HONG KONG - Shipper Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. says one of its container ships, MOL Presence, from
Japan filled with furniture and other goods was found to have high
radiation levels by Chinese authorities on March 22 and was refused
permission to unload.  The ship has since been allowed to dock in Hong Kong and unload its furniture and other goods, says Mitsui, and ikssued the following statement:

"On March 22, the company received a report alleging higher than normal radiation had been detected on the MOL Presence during quarantine inspection at Xiamen Port in Fujian Province, PRC.

Re-measurement was conducted on March 26, and the port authority notified MOL that “A maximum of 3.5 micro sieverts per hour radiation was detected on board, which is a higher level than the allowable maximum under the present standard, therefore the vessel must be cleaned to reduce the radiation before it can be allowed to off-load its cargo at the port.”

However, on-site inspection by a third party was not approved, so the MOL Presence departed Xiamen on March 27, and was again inspected by Nippon Kaiji Kentei Kyokai off Kobe Port on March 30. Subsequent to that inspection, MOL received a report that the detected radiation level was significantly lower than the level detected in Xiamen.

The MOL Presence departed for Hong Kong on April 1, and, as a result of inspection by the Hong Kong port authority, radiation safety was confirmed and the vessel received permission to berth and conduct cargo operation."

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