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Russia stops 50 radioactive cars from Japan


Apr 14, 2011

VLADIVOSTOK - CUSTOMS officials in far eastern Russia said they had stopped almost 50 secondhand cars shipped for sale from Japan that showed excessive radiation levels.

Customs officials stopped 49 cars with radiation levels up to six times above normal, while some vehicles had traces of the radioactive isotopes caesium-127 and uranium-238, said Roman Famin, who heads the regional customs' radiation monitoring department.

The radioactive cars started arriving at the Vladivostok port 10 days ago, but the government consumer watchdog has not made a decision on what to do with the contaminated cars, Mr Famin said at a briefing.

'If the decision is not made, the port will be filled with radioactive vehicles,' he said.

The Vladivostok port receives about 300 cars from abroad every day, its management said in a statement on Thursday, complaining that it would shortly run out of space to park the contaminated cars.

'If authorities don't make a decision about radioactive cars, there will be no place to store them after a while,' port director Sergei Lopunov was quoted as saying. -- AFP

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