More Japanese fishery exports found radiation-tainted
Thu Mar 8, 2012 6:24PM GMT
South Korean officials say that an increasing number of Japanese fishery products exported to the country are found to be contaminated with radioactive materials.
South Korea’s Animal, Plant and Fisheries Quarantine and Inspection Agency said on Thursday that in the first two months of the year, the country has detected traces of radioactive materials, such as cesium, in 32 separate shipments of fisheries products from neighboring Japan.
The figure represents an over 50% increase from 21 cases detected in the nine months of last year since the meltdown of a reactor and resulting radiation leak at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in March 2011.
“The frequency of radiation detection appears to be rising as two reactors at the Fukushima plant are currently leaking radiation,” an official at South Korea’s quarantine agency said on condition of anonymity.
He added, “But there has not yet been any case where Japanese fisheries products have been banned as the level of cesium found in the products is still far below the international standard.”
Following the nuclear crisis in Japan, South Korean authorities have run regular radiation checks on all fisheries imports from Japan but have never blocked shipments.
They say that there are no immediate plans to ban imports as their levels are far below the maximum intake limits.
The highest level of radiation detected in Japanese seawater and marine products this year is 6.24 becquerel, about 1.7 percent of the maximum intake limit of 370 becquerel, according to South Korea’s Animal, Plant and Fisheries Quarantine and Inspection Agency.