Chile customs agents find low levels of radiation in cars from Japan

Glow-in-the-dark cars?
May 10, 2011

The radiation scare after the twin disasters that hit Japan on March 11 continues as some cars imported from the country were found to have low levels of radioactivity.

According to the English-language Mainichi Daily News, customs agents in Chile detected low levels of radioactivity in 21 of the nearly 2,500 cars that arrived in the Chilean port of Iquique. The cars were said to have been shipped from the Japanese port of Yokohama.

Chilean port workers reportedly protested against working on the cars, saying that their health was at risk. Chilean deputy treasury secretary Miguel Angel Quesada, however, said that the cars are safe. The Chilean nuclear commission confirmed that the detected radioactivity levels are too low to cause damage to humans. As a precation, Quesada said that the cars will be hosed down on board and that any radioactivity will be contained inside the ship.

Another report from said that the cars were all second-hand vehicles that the Hyundai No.106 cargo ship picked up in the Japanese ports of Osaka and Yokohama.

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Yokohama is roughly 300 kilometers south of Fukushima where a nuclear reactor was damaged by the March 11 double disaster.

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