FBI: SUSPECT SHIP LIKELY TO RETURN TO NEW YORK HARBOR
An FBI official Friday that while tests for radioactivity will continue on cargo containers aboard a vessel anchored outside New York harbor, the likely source of radiation is a containerload of clay tiles.
“The container of interest does not pose a threat to the public,” said Sandra Carroll, special agent for the FBI in Newark, N.J. She also said Friday it was possible the ship, the 'Palermo Senator,' may return to the New York harbor and be docked by Saturday.
For safety reasons, officials will test all containers on the vessel, “Palermo Senator,” which was sent back to sea last week after federal authorities detected radioactive materials on board. Sources had also claimed noises were heard within the containers, pointing toward possible stowaways.
Energy Department and Coast Guard officials, along with some military personnel, participated in the investigation.
A 2000 United Nations report, “Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation,” said some building materials and soil contain natural radiation sources known as radionuclides. “Upon decay, these radionuclides produce an external radiation field to which all human beings are exposed,” the UN report said.
The 10-year old “Palermo Senator,” built in Hamburg, is owned by a German steamship line, Reederei F. Laeisz, and has about 600 containers to offload in the port of New York and New Jersey.