Yesterday’s nuclear emergency message concerning the possibility of radiation contamination across Japanese and local flight information regions appears to have generated doubt over its authenticity and a few conspiracy theories that it’s a put-up by environmental lobbyists.
That’s because the source is given as the London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre – which might seem a curious origin for a warning on radioactive hazards – and which, in any case, doesn’t appear to list the warning on its Internet site.
But it’s not a surprise that London VAAC issued the alert. It was invited to be the focal point for International Atomic Energy Agency radioactive debris warnings to aircraft during an International Airways Volcano Watch meeting in Thailand – as this document shows.
As for the warning itself, it might not be on the VAAC site but it clearly features in the operations room of the Eurocontrol Central Flow Management Unit:
Just for the sake of completeness, the full message (plus a NOTAM detailing a 30km exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant) is given below:
London VAAC has issued at 0300 UTC a
ORIGIN: VAAC LONDON
INFO SOURCE: IAEA
START OF RELEASE: 20110315/0300 UTC
END OF RELEASE: ONGOING
FIR NAMES: FUKUOKA, MANILA, TAIBEI, SHANGHAI, INCHEON,
PYONGYANG, VLADIVOSTOK, KHABAROVSK, YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, ANCHORAGE.
FIR CODES: RPHIZRZX, RCAAZQZX, ZSSSYMYX, RKRRZQZX,
UHWWZRZX, UHHHZRZX, UHSSZRZX, PAZAZQZX
Pls note that the above message is not published in VAAC website.
The following Notam is published with the proviso that Operators should make themselves aware on any other relevant NOTAM enroute and at destination airports (when overflying the above mentioned FIR’s or dep/dest Japanese airports).
(B1080/11 NOTAMR B1048/11
A)RJSS B)1103150259 C)PERM
E)IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ARTICLE 80 OF CIVIL AERONAUTICS LAW,
FLT PROHIBITED AREA IS ESTABLISHED AS FLW,
IDENTIFICATION : RJP1
AREA : WI A RADIUS OF 30KM FM 372529N1410158E
(THE TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER CO.INC. FUKUSHIMA NO.1,
OKUMA-FUTABA-CHO FUTABA-GUN IN FUKUSHIMA)
RMK/SEE AIP ENR 5.3-29