Uranium is mined in various places but Kyrgyzstan is more important as a center for processing the mineral. There are plans to increase production, in particular in co-operation with Russia and Kazakhstan – ore from the Chui-Sarisu deposit in Kazakhstan will be shipped to the Kara Balta Mining Complex for processing and then transported to Russia. Kara Balta currently processes about 450 tonos of ore a year – and operates at about 35% of it’s capacity. There are also plans to develope some of the deposits to be found in the Republic, itself.
In recent years, there has been a lot of attention paid to waste dump sites – where it is felt that conditions in the storage of unanium during the Soviet period are deteriorating.
In 2004, there was a controvery about the reception of nuclear waste from the UK for reprocessing at the Kara Balta plant.