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Special guard for radioactive material being exported says Harbour Master

a year ago

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Refuting claims of a suspicious container being loaded onto a vessel at the Colombo Port, Harbor Master Captain Nirmal De Silva stated that it is normal procedure to deploy the Special Task Force (STF) and Military personnel when radioactive materials are being handled. He made this statement while speaking to The Morning today (05). "I can assure that the contents of this container are completely legal and all the documentation is in place. The contents of this container is a radioactive material called Cobalt 60, which is the waste product of stronger radioactive materials that are used in medical equipment such as x-ray machines in hospitals. This shipment is headed to Canada for safe disposal as it is not possible to safely dispose of this by-product here in Sri Lanka. The company that is sending this container is Ansel Lanka and their documentation is cleared as well," said Captain De Silva. He added that cobalt 60 is not a highly radioactive material, but following the Dangerous Goods protocol, security is mandatory. Captain Silva further added that due to the current situation in the country, people tend to share content on social media to create further speculations and unrest, which he said was not right and urged the people refrain from doing so. When The Morning contacted industry sources for their input on the protocol for such shipments, they informed that in general, when shipping radioactive materials, containers have to be marked with cautionary symbols on all four sides.

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