Some US naval forces engaged in earthquake relief efforts have been exposed to low levels of radiation from the Japan nuclear crisis. The Navy is keeping its ships out of the radiation 'plume' and is taking precautions.
Scientists warn of risks from spent-fuel cooling pools and plutonium-rich, mixed-oxide fuel inside one nuclear reactor, even as the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors appear to be coming under control.
Release of radioactivity from the nuclear-reactor equipment has been limited, so it does not constitute a dire threat to the US yet. But the meltdown situation could quickly change.
Japan earthquake relief efforts are underway, with one US Navy ship already loading humanitarian supplies. The Pentagon's first priority Friday, however, was to make sure all its personnel and equipment in Japan and the Pacific were safe.
US naval exercises Sunday off the Korean peninsula take on added significance, after North Korean attack on a South Korean island. Pyongyang rails against the US-South Korea war games.
Democracies need to hang together, as Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama discovered in deciding not to reduce the American military presence.