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Sri Lanka expels ship carrying nuclear material for China

Sri Lanka expels ship carrying nuclear material for China, Channel News Asia, 22 Apr 21, COLOMBO:
Sri Lankan authorities on Wednesday (Apr 21) expelled an Antigua-registered ship that entered the island’s territory without declaring a radioactive cargo bound for China.

The country’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Council said the MV BBC Naples was asked to leave after it was found to be in the Chinese-run port of Hambantota on Tuesday night carrying uranium hexafluoride.

“The ship failed to declare its dangerous cargo – uranium hexafluoride – and we decided to order it to leave our waters immediately,” council director general Anil Ranjith told AFP.

The ship had come from Rotterdam but authorities did not say where in China it was headed.

Ranjith said it was an offence to enter a port without declaring the material, which is used to enrich uranium, the fuel for nuclear power stations and weapons.

Sri Lanka’s opposition leader Sajith Premadasa demanded an investigation into the incident, describing it as a serious safety threat……

The entry of two Chinese submarines into Colombo in 2014 angered neighbouring India, the traditional regional power which is competing with Beijing for influence in the Indian Ocean.

Since then, Sri Lanka has not allowed Chinese submarine visits.

April 22, 2021 - Posted by | ASIA, incidents

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