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Wasserman reports: "The suit includes an infant born with a genetic condition to a sailor who served on the USS Ronald Reagan as radiation poured over it during the Fukushima melt-downs, and an American teenager living near the stricken site."

An aerial view of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 03/24/11. (photo: Reuters)
An aerial view of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 03/24/11. (photo: Reuters)


US Sailors Sick From Fukushima Radiation File New Suit

By Harvey Wasserman, EcoWatch

13 February 14

 

iting a wide range of ailments from leukemia to blindness to birth defects, 79 American veterans of 2011's earthquake/tsunami relief Operation Tomadachi ("Friendship") have filed a new $1 billion class action lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power.

The suit includes an infant born with a genetic condition to a sailor who served on the USS Ronald Reagan as radiation poured over it during the Fukushima melt-downs, and an American teenager living near the stricken site. It has also been left open for "up to 70,000 U.S. citizens [who were] potentially affected by the radiation and will be able to join the class action suit."

The re-filing comes as Tepco admits that it has underestimated certain radiation readings by a factor of five. And as eight more thyroid cancers have surfaced among children in the downwind region. Two new earthquakes have also struck near the Fukushima site.

The amended action was filed in federal court in San Diego on Feb. 6, which would have been Reagan's 103rd birthday. It says Tepco failed to disclose that the $4.3 billion nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was being heavily dosed from three melt-downs and four explosions at the Fukushima site. The Reagan was as close as a mile offshore as the stricken reactors poured deadly clouds of radiation into the air and ocean beginning the day after the earthquake and tsunami. It also sailed through nuclear plumes for more than five hours while about 100 miles offshore. The USS Reagan (CVN-76) is 1,092 feet long and was commissioned on July 12, 2003. The flight deck covers 4.5 acres, carries 5,500 sailors and more than 80 aircraft.

Reagan crew members reported that in the middle of a snowstorm, a cloud of warm air enveloped them with a "metallic taste." The reports parallel those from airmen who dropped the Bomb on Hiroshima, and from central Pennsylvanians downwind from Three Mile Island. Crew members drank and bathed in desalinated sea water that was heavily irradiated from Fukushima's fallout.

As a group, the sailors comprise an especially young, healthy cross-section of people. Some also served on the amphibious assault ship Essex, missile cruiser Cowpens and several others.

The plaintiffs' ailments parallel those of downwinders irradiated at Hiroshima/Nagasaki (1945), during atmospheric Bomb tests (1946-1963), and from the radiation releases at Three Mile Island (1979) and Chernobyl (1986). Among them are reproductive problems and "illnesses such as Leukemia, ulcers, gall bladder removals, brain cancer, testicular cancer, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, thyroid illnesses, stomach ailments and a host of other complaints unusual in such young adults."

One 22-year-old sailor declared to the court that "Upon my return from Operation Tomodachi, I began losing my eyesight. I lost all vision in my left eye and most vision in my right eye. I am unable to read street signs and am no longer able to drive. Prior to Operation Tomodachi, I had 2/20 eyesight, wore no glasses and had no corrective surgery." Additionally, he said, "I know of no family members who have had leukemia."

Plaintiff "Baby A.G." was born to a Reagan crew member on Oct. 15, 2011 - seven months after the crew members exposure - with multiple birth defects.

The suit asks for at least $1 billion to "advance and pay all costs and expenses for each of the Plaintiffs for medical examination, medical monitoring and treatment by physicians," as well as for more general damages.

Both Tepco and the Navy say not enough radiation was released from Fukushima to harm the sailors or their offspring. But neither can say exactly how much radiation that might have been or where it went. The Navy has discontinued a program that might have tracked the sailors' health in the wake of their irradiation.

After its four days offshore from Fukushima the governments of Japan, South Korea and Guam refused the Reagan port entry because of its high radiation levels. The Navy has since exposed numerous sailors in a major decontamination effort whose results are unclear.

Now docked in San Diego, the Reagan's on-going safety has become a political hot potato. The $6 billion carrier is at the core of the U.S. Naval presence in the Pacific. Critics say it's too radioactive to operate or to scrap, and that it should be sunk, as were a number of U.S. ships contaminated by atmospheric Bomb tests in the South Pacific. There are also rumors the Navy is considering deploying the Reagan to a port in Japan, where protests would be almost certain.

Filed on Dec. 12, 2012, the initial suit involved just eight plaintiffs. It was amended to bring the total to 51.

That action was thrown out at the end of 2013 by federal Judge Janis S. Sammartino on jurisdictional grounds.

 

 

A January deadline for re-filing this second amended complaint was delayed as additional plaintiffs kept coming forward. Attorneys Paul Garner and Charles Bonner say still more are being processed.

The suit charges Tepco lied to the public - including Japan's then Prime Minister Naoto Kan - about the accident's radioactive impacts. Kan says Unit One melted within five hours of the earthquake, before U.S. fleet arrived. Such news is unwelcome to an industry with scores more reactors in earthquake zones worldwide.

The Plaintiffs say Tepco negligently leveled a natural seawall to cut water pumping expenses. The ensuing tsunami then poured over the site's unprotected power supply, forcing desperate workers to scavenge car batteries from a nearby parking lot to fire up critical gauges. Tepco belatedly dispatched 11 power supply trucks that were immediately stuck in traffic.

Similar reports of fatal cost-cutting, mismanagement and the use and abuse of untrained personnel run throughout the 65-page complaint.

Attorney Bonner will explain much of it on the Solartopia Radio show at 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Some 4,000 supporters have signed petitions at nukefree.org, moveon.org, Avaaz and elsewhere.

Feb. 11 - like the eleventh day of every month - will be a worldwide fast day for those supporting the victims of Fukushima's deepening disaster.

The future of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, the nuclear power industry and a growing group young sailors tragically afflicted by Fukushima's secret fallout will be hanging in the balance.

 

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+14 # indian weaver 2014-02-13 16:38
This shows how much the Navy cares about its personnel. The Navy obviously has the technology and trained staff to measure this radiation to which they recklessly exposed their crewmen. The Navy is culpable and should be sued by everyone affected besides TEPCO. What makes this Navy walk free after poisoning their people so horribly. This is the same kind of mess that the government exposed its workers who cleaned up the Twin Towers. Those rescuers and clean up personnel suffer similar "WORKPLACE INJURIES", COURTESY OF THE NAVY IN THIS CASE, AND COURTESY OF DUMDUM DUBYA IN THE TWIN TOWERS SITUATION. Work for our government at your peril. Not only does it send its people to fight fascist terrorist police actions worldwide but sends its people to be poisoned six ways from Sunday if you consider all the poisonings (besides those radiation poisonings mentioned in this article, add the 1000s of lives destroyed thru our uranium mining etc. - very widespread out here in the Four Corners). Work for our government at your peril. Do not join the Armed Forces because you will be exposed to poisons, dismemberment, burning, injuries of all kinds. Adding insult to injury, the Veterans Affairs Hospitals are under funded making curative remedies a major frustration for those whom the government has damaged, and continues to damage. The government does not care for or about its Armed Forces personnel, and most of its other bottom feeders.
 
 
+13 # ericlipps 2014-02-14 05:44
Well, the U.S. military used its own troops as guinea pigs in the 1950s (without those troops' knowledge or consent) to study the effects of radiation from nuclear tests. How much have things really changed?
 
 
+14 # tigerlillie 2014-02-13 23:08
Just the beginning of the repercussions.
 
 
+15 # Pikewich 2014-02-14 00:31
This is ACTUALLY how the US government "Supports Our Troops". Say one thing, do the opposite.

There is a long and dirty history of using military personnel as unwitting test subjects And if they have the unmitigated gaul to be injured in the line of duty, well good luck o you the VA.

So, join the army, be all the tool you can be.
 
 
+14 # curmudgeon 2014-02-14 02:32
As a CA resient, I just can't wait to find out just how much harmful radioactivity we REALLY have been exposed to since the disaster.
 
 
+6 # AndreM5 2014-02-14 10:07
Scripps Inst. Oceanography (UCSD) monitor air and sea radioactivity. It takes 2-3 yrs for the sea water from Japan to reach SD so larger readings should start to be detected now. It took 5 days for radioactivity to be measured in the air. They are mainly monitoring I-129 in water and sulfur in air, which is being dumped into the ocean by nuc plants all over the world.

The amounts detected are "tiny" because the measurements are sensitive to a "handful" of atoms at a time. The Pacific is vast so the dilution is huge and atmospheric dilution is equally so, but additions from Fukushima can be detected. The key is that Scripps has at least 7 years of prior data for baseline.

My contacts at Scripps have been unable to obtain funding for continuous or more extensive testing from the EPA, Calif Air Resources Board, Natl Acad Sci, etc.

http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/science/2011_08radiosulfur.asp
 
 
+8 # keenon the truth 2014-02-14 03:15
平成26年02月09日19時5 5分頃 宮城県沖 M4.3
平成26年02月09日12時5 0分頃 福島県沖 M4.1
平成26年02月08日11時3 4分頃 福島県沖 M4.8
平成26年02月 8日02時18分頃 福島県沖 M5.0


To translate '
Feb 8nd 2.18am Fukushima Earth temor Mag 5.0
Feb 8th 11.34 Fukushima Earth tremor Mag 4.8
Feb 9th 12.50 Fukushima Earth tremor Mag
4.1
Feb 9th 19.55 Miyagi (near Fukushima) Earth tremor Mag 4.3

They say these are aftershocks. Scary anyway and like this every week
 
 
+8 # PABLO DIABLO 2014-02-14 14:01
So sad that these things just keep going on and on. Fukushima could be the worst disaster in the history of the human race. It is FAR from over.
 

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