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AEC to probe alleged nuclear waste dumping in waters near Taiwan

2017/02/11 21:09:56

Taipei, Feb. 11 (CNA) The government will look into allegations that an Italian businessman dumped radioactive nuclear waste in the ocean near Taiwan, the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) said on Saturday.

Italian media recently cited declassified documents from an Italian intelligence service as saying that Giorgio Comerio, an international trafficker in nuclear materials, allegedly disposed of 200,000 barrels of North Korean radioactive waste in the ocean near Taiwan in the 1990s, a deal on which he earned US$227 million.

The council said it attaches great importance to the reports and has requested Taiwan's representative office in Italy help confirm their veracity.

Citing statistics from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the AEC said although a total of 13 countries were known to have dumped nuclear waste into waters including the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean between 1946 and 1993, no nuclear waste has been found in waters near Taiwan.

The AEC conducts regular radioactivity tests on marine life in Taiwan's coastal waters and these have consistently produced normal results, the council said, urging the public not to panic.

(By Chiu Po-sheng and Y.F. Low)