2 Feb 2011

Samoa government agency reports that banned depleted uranium imported

8:06 pm on 2 February 2011

A government department in Samoa says data showing that banned depleted uranium was imported into the country needs to be investigated urgently.

A Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment report from last December shows that one of Samoa's key employers, Yazaki EDS Samoa Ltd, which makes wire harnessing for motor vehicles, imported batches of depleted uranium ten years ago.

The company says the report is wrong.

The ministry says further research might be needed to determine the accuracy of the report.

Called Chemical Profile of Samoa, the report says closer cooperation between the Ministry and the Customs Department is critical if the importation of banned substances is to avoided.

It found a host of weaknesses in the recording of chemicals imported, the tracking of them in the country, and the safe disposal of waste from them.

The 70-page report makes recommendations on how to combat these weaknesses.