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Tuesday, April 9, 2019 

Nuclear transportation at sea can be safely managed as long as shippers stringently comply with IMO and other international legislation, advised the head of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), Rear Admiral (ret’d) Peter Brady.

Fears over the transportation of nuclear cargoes through Caribbean waters, particularly as a result of the expansion of the Panama Canal, were addressed during lively debates at a well-attended conference organised by the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica. But rigorous international maritime legislation is in place to manage risk, ensure safety of life and protect the environment, explained Adm Brady, MAJ Director General.

“It has been a topical issue, one that has stirred many interests, some in support and others against,” said Adm Brady. “The fact that it is taking place at all demonstrates that the Caribbean acknowledges its rights and responsibilities regarding the management of shipments of nuclear cargo. I am pleased, therefore, that the seminar looks at the broad picture – encompassing how nuclear technology benefits Jamaica and the Caribbean, global and regional energy needs, and safety and regulatory issues.”

Adm Brady outlined the key IMO regulations which protect the environment and manage the safe operation of international shipping. “It is critically important that these international rules, which are treaties that member States sign, are not only enshrined into our domestic legislation, but also that we have competent persons in our respective maritime administrations to ensure their compliance by ships,” he said. "From a practical point of view, the global order that we have created together means that we need not be alarmed by the fact that a growing proportion of shipping moving through our region, to or from the Panama Canal, is carrying hazardous cargo. The common standards that have been painstakingly developed and which apply to the ships, the crews and the cargo can give us assurance that these shipments are carried out safely.”

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