U.S. Navy repositions ships off Japan after radiation detected 

A U.S. Navy fleet had to reposition its ships and aircraft when low levels of radiation were detected in the air, Navy officials said.

Members aboard the U.S. 7th Fleet, which was near Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant, detected the source of the airborne radioactivity from the radioactive plume released from the power plant, officials said.

Despite the detection "we remain committed to our mission of providing
assistance to the people of Japan," the 7th Fleet statement said.

Navy fleet officials emphasized that the maximum potential radiation dose received by anyone aboard a ship that passed through the area was less than the radiation exposure received from about a month of exposure to natural background radiation from sources such as rocks, soil and the sun, they said in a statement.

Also operating in the area was the USS Ronald Reagan, which was roughly 100 miles northeast of the power plant at the time.

"Using sensitive instruments, precautionary measurements of three helicopter aircrews returning to the ship after conducting disaster relief missions near Sendai identified low levels of radioactivity on 17 air crew members ," a statement said.

The low-level radioactivity was easily removed from affected personnel by washing with soap and water, officials said, and no further contamination was detected afterward.

Navy officials moved the ships out of the downwind direction of the
radiation leaks.

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