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Uranium Fairytales from Kremikovci, Bulgaria

Location and site description

The Kremikovci region (which includes the villages Seslavci, Buhovo, Kremkovci, and Yana) is located at the base of Stara Planina Mountain in Bulgaria. The uranium mines and extraction facilities closed down after 1992, but serious environmental, social and health problems persist. Buhovo is one of the sites in the Kremikovci region, about 22 kilometres (14 miles) from the capital city Sofia.

Buhovo is known as the first uranium extraction site in Bulgaria, established right after WWII. While locals were initially involved in agriculture, the gradual integration to the bigger city of Sofia, uranium ore extraction, and creation of the largest steel factory in the country transformed the town into a symbol of pollution among industry workers. Men were employed in extraction work until the 1970s, when ore was exhausted, after which most people began working at the “Kremikovtzi” Industrial Complex. Employment opportunities attracted thousands of workers from all over the country, creating population flow and temporary migration for several decades.

Click here for the factsheet (4 pages): FS_011_Kremikovci

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