Carrier returns to Yokosuka as concerns ease

Kyodo

The aircraft carrier USS George Washington returned to its forward-deployed port of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Wednesday, nearly a month after it left the base amid the radiation leaks at the tsunami-struck Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The carrier returned to Yokosuka to complete routine maintenance work as the situation at the crisis-hit plant has improved, U.S. Navy brass said.

The nuclear-powered carrier departed the port on March 21 for fear that radioactive materials detected on the ship could be mistaken as a sign of a radiation leak from its own reactor.

The Pentagon said the aircraft carrier made two visits to the port of Sasebo, in Nagasaki Prefecture, earlier this month to change some of its crew and take on equipment for the maintenance operation.