U.S. military watching Japan radiation: Gates

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 22, 2011 1:23 PM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Pentagon is closely monitoring radiation from Japan's crippled nuclear reactors, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday when asked about the possibility of bringing home some U.S. troops stationed there.

Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, have leaked radiation after they were struck on March 11 by a massive earthquake and tsunami that led to the world's worst nuclear crisis in a quarter of a century.

"We're watching it very carefully. We're very concerned about the health of our men and women in uniform," Gates said during a visit to Russia.

The U.S. military has declared a 50-mile no-go zone around the plant and last week announced a voluntary evacuation of families of troops stationed on Japan's main island of Honshu.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; editing by Steve Gutterman)