Colombo Port acts against nuclear radiation

Monday, 21 March 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) along with the Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) and Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) has taken immediate precautionary measures against possible radiation threats to the country due to the recent explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plants in Japan.

SLPA Director of Security Major General Sanath Karunaratne said with the instructions of the Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardhana and the advice of SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath B Wickrama and Managing Director Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, all cargo arriving from Japanese ports from and around the affected areas is subjected to radiation checks at the Port of Colombo.  

He explained that inbound containers and motor vehicles are driven through the portals available under the Mega Ports Initiative jointly commissioned by the US Energy Department and the Ministry of Ports in 2006.

Sri Lanka is the first country in the Indian Subcontinent to embark on establishing the Container Security Initiative (CSI) under which substances of an explosive nature utilised for weapons of mass destruction and Mega Ports Initiative (MPI) where radioactive material are scanned jointly by the SLPA and SLC.

The 11 March earthquake and tsunami caused power shortages across northern Japan, including at the Daiichi plant in the Fukushima prefecture which comprises six separate nuclear reactors. That in turn caused a failure of the reactors’ cooling systems, which are needed to keep the nuclear fuel from overheating and melting down and triggering an explosion, releasing poisonous radiation into the atmosphere.