Tuesday, March 15, 2011
USS George Washington detects radiation
Tokyo (CNN) -- U.S. Navy personnel are taking precautionary measures after instruments aboard an aircraft carrier docked in Japan detected low levels of radioactivity from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the Navy said Tuesday.
The USS George Washington was docked for maintenance in Yokosuka, about 175 miles (280 kilometers) from the plant in Okuma, when instruments detected the radiation at 7 a.m. Tuesday (6 p.m. ET Monday), the Navy said in a statement.
Personnel will limit outdoor activities and secure external ventilation systems there and at a nearby air facility in Atsugi.
"There is no appreciable health risk, and we are being very conservative in our recommendations," U.S. Naval Forces Japan Commander Rear Adm. Richard Wren said.
Japan nuclear crisis continues Radiation risks rise in Japan Radiation and human health 'Very high' risk of radioactive material
In a recorded video message, Wren said the additional radiation exposure over the past 12 hours had been less than one month's exposure to naturally occurring background radiation.
Workers are scrambling to cool down fuel rods and prevent a full meltdown in three reactors at the earthquake-hit Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan warned Tuesday that the risk of further releases of radioactive material from the plant remains "very high."
Radioactive steam has been released intentionally to lessen growing pressure in the reactors. But radiation levels at the plant increased Tuesday to "levels that can impact human health," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 5:25 AM