"The worst scenario is death of Balkhash from thermal pollution" - expert

Date: 13:38, 08-04-2019.

Almaty. April 8. KazTAG - Kazakhstani environmental expert Mayra Zhunusova indicated the main threats that, in her opinion, the country could face is if nuclear power plants were built on the bank of the Balkhash lake.
“As the main environmental expert in the 1990s, I did everything to withstand the pressure of interested officials and did not sign the first nuclear power plant project. Of course, I did this not alone, there was a group of academics and doctors of nuclear physics, ” Zhunusova said commenting about plans for possible construction of an NPP at Balkhash, which was stated by Kazakhstan economist and diplomat Berlin Irishev.
According to Zhunusova, in the 1990s everyone was against this project.
“Socio-economic reasons: this is complete dependence on foreign supplies of fuel and personnel. They say that domestic uranium would be used, but the station does not work on raw materials, but on reprocessed fuel, Kazakhstan has no production capacities.. Someone has already written about personnel dependence, I do not want to repeat. But the worst is the death of the Balkhash lake from thermal pollution. It's no wonder they are looking at Balkhash. Looking for huge amounts of cooling water. And this is a tremendous thermal pollution of a unique lake," she added.
“It will be like genocide. We have a catastrophic shortage of water resources. We remember that almost all the rivers originate in China, where their waters are already being reclaimed. There are political and economic issues. Now ecology. Kazakhstan is recognized by the world ecological community as a country in which 60% of the territory is subject to desertification processes. The death of the Aral Sea because of the production of cotton. Today’s situation is very alarming in the Ural due to the massive loss of fish, ” she added.
The expert drew parallels with the Holodomor.
“Today we have just watched a new film about the Holodomor. There are some parallels. Those days Kazakhstan was assigned to the region, which should supply the USSR with meat, took away meat from people and lost 2 million people who died of starvation. Now what? It is clear that we do not need a nuclear power plant, " she said.
In her opinion, given the large territory of the country, “it is necessary to build more environmentally friendly stations in the field.”
“Why do we proclaim green economy and green energy ?  Why do we sacrifice the lake. Don't forget that there is the Balkhash smelter at the lake (...)It must be stopped. And it's not about friendship between countries. We are talking about the security of the entire Balkhash territory and the Earth, after all," she concluded.

Photo source: picture from an open source

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