboratories conducting work under the project;
  • Expert missions to explore remediation strategies;
  • Scientific visits to sites using good practices;
  • Expert missions to evaluate remediation activities;
  • Advisory missions to evaluate support facilities and coordinate reviews of remediation plans;
  • Expert assistance in developing site specific monitoring plans;
  • Developing regulatory guidance documents related to the remediation of existing sites.

This project/activity is conducted by the IAEA, with funding by the European Union.

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