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Processors adopt Japanese mills’ radiation standards

Japan – Japanese and South Korean companies that handle scrap and metal materials have adopted radiation safety standards followed by Japanese steelmakers in response to the on-going nuclear crisis in Japan, industry sources have reportedly told the Platts news service.

While Japanese electric arc furnaces which consume ferrous scrap have radiation detection systems at their plant gates, there is no uniform safety radiation standard for the metal industry, with the criteria ranging from 0.3 to 0.5 microsievert per hour, scrap dealers in Tokyo have indicated. According to an official at the non-ferrous metals department of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry, the country has no radiation standard for metal and companies adopt their own levels to suit their particular business circumstances. Meanwhile, an official declined to confirm a suggestion that the government has advised industries to have third-party organisations check radiation levels of products.

Scrap from areas around the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant has been limited so far as the region moves to restore its power, water, road and communications infrastructure. It has been reported that some Chinese mills may suspend scrap purchases from Japan until the Fukushima nuclear crisis shows signs of stabilisation.

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