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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 May 21 - 27  > Fire breaks out on U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier on its way to Yokosuka
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2008 May 21 - 27 [US FORCES]

Fire breaks out on U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier on its way to Yokosuka

May 25, 2008
A nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to be deployed to Japan caught fire on the morning of May 22 local time.

The USS George Washington was on its way to the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo, to replace the retiring diesel-powered U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. It was on route to San Diego when the fire broke out.

The U.S. Navy reportedly said that there was no safety concerns with the carrier’s reactor as a result of the fire, although it took several hours to extinguish the fire.

Lawyer Goto Masahiko, who represents a Yokosuka civic group opposing the use of Yokosuka Port as the homeport of U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, said, “A fire aboard a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier could cause a major disaster because the reactor is placed close to ammunition-storage, a fuel tank, and a runway.”

Goto opposed the plan to deploy the USS George Washington to Yokosuka Port by saying, “The recent fire shows how dangerous a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier can be. The government should demand that U.S. forces disclose all information about the specific location and cause of the fire as well as about the present condition of the reactor.” - Akahata, May 25, 2008
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