Chinese Customs Intercepts Radioactive Waste From Japan

Customs officials in China have intercepted 1,127 tons of imported waste metals from Japan with excessive gamma rays in the coastal city of Ningbo in the country's east.

Radiation levels of the waste metals, imported by a recycled metal company in Ningbo, was twice the national standard and hazardous to humans and the environment, Chinese state media reported on Tuesday quoting Customs officials.

The metals contained caesium-137, a radioactive isotope of caesium. Small amounts of caesium-137 were released into the environment during nuclear weapon tests and nuclear accidents, most notably the Chernobyl disaster.

Customs authorities have ordered the cargo to be returned after referring the case to the anti-smuggling department for further investigations.

Ningbo Customs has intercepted 8,544 tons of imported scrap metals with excessive radiation from Japan since the tsunami-triggered Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011, said Customs officer Wang Lingbao.

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