Imported fish consignment held back pending tests
The Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) has detected fish consignments
imported to Sri Lanka that were contaminated from radio active
substances in the seas following the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, AEA
chairman Dr Ranjith Jayawardene said.
He told the Daily News that the AEA had been checking all imported
fish consignments to Sri Lanka since the Fukushima incident to ensure
these were safe for human consumption.
He noted that the AEA discovered salmon and other fish consignments
which were slightly contaminated by radioactive substances last November
and also last week during checks. The container load imported in
November was released after a laboratory test to ensure that the level
of radioactive substances is harmless for human consumption. This load
included fish from the seas off China.
The fish consignment imported to the country last week has been
retained by the Customs until a special laboratory test. The chairman
said that the results of this test would be released within two days.
A special programmer to monitor radioactive substances in the seas
off Sri Lanka has been commenced with the aid of the International
Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), Dr Jayawardene said.
He said that the programmer's intention is to analyze the impact on
Sri Lankan seas from the radioactive leakage of the Kagoshima nuclear
power plant last year.
Dr Jayawardene noted that during the leakage, radioactive
contaminated water mixed with sea water contaminated the marine
environment, posing a threat to aquatic life.
He noted that the AEA informed the IAEA about these incidents.
The IAEA had proposed to initiate a special programmer in the seas
off 17 IAEA member states of the Asian Pacific region to monitor
radioactive substances in sea water taking these facts into
The chairman said that the marine samples collected from 10 selected
places within a one km distance from the shore would be checked for
radioactive substances, specially for cesium 137. The programmer would
be continued for the next two years.
Australian expert Ronald Szymborska of the IAEA arrived in Sri Lanka
last week to provide guidance for this programmer. A special seminar was
held for local experts in universities and NARA in this regard on