No longer able to sell and ship many used cars to Russia, South America, Australia and the US due to their high levels of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown, some dealers in Japan have instead resorted to registering them under new plates and illegally selling them domestically.
Radiation testing is now being conducted at Japanese loading docks, and to date almost 700 vehicles have been deemed unfit for export because they exceed the legal radiation limit of 0.3 microsieverts per hour. But recently, a van that was originally registered in a town within the nuclear plant's 30km exclusion zone, was re-sold by a dealer, even though its radiation levels were found to be a shocking 110 microsieverts an hour. A level over 300 times the legal limit. Health problems aside, concerns over radioactive contamination are making it particularly difficult for the country's post-natural disaster economic recovery, since many of their international trading partners have put strict limitations on the nation's exports. And reports like this only serve to make the rest of the world even more cautious. [NBC LA]
Photo: AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Kanji Tada