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The Daily Need

Photo: A super-size scrub

Sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan scrubbed the external surfaces on the flight deck and island superstructure to remove potential radiation contamination on March 23, 2011. Photo: U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Nicholas A. Groesch

Air operations aboard the USS Ronald Reagan were temporarily halted today so more than 300 crew members could clean the ship of potential contamination from a radioactive plume off the coast of Japan on March 13. The mast-to-deck scrubdown was conducted mainly using high-pressure sprayers, brooms and seawater.

The aircraft carrier was 100 miles from the Fukushima nuclear power plant when it encountered the low-level radiation plume emitted by the plant. The radiation levels were determined to be low enough to continue humanitarian operations aboard the ship, including serving as a floating refueling station for the Japan Self-Defense Force in Operation Tomodachi (Operation Friendship).

In case you were wondering how they got all those suds cleaned up, the flight deck has an awesome sprinkler system.

Photo: U.S. Navy/2nd Class Josh Cassatt

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