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U.S. aircraft carrier ordered farther away from radiation from Japanese nuclear plant

A Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter aboard the carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which has served as a refueling platform for aircraft bringing supplies to a region ravaged by earthquake and tsunami.

The U.S. aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, whose home port is San Diego, has been ordered repositioned away from Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant after low levels of radiation were detected in the air and flight deck, Navy officials said Monday.

Photos: Scenes of earthquake destruction in Japan

The maximum amount of radiation that crew members aboard the ship may have been exposed to was equal to that which someone might be exposed to during a month by natural sources, officials said.

The Reagan was operating about 100 miles northeast of the crippled plant as part of the U.S. humanitarian mission to the country, which was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Videos: Fukushima nuclear plant explosion

Low levels of radiation were detected among 17 crew members of helicopters ferrying supplies to the island. The contamination was "easily removed by washing with soap and water," officials said.

Still, the Reagan and two other San Diego ships, the Preble and the Chancellorsville, were ordered to move out the downwind direction from the nuclear plant and any leaking radioactivity. The U.S. remains committed to the relief mission, officials said.

RELATED:

Tsunami video: Time-lapse images show California coast under siege

Crescent City a 'magnet' for tsunamis, with more than 30 in last 78 years

Interactive map: Hundreds of aftershocks rock Japan; dozens struck before great quake

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: A Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter aboard the carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which has served as a refueling platform for aircraft bringing supplies to a region ravaged by earthquake and tsunami. Credit: U.S. Navy

 
Comments () | Archives (3)

How is it that the commander of the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier group still has their job?

They displayed sever negligence, or just plain stupidity, in commanding their aircraft carrier group to fly and sail through radioactive plumes blowing out to sea from the damaged Japanese nuclear reactors.

Jim,
My brother is on the Reagan and has previously explained that the captain of any nuclear-powered vessel must complete part of the training through which those who work in the nuclear department go. Thus the captain of the USS Ronald Reagan is very familiar with allowable tolerances and at what point nuclear exposure becomes a concern. The captain is well trained to watch for exposure issues especially knowing that some of his men are exposed to radiation every single day on the job. He also has various department heads advising him.

Furthermore, the radioactive particles in the are are very susceptible to winds which can change rather suddenly. The type of radiation to which one is exposed makes a huge difference, and the captain is well advised about the type of radiation to which the crew has been exposed. Some types of radiation will not penetrate the skin and can be easily washed off. From the reports this it sounds like this is the type of radiation to which the sailors have been exposed.Moving the carrier group away is nothing more than a precaution and at no time was my brothers life, nor any of the crew, in any danger. A little study of how various nuclear particles effect people and are moved can dissuade simple misinformed panic.

Well, Japan is a major ally and trading partner, and we maintain permanent military bases there. We are rapidly turning into a nation of aggressive sociopaths who care for nothing and no one, but not enough yet to abandon a very close ally to save a buck.


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