Germans detect radioactivity in exported Naples garbage

June 5th, 2008 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Hamburg, June 5 (DPA) Staff at a German incinerator that is burning rotting garbage from Naples have detected radioactivity in one of the containers, city of Hamburg environment officials said Thursday. A radiation-protection company has been called in to unpack the container and find out what is giving off the low-level radiation, which was equivalent to the cosmic radiation experienced in an aircraft 10 km above the ground.

It was the second time a Geiger counter had detected radioactivity in a container of Naples garbage during routine checks. In the first instance a few days ago, the radioactivity level was below the legal limit and the refuse was burned.

The environmental officials said the radiation in both containers was too weak to be a danger to incinerator staff.

The site, in the Hamburg district of Billbrook, began receiving up to four trainloads of garbage weekly in May under a contract to dispose of a total 30,000 tonnes of household refuse from the Campania region, where Naples is the main city.

Organised crime and corruption have been blamed for Campania’s failure to open new tips and incinerators.

German incinerator companies, which operate under tight anti-pollution rules, have told Rome they can handle 160,000 tonnes of the Campania rubbish.

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