Tokyo Flights Now Being Tested for Radiation

Mar 18, 2011, 12:20

Tokyo airports are filled with passengers looking to get out of the city, and the U.S. is not taking the matter lightly. U.S. officials say traces of radiation were found on United and American airlines jets that arrived at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport from Tokyo.

It was determined that passengers and cargo on the Wednesday flights were not at risk, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"No aircraft entering the United States [Wednesday] tested positive for radiation at harmful levels," U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.

The Department of Homeland Security said it had initiated the testing of airline and ocean traffic for radiation contamination "out of an abundance of caution."

U.S. airlines and government officials are monitoring a radiation plume moving over the Pacific that was predicted to reach the United States Friday.

Maps used to guide aircraft in the North Pacific now carry a red radioactive sign to denote a no-fly zone over Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi reactors, and flight controllers have been given the coordinates of an area over the Pacific where airborne concentrations are of greatest concern, the Tribune said.

"Upper air forecasts are pretty good," aviation consultant Robert Mann said. "As long as you know what to look for, you can forecast where the stuff is going to go."

Source: UPI