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Answers demanded over nuclear waste found in Laem Chabang Port

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Answers demanded over nuclear waste found in Laem Chabang Port | The Thaiger

by Pratch Rujivanrom

After Friday’s alert about radio active material being discovered at Thailand’s main sea port at Laem Chabang, authorities have passed on very little news

Now academics are urging authorities to come clean with information about the radioactive waste found at the port and investigate the shipment’s entire route.

The Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP) and the Port Authority of Thailand have said the radioactive waste was safely retrieved from the seaport in Chonburi yesterday (Sunday), but there has been no detailed information about the radioactive material detected inside the export container holding scrap aluminium.

Somnuck Jongmeewasin, a lecturer at Silpakorn University’s International College, noted that the radioactive waste was found last week, but all that’s been revealed is that it has the form of five-centimetre-long, needle-shaped pieces with an unsafe radiation level of 85.83 microsieverts per hour.

According to the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT), the acceptable level of radiation exposure for humans is 1,000 microsieverts per year. Exposure should be limited to 2.73 microsieverts per day or 0.11 per hour.

Somnuck said there was still no information about the kind of radioactive material or its isotope, half-life or origin, so it was impossible to determine the risks to anyone who might have been exposed or the level of radiation contamination in the environment.

“The relevant agencies have to fully disclose the details of this to the public as soon as possible so we can properly deal with it, because radioactive waste is a very severe threat to public health,” he said.

“Even though the radiation is far too low to cause instant sickness, the received radiation, when the level is high enough, will accumulate in the body, which can trigger serious sickness such as cancer in the future.”

The TINT has said that anyone accumulating more than 1,000 millisieverts or being exposed to more than 100 millisieverts per year is likely to eventually contract cancer.

Somnuck also demanded that the agencies involved investigate the background, since smuggling radioactive waste violates several laws. He speculated that this was not the first time such waste had been smuggled through Thai ports. He suspects a connection with the trade in hazardous waste because disused machines containing radioactive parts are shipped to Thai recycling plants and the separated metal materials are transported overseas to be melted down for other uses.

OAP deputy secretary-general Ratchada Hempatavee said little had yet been revealed about the situation because her office, the Customs Department and the TINT must wait for permission from higher up the chain of command to make any announcements.

The three agencies have finished analysing the radioactive waste and removed it from the port, she confirmed.

“We urge the public not to panic because the situation has already been handled, and the Customs Department, which is agency with leading responsibility on this issue, will provide more information when we’re ready,” Ratchada said.

Meanwhile, Laem Chabang Port managing director Pol Sub Lt Montree Lergchumniel concurred that the situation was under control. And despite rumours, he said, the seaport had not been closed.

Answers demanded over nuclear waste found in Laem Chabang Port | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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Bangkok

Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12

The Thaiger

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Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12 | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: AFP

His Majesty the King has ordered the Royal Barge Procession to be postponed to December 12, originally scheduled for October 24, as recommended by the organising committee chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngarm told Parliament yesterday about the official postponement.

After ten rehearsals and one dress rehearsal, he said the organising committee agreed that, if the procession were to proceed on October 24, the water conditions in the Chao Phraya River, currents and weather conditions would not be optimal. The committee then reported its concerns to HM the King, who subsequently agreed that the event be postponed until December 12, the beginning of the winter in Bangkok and the most settled weather of the year, according to Thai PBS World.

The committee will meet again on October 21 and a formal announcement will be made about the new schedule, said Wissanu, adding that December would be perfect timing for the event as there will be little chance of rain.

The Royal Barge Procession is the official finale of the King’s Coronation ceremony held in May this year. Their Majesties the King and Queen will ride on one of the 52 barges in the procession.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Here’s an example of what it will look like…

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Bangkok

BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok

May Taylor

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BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok | The Thaiger

Tourist police in Bangkok have arrested a thief accused of pick-pocketing tourists on the city’s BTS Skytrain, along with an Indonesian couple charged with credit card fraud and card skimming.

Kasem Masan Jantaro, a 44 year old food vendor in the Huay Kwang market, says he started pick-pocketing when business became too slow for him to adequately support his family. The Skytrain security team alerted the police after several reports of tourists being pick-pocketed on the trains. Victims described the thief as middle-aged, with pale skin.

Kasem was arrested while trying to flee the scene at the Asok BTS station on Wednesday and was found to have 4,600 baht in cash and four stolen credit cards in his possession. Thai Residents reports that Kasem was previously prosecuted for drugs offences in 2015 and for robbery in 2016.

In a separate arrest, Bangkok police detained 32 year old Alexander Eddilias and 33 year old Estie Rusdiana, an Indonesian couple charged with being in possession of fake credit cards, stolen credit cards, and skimming devices used to steal credit card information.

The arrest comes after several banks notified police of transactions made using fake cards and the couple were tracked to a room in the Pratunam area of Bangkok. Officers also seized a computer, a skimming device, twenty two fake credit cards, two stolen credit cards, and twenty four credit card receipts.

The suspects say they bought the information on the Dark Web. The information was then recorded in the magnetic strip of the fake cards, which were used to make purchases worth approximately 2 million baht.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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ASEAN

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit

May Taylor

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Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | The Thaiger

November 4 and 5 have been approved as official holidays for Bangkok and Nonthaburi as a result of the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits being held at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul confirmed yesterday that the measure was being taken in an effort to alleviate traffic problems in both areas during the summit, adding that other state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand could implement the holidays for their subsidiaries at their own discretion and on a case-by-case basis.

“Government agencies in Bangkok and Nonthaburi will stop working on these dates. Meanwhile, state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand will consider announcing November 4 and 5 as holidays for their subsidiaries on case-by-case basis.”

“However, government agencies which have a necessity to provide urgent or previously scheduled services to their clients that cannot be postponed may stay open on November 4 and 5, depending on the decision by the heads of these departments.”

Some other public or regional holidays coming up…

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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