Military

U.S. Forces' Off Japan Receive Treatment for Radioactive Contamination

Monday, March 14, 2011

Seventh Fleet Repositions Ships

Tokyo - (PanOrient News) The U.S. 7th Fleet has temporarily repositioned its ships and aircraft away from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant after detecting low-level contamination in the air and on its aircraft operating in the area. The source of the airborne radioactivity was a radioactive plume released from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant.

The fleet was operating about 100 miles (160km) northeast of the power plant at the time. Precautionary measurements of three helicopter aircrews returning to the USS Ronald Reagan after conducting disaster relief missions near Sendai identified low levels of radioactivity on 17 air crew members. The low level radioactivity was easily removed from the affected personnel and no further contamination was detected.

As a precautionary measure, the USS Ronald Reagan and other ships in the fleet were moved to a position away from the source of the radioactivity. The maximum potential radiation dose received by any ship’s force personnel aboard the ship when it passed through the area was less than the radiation exposure received from about one month of exposure to natural background radiation.

USDJ Commander Lt. Gen. Burton Field told a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo that“After that incident what they did is they analyzed where they were, what their mission was to be, and they moved their ships into an area where they thought there was not any chance of any further contamination.”

He added: “The exposure rate … is very, very low and … there is apparently no harm to the crew members and they are all back performing their mission today.”


Power loss at U.S. Misawa Air Base

USDJ Commander Lt. Gen. Burton Field said in the same news conference that Misawa Air Base in northern Japan had experienced a severe power loss.

Field said they used backup power and additional generators, which were sufficient to allow normal operations to take place at the base.

“The reason that’s so important is because that is one of the bases that we will use as a hub to bring in the support, not only from the United States and Japan, but from other countries,” Field said.

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