ECONOMYNEXT – A ship loaded with Uranium bound for China which had docked at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port for emergency repairs had left after authorities confirmed it was carrying dangerous cargo, the port said.
The China-run port said the ship’s agents Barwil Meridian Navigation had not declared to port authorities that there was dangerous cargo on board the vessel, Antigua and Barbuda registered MV BBC Naples.
The ship made an emergency call at the port for some urgent repairs,” Hambantota International Port Group said.
“It was later found that they were carrying a cargo of Uranium Hexafluoride via investigations made by the Sri Lanka Navy and the Port Authority.
“The vessel was required to leave the port no sooner the facts were verified.”
Uranian Hexaflouride (UF6) also known as ‘hex’ is enriched to increase its U235 isotope content to run nuclear reactors or make bombs.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Navy and Customs had earlier approved the docking based on the declaration made by the agent, HIGP said.
The Navy and Customs were present at all times and no cargo was unloaded from the China bound ship, the statement said. (Colombo/Apr21/2021)