Seventh Fleet Repositions Ships after Contamination Detected

Story Number: NNS110314-01Release Date: 3/14/2011 5:06:00 AM
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By U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affiars

USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19) - At Sea (NNS) -- 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 this airborne radioactivity is a radioactive plume released from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant.

For perspective, 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.

The ship was operating at sea about 100 miles northeast of the power plant at the time.

Using sensitive instruments, precautionary measurements of three helicopter aircrews returning to 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 affected personnel by washing with soap and water. They were subsequently surveyed, and no further contamination was detected.

As a precautionary measure, USS Ronald Reagan and other U.S. 7th Fleet ships conducting disaster response operations in the area have moved out of the downwind direction from the site to assess the situation and determine what appropriate mitigating actions are necessary.

We remain committed to our mission of providing assistance to the people of Japan.

For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit

3/16/2011 3:11:00 PM
Super proud MOM here. My son is a 14-yr (so far) sailor on one of the ships assisting with the disaster in Japan. Thanks so much for providing this information center. Smooth waters and Navy strength to all as you go about your heroic duty. GO NAVY!!

3/15/2011 8:03:00 PM
God be with our sailors and the people in this tragic event. My son is on the uss blue ridge and without these updates I would be unaware of what is going on with him and his shipmates. It breaks my heart , that such a tragety has happened ...but makes me very proud to know that my son along with the rest of the military can aid in helping those who have lost so much.

3/15/2011 4:28:00 PM
Is it possible to quickly erect some solar or wind sources of energy to keep the cooling systems at the nuclear power plants operational during this type of catastrophe?

3/15/2011 1:09:00 PM
Thank you for the information. As a Navy Mom it is difficult to not worry about all our children in this area of operation. Reading your information has helped to put my mind at "a little bit" of ease. God bless the sailors of the US Navy.

3/15/2011 2:25:00 AM
I am just a bit concerned of the radiation in the area as my son is on the blueridge and i don't get to hear from him much, am proud of our troops but hope that their safety is held to a high priority. Thats a nasty deal they have falling onto and just would like to hear a little reassurance that they will be protected as best as possible, and good comin sense. Thank you and goodluck, Love my son Clinton A. Wagner uss navy. Daryl L. Wagner

3/14/2011 11:19:00 PM
Daiichi #3 uses plutonium in its core, and may have experienced at least partial meltdown. If US vessels operating in the path of prevailing winds had encountered a plume laden with plutonium, by the time radioactivity was detected there would have been dead personnel. I've been watching this all afternoon, and I can't understand why the fleet operated downwind of reactors in partial meltdown up until contamination was detected.

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The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)underway.
Official U.S. Navy file photo.
March 12, 2011
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