South Korea has found that its imported scrap metals from Japan bore traces of radiation. It has announced it will return the items to Japan immediately.
Since March 2011, Japan’s government has focused on the cost of cleaning up after Fukushima, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Now, the bill is coming due for another unbudgeted consequence of that disaster – shutting down the nation’s 48 remaining nuclear reactors for costly safety reviews that could see many of them mothballed.
South Korean news agency Yonhap said the contaminated products were part of a 20-tonne shipment of scrap metal that arrived on Thursday at a seaport in South Korea’s southeastern Gyeongsang Province.
Checked and tested by the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, the latter found traces of Caesium-137 in 20 kilograms of scrap metal.
Yonhap said the radioactive scrap metal had been quarantined in a facility.
South Korea currently has a ban deterring the import of fishery from eight Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima.