NUCLEAR DETECTION OF CARGO “IS LIKE LOOKING FOR A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK”

An article from Dutch Customs in the report “Dutch Customs in 2019” is concerned with checks on incoming and outgoing sea and air cargo for banned radioactive substances.  To that end, rings of nuclear detection gates were installed at strategic points in the port of Rotterdam and at Schiphol, and there are also have mobile vehicles at both main ports to detect sources of radiation in logistical streams.  It is said that the alarms go off a couple of hundred times every day, but in maybe 99.99% of the cases, the alarms can be explained, they are harmless and no further action is needed.  There are a lot of goods that by nature give off low, acceptable doses of radiation, such as porcelain and cat litter.  However, non-natural – and illegal – radioactive sources are found in cargoes of scrap metal on a fairly regular basis.

https://www.customsnl-insight.nl/article/325168501

[Incidentally, several years ago a free talk by a specialist at a logistics trade fair in the UK attracted only a mere handful of attendees, me included.  This, I guess, highlighted the lack of awareness and/or interest in hauliers etc.  Even with my customs background, I was unaware of the regularity of contaminated cargo, the presence and use of the test equipment at certain UK ports, and the huge cost that could be involved -passed on to the shipper or customer – if a cargo was identified and had to be segregated and disposed of]

 

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Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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