Theodore's World: USS Carrier Ronald Reagan Moved After Detecting Radioactive Plume Off Japan

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March 14, 2011

USS Carrier Ronald Reagan Moved After Detecting Radioactive Plume Off Japan

What is Low Dose Radiation Exposure


USS Carrier Ronald Reagan Moved After Detecting Radioactive Plume Off Japan


The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and other US Navy ships in the waters off the quake zone in eastern Japan were repositioned after the detection of a low-level radiation plume from the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant located 100 miles away.

According to 7th Fleet Commander and Spokesman Jeff Davis, the ships were moved away from the downwind direction of the plant as a precautionary measure on Sunday.

The carrier is one of seven US Navy ships that were quickly moved to the eastern coast of Japan to assist with relief operations after Friday's earthquake and tsunami.

The ship's crew was exposed to a very low level of radiation.

"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 from sources such as rocks, soil, and the sun, " Davis said.

According to Davis, the radiation was first detected by air particulate detectors aboard three helicopters located 60 miles away from the shoreline.

The helicopters were returning to the carrier from a relief mission to the quake and tsunami ravaged city of Sendai.

Davis said the source of the radiation was a radioactive plume emitted by the plant.

After the helicopters landed on the carrier, radioactive contamination was found on the exterior surface of three aircrafts.

Following decontamination protocols, the 17 crewmembers aboard and the three helicopters were tested and found to have been exposed to low levels of radiation.

Most of the radiation was found on the crewmembers clothes, but radiation was detected on the skin of one of the crewmembers.


Wild Thing's comment........

This is really horrible what is happening. I can't imagine being in their situation. Prayers for our troops and that Japan can get conrol of their various reactors.

The last I have heard Japan is having trouble with have problems with #1, #2 and #3 reactors.

Posted by Wild Thing at March 14, 2011 04:55 AM


I hope the Japanese can get this situation under control. I remember how hard the Russians tried at Chernobel, then had to abandon the site and a wide swath for many miles downwind.

The Japanese are probably the best prepared to deal with problems at nuclear power plants. If they are having this much trouble, you have to really worry about the errors that could occur with crazies like Iran or Venezuela. Of course if Iran's nuclear program suffered a major meltdown that might not be a bad thing.

Posted by: TomR, armed in Texas at March 14, 2011 11:02 AM

This morning there are reports that the Japanese have asked the US NRC for help in cooling the reactors. From what I've read, Fukushima #3 uses a fuel called MOX which is different that the fuel in #1. Apparently it has a lower melting point and is some mixture of uranium and plutonium. Sounds ominous. I certainly hope they get a handle on it quickly. How much worse can this disaster get?

Posted by: Jim at March 14, 2011 02:16 PM

High level exposure is 100 milliREM, Radiation workers are allowed up to 500 milliREM per year. Uncontrolled exposure of 5 mREM in an hour would be alarming enough to move a carrier if there was not a pressing need to stay in that location. I expect the Japanese have similarly conservative standards. The nuclear regulators consider a lifetime exposure of 5 REM to be the limit of safe exposure.

500 REM is in theory the point that will cause problems that will kill half of the population but the Russians have a river empties into the Arctic Ocean that was contaminated by one of Stalin's projects where kids have grown up with that exposure. No one is going to do human studies to refine the theoretical. Numbers.

The highest radiation level one of the installed sensors at Three Mile Island was exposed to was 125 milliREM. That is an inside story number direct from the engineer who was logging the measurements. He was a friend in the same chapter of the IEEE as me. I don't know what the regulators admit to.

Posted by: Avitar at March 14, 2011 06:22 PM

We need to send obama to Japan to absorb all of the radiation.

Posted by: Eddie (Enemy of the State) at March 14, 2011 07:51 PM

Thank you for all the information, I appreciate it. So much of that I did not know about.

Eddie,hahaahaha I was thinking of that halo the media always has with photos they take of him.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 15, 2011 02:17 AM