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article image300 radioactive Japanese cars seized by Russian customs

By Anne Sewell     Jul 23, 2012 in World
Russian officials started monitoring imports from Japan soon after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in March 2011. They state that they have stopped 300 radioactive cars from entering the country.
Following the disaster at Fukushima, when a tsunami caused severe damage to the nuclear power plant, the Russian government implemented a monitoring scheme to check all Japanese imports, including food and consumer goods, for radioactive contamination. This scheme is in place at entry points like the city of Vladivostok.
Since the monitoring began, officials have checked 473 aircraft, 908 ships, 500,000 shipments and more than 42,000 people, as they arrive from Japan.
Gennady Onishchenko, head of Russia's consumer rights watchdog states, ­"We have inspected 150,000 vehicles as part of this monitoring mission. Three hundred units that have been seized indicated a level of radioactivity.”
No mention was made of the company supplying these radioactive cars.
Besides the Russian authorities, the EU and World Health Organization have been keeping a close eye on all Japanese food imports through Russia's far eastern border.
Onishchenko says, "We import very little food products from Japan, but we have restricted a number of the country’s provinces from delivery. The Japanese side has shared with the international community the data on provinces which have a dangerous fallout of precipitation." said Onishchenko.
He does state, however, that fish caught off the Japanese shores show signs of radiation. Russia's Consumer Rights Organization will be mounting a scientific expedition in August, with the support of the Russian Geographical Society, to find out if there is, in fact, a health threat from fish caught off the coast of Japan.
Onishchenko said, in relation to Fukushima, that this is the “first time we have encountered a contamination threat from another state."
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