FAA Ready To Act Re: Japan Nuclear Crisis

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The FAA is prepared to take measures in consultation with Japanese officials to minimize the threat to air traffic posed by radiation from Japan's troubled nuclear power plants. The Japanese civil aviation authority has already established flight restrictions to usher civil aircraft around the Fukushima facility in an effort to control the site and minimize exposure. Tuesday, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said "there is no credible information available at this point indicating the need for further restrictions," but that may change. Wednesday, the Japanese response evolved to dropping water on the site from helicopters. If the situation worsens, said Brown, "the FAA is prepared to take air management measures, including the rerouting of air traffic." That possibility now seems more likely.

Safety officials were pessimistic Wednesday about the situation in Fukushima. Nuclear safety officials in France stated questioned whether a meltdown could be avoided, according to the Telegraph.co.uk. U.S. nuclear safety officials have said that initial warnings from Japanese officials about the seriousness of the situation had been understated. The Pentagon has moved troops sent to aid in the relief effort to 50 miles from the Fukushima plant -- more than four times the distance set by the Japanese government. That's a sign, some say, that the situation is "out of control." A French government spokesman has said that if conditions at the plant erode, the result could have an impact worse than Chernobyl.