Taiwan returns irradiated containers

Kyodo

Fifteen radiation-contaminated containers from Japan have been sent back since the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant in March 2011, Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council told Kyodo News on Wednesday.

The council said once a container is detected contaminated with radiation at Kaohsiung port, the importer is given the choice to either clean it or have it sent back.

Kaohsiung Customs has detected 226 containers contaminated with radiation coming from or routed through Japan since March 2011, The Liberty Times reported in its Wednesday issue.

Kaohsiung Customs, the island’s only seaport equipped with radiation detection monitors, screens more than 95 percent of all container traffic.

Due to its strategic location, the Port of Kaohsiung was selected as the first of Taiwan’s seaports to begin the Megaports Initiative, a global antiterrorism seaport network spearheaded by the United States in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Kaohsiung is among the top 20 ports around the world that are included in the first-phase implementation of the port safety plan.

Under it, partners are provided with radiation detection devices to screen containerized cargo for nuclear and other radioactive materials that could potentially be exploited by terrorists.