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Hamburg port preps for radioactive ships

The Local · 30 Mar 2011, 08:30

Published: 30 Mar 2011 08:30 GMT+02:00

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Port and customs officials are working together with the Interior Ministry to create an emergency plan for processing radioactive freight, daily Financial Times Deutschland reported.

Customs will likely inspect the ships, a spokesperson told the paper.

“But we have the advantage that many ships usually pass through other European ports first,” the spokesperson said.

Similar measures are taking place at ports around Europe, and the largest in Rotterdam has demanded that shipping companies guarantee in writing that their goods from Asia have not been exposed to radiation coming from the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant in Japan.

“It is up to the shipping company to instruct their crews to clean the containers during their passage,” a spokesperson from Rotterdam said.

The first contaminated ships from Japan are likely to reach Europe in mid-April, but many officials remain uncertain on how to handle them.

“It will be very complicated and there is no solution,” Erik van der Noordaa, head of ship classification society Germanischer Lloyd told Financial Times

Story continues below…

Deutschland. “I imagine European ports will send away ships from Japan.”


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:37 March 30, 2011 by wood artist
Although the story here is unclear, is this based upon knowledge or supposition? It sounds as if the port authorities have already decided "everything from Japan" is going to be highly contaminated.

To me, it seems reasonable to test for exposure, and then deal with elevated levels if they are found. Remember, these ships have been at sea for some time, so it's likely low levels would have been either washed off or degraded to the point of posing no danger.

I have no problem with the testing...that's just prudent. This story seems to suggest something more, like presumption of guilt in court.

11:04 March 30, 2011 by moistvelvet
When they realise preventing certain ships from entering German ports might start to harm German exports they'll soon sound the all clear and welcome them in.
20:32 March 30, 2011 by t-meister
we must have our sushi!!!
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