US Monitoring Reports of Elevated Radiation Levels in Kazakhstan : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

US Monitoring Reports of Elevated Radiation Levels in Kazakhstan

WASHINGTON, Apr 6, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) The United States said Wednesday it was monitoring reports of elevated radiation levels in western Kazakhstan.

The State Department said local media there had reported that an inspection team from the Mangystau Atomic Energy Complex had found abnormal radiation levels in five locations in the Kazakh city of Atyrau.

Affected sites were areas near a school for the deaf and the Ak-Zhaiyk hotel, spots at the city's university and the road to the city's airport, the department said in a statement.

According to the reports, the inspection team said the only area where the radiation levels could pose a health threat was on the road to the Atyrau airport and then only after prolonged exposure, it said.

"Individuals passing through this area on the way to and from the airport would be unaffected," the statement cited the Kazakh scientists as saying.

However, it added that the US embassy in the commercial capital of Almaty was following the matter and that Americans with questions about it should contact the mission.

"Local authorities are aware of the existance of these hot spots and are awaiting results of tests to determine what, if any, course of action may be necessary," the statement said.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is due to visit Kazakhstan later this month but her itinerary does not include Atyrau. Albright is to travel to the new capital of Astana as well as Almaty on her trip. ((c) 2000 Agence France Presse)

-- Carl Jenkins (, April 06, 2000

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