The US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, sailing 100 miles off the east coast of Japan, passed through a cloud of radiation spawned by the country's crippled nuclear reactors, delivering a month's worth of radiation to the crew in just one hour, reports the New York Times. Officials stressed that the radiation dosage was relatively low, and that none of the crew had shown any ill effects from the exposure. American helicopters flying about 60 miles from the reactors also showed signs of radiation exposure and had to be washed off.
Prevailing winds could have the radioactive clouds reach Wake or Midway Islands later in the week, but “[a]t this point, we have not picked up anything," said an official. But fears that dangerous levels of radiation could drift to the United States have created much anxiety. “It’s going to be very important,” said one nuclear expert, “for the Japanese and US authorities to inform the public about the nature of the plumes and any need for precautionary measures.” (Read more Japan nuclear plant stories.)