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S. Korea to return imported scrap metal with radioactive traces back to Japan

2014/08/11 16:24

SEJONG, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has found radiation-contaminated metal imports from Japan and will return them, the country's nuclear safety commission said Monday.

The contaminated products were included in a 20-ton shipment of scrap metal that arrived at a seaport in South Korea's southeastern Gyeongsang Province on Thursday, according to the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission.

Miniscule traces of cesium-137 were detected in about 20 kilograms of scrap metal, which are being kept at a quarantine facility.

"The commission has installed radiation detectors at all major ports to prevent an inflow of contaminated materials," it said in a press release, adding that the Japanese scrap metal will soon be returned to Japan.

South Korea has intensified its monitoring against radioactive imports following a nuclear accident at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant in March 2011.

The country currently maintains an import ban on all fishery imports from eight Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima, where a meltdown of reactors had led to the massive leak of radioactive materials and contaminated water.

bdk@yna.co.kr

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