Sunday, February 09, 2014

US Navy sailors sue Fukushima operators for £600m

Nearly 80 US Navy sailors who supported Japan after the Fukushima disaster demanded £612 million (US$1bn) from Tokyo Electric Power Plant (Tepco), operators of Fukushima. According to plaintiffs, over the last three years they have suffered from different diseases as a result of radiation exposure.

An earthquake that was followed by tsunami and nuclear disaster took place March 11,2011. The USS Ronald Reagan super-carrier was sent to the northeast coast of Japan to assist the country.

The vessel crew that includes sailors and support personnel claims that during the operation, called Operation Tomodachi, they were exposed to radioactive plumes. According to them, since the accident they have suffered from different health issues, ranging from cancer to fertility problems.

Their claims were submitted to San Diego District Court in California. Paul C Garner, a lawyer representing the Nevy sailors, says that "they are suing Tepco for negligence in permitting escape of radiation from Fukushima nuclear power plant, strict liability, fraudulent concealment of true facts and a $1 billion medical fund plus compensation."

This is an amended claim, as an earlier version was dismissed by the judge in San Diego last year.

The US government assured that the levels of radiation were too low and the sailors couldn't get their health damaged. The government also published a list of exposure details.

The US Navy spokesman told The Telegraph that after the operation all crew was monitored and the levels of radiation exposure were very low.

Vessels' personnel deny Government's proofs and continue to stand their ground.

Lt Steven Simmons, a 36-year-old administration officer, told that he had fallen ill within months of returning to the US from his deployment on the USS Reagan. He said that doctors didn't do internal and external monitoring of people. He also said that though he heard via intercom that "contaminants" got into water, he had already had his breakfast and had drunk several glasses of water. Mr. Simmons used to be a very healthy man. He used to doing the P90-X work out and claimed the "Stairway to Heaven" in Hawaii. After his return, his health began to decline. Today he is wheelchair bound father of three children. Doctors say that it can't be a radiation poisoning. Otherwise, Lt Simmons would have been affected earlier.

Tepco that is now facing a large number of lawsuits from Fukushima residents doesn't comment on the issue. The company's representative thanks the US for all its help and assures that the company would appropriate all measures, assigned by the Court in US.

Today, three years after the Fukushima disaster, concerns in the region are growing. Local city governments are adopting resolutions that stipulate more intensive testing of coastal seafood. Some scientists think that seaborne radiation from Fukushima will wash up on the US West Coast. Nevertheless, the most of scientists assure that radiation will decay or lessen to the concentrations that don't have any effect on people's health.

Voice of Russia, Telegraph

1 comment:

  1. Fukushima fishermen approve plan to release groundwater from plant...

    TOKYO — Fishermen working near Japan’s destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant agreed today (March 25) to allow the release of uncontaminated groundwater around the facility into the ocean, a fisheries union official said, a rare victory for the operator.

    Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the operator of the Fukushima station that suffered triple nuclear meltdowns after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, is trying to contain radioactive water at the site. It has lobbied local fishermen to allow a “groundwater bypass” for nearly two years.

    “The final consideration was based on the fact that we cannot allow them to release contaminated water. We realised that if the situation continued as it was, the whole system will fall down”, said Mr Kenji Nakada, an official at the Fukushima fisheries federation.

    “In such a case, the fisheries industry in Fukushima would be completely finished”.

    Tepco has built a thousand tanks at the Fukushima plant that hold more than 431,000 tonnes of radioactive water. Nearly 90 per cent of available capacity in the tanks are already filled with radioactive water.

    Contaminated water accumulates at a rate of 400 tonnes a day at Fukushima as groundwater flows downhill into the destroyed basements of the reactor buildings and mixes with highly radioactive water used to cool melted fuel. Radioactive water poses a long-term risk to the shutdown of the Fukushima Daiichi station, a task expected to span more than three decades.

    Tepco’s bypass will release 100 tonnes of groundwater a day that flows downhill towards the devastated plant and funnel it to the sea before it reaches the reactor buildings.

    Both Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency have said controlled release of low-level water should be considered to make storage space at the facility for irradiated water.

    Local fisheries unions had been bitterly opposed to Tepco’s proposed bypass after irradiated water leaked from tanks that were just uphill of the proposed groundwater drains last year. The leaks sparked international alarm and led to a boycott of Fukushima fish by South Korea.

    Last month Tepco found another leak of highly contaminated water from one of its hastily built tanks at the plant..................


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