* To return 20 kg after importing 20 tonnes on Aug 7
* Detected caesium 137 in scrap; unsure its origin within
(Adds more details, info from commission spokeswoman)
By Meeyoung Cho
SEOUL, Aug 11 South Korea plans to return some
steel scrap imported from Japan due to radiation contamination,
the first returned shipment since Seoul heightened nuclear
safety checks in 2012, the country's nuclear watchdog said in a
statement on Monday.
The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission detected caesium
137 at a higher than allowed level in 20 kilogrammes of steel
scrap out of a total 20 tonnes imported earlier this month, said
a spokeswoman at the agency.
The scrap's origin within Japan was unidentifiable,
according to the statement. Only the 20 kg of scrap, now stored
separately, will be returned, the spokeswoman said.
South Korea imports steel scraps from various countries for
The commission said it planned to ask the Japanese
government to cooperate on sharing information to prevent
radioactive materials from being transferred between countries.
South Korea in September of last year extended a ban on
Japanese fishery imports to cover imports from eight Japanese
prefectures, including Fukushima.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 sparked public fears
of radiation contamination from Japanese imports, and local
anti-nuclear activists used the event to argue against the
expansion of domestic atomic power.
(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Richard Pullin and Tom