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Latino Daily News

Monday May 9, 2011

Chile Finds Traces of Radioactivity in Cars Imported from Korea

Chile Finds Traces of Radioactivity in Cars Imported from Korea

Photo: Chile Finds Radioactivity in Cars

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In Chile, about 20 cars have shown radiation levels close to five on the radioactive index, though officials claim it is not high enough to cause immediate worry.

The used vehicles were part of a shipment of 2,500 cars arriving in Chile from South Korea; the ship sailed from South Korea and then docked at the Japanese ports of Osaka and Yokohama, 300 miles from the nuclear reactor in Fukushima, heavily affected by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11.

Concerned Chilean port workers asked authorities to test the cargo, as well as 83 men who came in contact with the cars. Tests showed no signs of toxicity and workers were told that despite the presence of some radioactivity in the shipment, there was not enough to raise an alarm.

The customs director for the Chilean port city of Iquique, Mr. Raúl Barria said the radioactivity didn’t pose any immediate danger, as it is well below the radioactive index level of nine, needed for an alert.

Chilean officials have also said the cargo will undergo a heavy cleanup before they are sold in Chile.