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Grand Bahama Confirms Lack Of Radiation Detection Programme

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

GRAND Bahama Port Authority officials have confirmed the organisation does not have a radiation detection programme amid growing speculation over the screening of Japanese imports.

Up to press time, it was unclear whether or not the Freeport Container Port has an operational detection programme as information requests on the screening process were not returned.

Calls placed to Minister of Environment Kenred Dorsett for clarification on the issue, and the government’s position on the matter, have not been returned.

Last month, Jamaican customs authorities reported “higher-than-normal” levels of radiation in two shipments from Japan.

In an interview with The Tribune at that time, Comptroller Charles Turner confirmed the Bahamas Customs Department does not test cargo shipments for radiation contamination.

Mr Turner said he was “not aware of any checks being undertaken in the Bahamas”, nor did he have the proper training to speak with authority on the issue.

The Tribune has requested information from the Bahamas Customs department for the number of imported items from Japan since its nuclear accident in 2011.

However, officials confirm the request has not been authorised by Comptroller Turner.

According to The Gleaner in Jamaica, the Jamaica Customs Agency has been on “high alert” since the March 2011 earthquake-triggered meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

The JCA has been conducting the checks through a partnership with the United States Department of Energy, according to The Gleaner, which reported that tests are conducted on all vehicles and spare parts coming from Japan.

A statement from the US Embassy confirmed last week that officials are working with the government and the Port Authority to insure radiation detection equipment is operational.

US Energy Department officials visited the Bahamas in the week of January 27 to “review a radiation detection programme”, according to US public affairs officer Neda Brown, who said the potential for contamination is a “concern”.

Yesterday, Opposition Leader Dr Hubert Minnis hit out at the government again over its failure to respond to concerns on the screening of Japanese imports.

Dr Minnis said: “People are concerned about this. I’ve been getting lots of calls. I’m waiting on the government’s response. We only know what has happened in Jamaica.”

Comments

bigbadbob 3 years, 4 months ago

I bought a radiation meter for a engineering study I was doing , have not found anything above normal yet but nice instrument to have around, been testing fish coming from china and japan so far all is ok.

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TheObjectiveVoice 3 years, 4 months ago

Who from the Grand Bahama Port Authority confirmed this? This story, unlike usual Tribune stories, is empty and is a 95 percent rehashing of two old stories. It says nothing and so much all in one. Who from the Port Authority confirmed that and when? Did the GBPA issue a statement and was the person who confirmed it in a position to make such an assessment. This is not a story.

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nationbuilder 3 years, 4 months ago

why doesn't the Tribune know that the Freeport Container Port has radiation screening devices when this was made both national and international news when the devices were introduced years ago?

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The_Oracle 3 years, 4 months ago

Looking for hidden stuff/drugs/explosives and detecting radiation are completely different things. I think if a politician was ever asked a question and answered straight out, the truth, I'd pass out.

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