BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan has sent back to Kazakhstan the first shipment of a batch of radioactive coal that led to controversy, arrests, and allegations of corruption in Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan’s Power Stations Joint Stock Company spokesman Azim Azimov told RFE/RL that all the tainted coal will be fully returned to Kazakhstan by February 28.
About 9,000 tons of the contaminated coal was supplied to Kyrgyzstan in September last year from the Qulan deposit in neighboring Kazakhstan.
Kyrgyz authorities announced last week that they have arrested seven officials over the decision to permit the coal to be imported and distributed to schools in Kyrgyzstan's northern Chui region.
Kazakh authorities have agreed to accept the coal back into Kazakhstan and reimburse the Kyrgyz side for transportation and storage costs.