US aircraft carrier sails into radioactive cloud

Washington: The US has moved some of its 7th Fleet warships and aircraft from the quake-hit Japanese nuclear power plant after the crew of the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan received a month`s worth of radiation in about an hour.

A spokesman of the Fleet said the warships had received alarms of low level radioactive contamination from smoke and steam released from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Earlier, the New York Times quoting government officials said the Ronald Reagan bringing aid to Japan had sailed into a radioactive cloud emitted following an explosion at the nuclear plant.

The US naval helicopters flying mercy missions about 96 kms north of the damaged reactors became quoted with radioactive dust that had to be washed off. The helicopters, which were returning after delivering aid in Fukushima also had to be scrubbed down, the paper said.

There was no indication that any of the military personnel had experienced ill-effects from the radiation exposure. But, the incident showed that prevailing winds were picking up radioactive material from the crippled reactors in northeastern Japan, the NYT said.

The 7th Fleet Commander, Jeff Davis told ABC News: "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."