Russia checking high-radiation ship in Far East: official

24th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia is checking a Panama-flagged vessel that arrived in its Far East region from quake-hit Japan with radiation levels three times the norm, the head of its consumer protection agency said Thursday.

The ship had delivered a cargo of plywood to Japan and had passed close to the quake-damaged nuclear power plant at Fukushima on its return voyage, Gennady Onishchenko said, the Interfax news agency reported.

"In the cabins of the ship the level of gamma-radiation was within the norm but in the engine rooms it was three times higher," he said.

He said that it was believed the radiation had passed into the engine rooms through a ventilator.

The ship has been placed in quarantine on the Pacific coast of the Khabarovsk region in the Far East and its crew of 19 have been placed under medical supervision, he said.

© 2011 AFP

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