WASHINGTON, March 15, 2011 — Officials told personnel in and around Fleet Activities Yokosuka and Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan today to limit outdoor activities and to turn off air conditioning due to the detection of low levels of radioactivity.
U.S. 7th Fleet officials said sensitive instruments aboard the USS George Washington, docked at Yokosuka, detected low levels of radioactivity released from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.
Limiting outdoor activities and turning off air conditioners “are strictly precautionary in nature,” the announcement said. “We do not expect that any United States federal radiation exposure limits will be exceeded even if no precautionary measures are taken.”
Officials stressed that these are low-level readings and the public is not in danger.
“According to the instrumentation at Fleet Activity Yokosuka, the levels are very low,” said Navy Lt. Anthony Falvo, 7th Fleet deputy public affairs officer. “For perspective, the additional radiation exposure over the past 12 hours was about 20 millirems –- which is less than one month’s exposure to naturally occurring radiation that one would get from the sun, the earth or rocks.”
Officials will continue the monitoring program and will constantly check the weather and prevailing winds, Falvo said. If anything changes, base officials will immediately notify service members and their families, he added.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)