Since 1991 – Wismut GmbH

The Wismut rehabilitation project – revival of a region
In the wake of German reunification, the world's fourth largest uranium producer has evolved into a state-run remediation company. Rehabilitating large-size radioactively contaminated sites formerly operated by Wismut in Saxony and Thuringia is one of the largest ecological and economic challenges facing the reunited Germany today. Established in 1991, Wismut GmbH addresses itself to the task of reclaiming former mining sites and restoring the environment for the benefit of man and nature.

The overall project includes abandonment and flooding of underground mines, water treatment, dismantling and demolition of contaminated buildings and structures, safe encapsulation of tailings ponds, and rehabilitation of mine dumps. In addition, Wismut GmbH is running an extended network to supervise and monitor the areas concerned. Specifics of the Wismut Project include that while activities within this complex environmental remediation task are related, each site has a unique set of clean-up problems, which represent a total of more than one thousand individual projects located within densely populated areas.

Wismut is also an important partner on the regional level: numerous contracts were and continue to be farmed out to small and medium-sized businesses located in both regions following tendering procedures. By doing so, the Wismut company makes a major contribution to foster the economic development at sites under rehabilitation.

Areas which uranium mining operations had claimed for decades were restored to former uses and enhance environmental qualities and the quality of life in their neighbourhoods. The Wismut Project has emerged as an important international reference project for state-of-the-art technologies for the rehabilitation of radioactively contaminated sites.
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