Japanese Cargo Ships Monitored for Radiation
Concerns continue to spread over the radiation leak that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Governments all around the world are implementing ways to monitor and screen ships and aircrafts that are coming from Japan.
This extra screening could potentially cause delays at shipping ports. Recent Japanese cargo vessel was turned away a few weeks ago by the inspection bureau in Xiamen, China after authorities had detected radioactive traces on the vessel.
Actions that countries are taking to monitor the cargo from Japan:
- The United States Customs and Border Protection agency has been directed to specifically monitor air and ocean shipments coming from Japan.
- The marine department of Hong Kong is watching the vessels that have been within 30 kilometers of Fukushima and are examining those that reach Hong Kong.
- Local inspection authorities in inland China were asked to increase the monitoring for nuclear and radioactive materials. Qingdao Port is screening every batch of cargo that has originated from Japan since March 11.
- Indonesian authorities have started screening some ships from Japan at the Jakarta port by using wipe tests.
- Port Klang and Port Tanjun Pelepas have maintained their radiation monitoring as before the March 11 earthquake and nuclear leak in Japan.
- Containers arriving in the Dutch port of Rotterdam are automatically checked for radiation. This system has been in effect since 2001. Since Japan’s nuclear crisis, they have further gone to set up crews to track containers that have visited Japan or that might contain cargo originating from Japan.
Many shipping companies have opted to decrease their business in or near Japan as a precaution to the nuclear crisis.
- Hapag-Lloyd has stopped operations out of Sendai, Tokyo, and Yokohama. However, services are still operating from Kobe and Nagoya.
- Maersk Line of Denmark has decided to suspend its services to and from ports of Sendai, Hacinohe and Onahama. All other ports in the country are operating as normal.
Airlines have also made a few changes to operations since Japan’s incident.