Russia still wary imported Japanese cars are contaminated by radiation

Aug. 2, 2013 at 10:14 AM

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Radiation-contaminated vehicles from Japan are still a concern in Russia, even though their numbers have fallen sharply, officials said.

More than 930 vehicles exposed to radiation from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant have been detected in Russia's eastern ports since an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in 2011, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

About 59 and 43 contaminated vehicles, respectively, were detected in the first two quarters of 2013, Russian customs officials said. That's a significant reduction from the average of 90 contaminated vehicles detected quarterly in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

The primary concern now, officials said, is used vehicles and spare parts.

Contaminated cars are sent back to Japan.

Last year, almost 150,000 used vehicles were imported to Russia from Japan, the International Auto Trade Association said.

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