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Low-Flying Government Helicopter To Measure Radiation In Boston Area

BOSTON (CBS) – Heads up, Boston: A helicopter will be flying around the city at altitudes as low as 150 feet this week, but officials say there's no cause for concern.

The National Nuclear Security Administration announced in a statement that from Tuesday through Friday, a low-flying helicopter will be measuring "naturally occurring background radiation" over an area covering 13 square miles.

The helicopter, equipped with radiation-sensing technology, will fly in a grid pattern at about 80 miles per hour. The flights will only happen during daylight hours.

"The measurement of naturally occurring radiation to establish baseline levels is a normal part of security and emergency preparedness," the statement read.

The flyovers will be completed days before the Boston Marathon on April 18. There's no specific mention of the marathon in the official statement, but the government has been measuring radiation over Boston just before the race for the past several years.

RELATED: FBI, Police 'Calm But Guarded' In Advance Of Boston Marathon

The NNSA says it's making a public announcement about the flyover so that residents won't be alarmed.

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