Aviation regulator issues warnings over Japan nuclear plant

LONDON, March 16, 2011 (AFP) - Aviation regulators in London have issued a formal warning over the possible radioactive hazard from Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.

London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), the world's focal point for notifying the aviation industry of International Atomic Energy Agency warnings on the release of radioactive material, issued a message covering 10 regions.

A screen grab taken from news footage by Japanese public broadcaster NHK on March 16, 2011 shows the damaged reactor N4 at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station on March 15, 2011. AFP

The open-ended warning, issued at 0300 GMT Tuesday, applies to airspace zones in Japan, Russia, China, the United States and South Korea.

VAAC came to prominence last year when it was at the centre of coordinating the response to the Iceland ash crisis.

Most carriers are still flying to Tokyo, but German airline Lufthansa Tuesday diverted flights from the capital to other Japanese airports.

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