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7 Years on, Sailors Exposed to Fukushima Radiation Seek Their Day in Court via The Nation

By Gregg Levine


Special investigation: US military personnel are sick and dying, and want the nuclear plant’s designers and owners to take responsibility.


The Reagan—along with two dozen other US Navy vessels—was part of Operation Tomodachi (Japanese for “friends”), the $90 million rescue, disaster-relief, and humanitarian mobilization to aid Japan in the immediate aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. For the sailors, the destruction was horrific—they told me of plucking bodies out of the water, of barely clothed survivors sleeping outside in sub-freezing weather, and of the seemingly endless wreckage—but the response was, at first, something they’d rehearsed.


Torres, the senior petty officer, recounted, “One of the scariest things I’ve heard in my career was when the commanding officer came over the loudspeaker, and she said, ‘We’ve detected high levels of radiation in the drinking water; I’m securing all the water.’” That included making showers off limits.

Torres described a kind of panic as everyone rushed to the ship store to buy up cases of bottled water and Gatorade—“they didn’t want to dehydrate.”

Cooper also remembers the announcement on the water contamination: “We were like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’” She was among those trying to buy bottled water, but said it was quickly taken off the shelves—reserved for “humanitarian assistance.” Instead, Cooper said she was told she’d be issued rations of one bottle of water per day. For the long, hard shifts spent outside, Cooper said it was not nearly enough. She said an attitude set in among her shipmates, “We were like, ‘Fuck that, we’re already exposed—I’m gonna drink the water.’” […]

Marco Kaltofen, president of Boston Chemical Data Corporation and an engineer with over 30 years of experience investigating environmental and workplace safety, noted that sensors in Richland, Washington, nearly 5,000 miles across the Pacific, saw a sixfold increase in radioactive noble gases in the days after the start of the Fukushima crisis. Chiba, the prefecture east of Tokyo, nearly 200 miles south of Fukushima, recorded radiation levels 400,000 times over background after the explosions.

Closer to the release, Kaltofen figured, would be orders of magnitude worse. “A bad place to be is a couple of miles offshore,” he said.

When told what the sailors experienced in the earliest days of the operation, Gundersen and Kaltofen differ slightly on their interpretations. Gundersen finds symptoms like the metallic taste consistent with the radiation exposure possible from a plume of otherwise odorless xenon or krypton. Kaltofen thinks that indicates exposure to some of the radioactive particulate matter—containing isotopes of cesium, strontium, iodine, and americium—that was sent into the air with the hydrogen explosions. But both believe it speaks to a notable degree of radiation exposure.

Cindy Folkers agreed. Folkers is the radiation-and-health specialist at the clean-energy advocacy group Beyond Nuclear, and when she hears the symptoms reported by the Tomodachi sailors, she hears the telltale signs of radiation exposure. And when told of what those relief workers experienced next, and the speed with which their symptoms manifested, she said she thinks the levels of exposure were higher than some have reported—or many would like to admit.


erez is one of the eight deceased service members represented in the suits slowly making their way in US courts. Her daughter Cecilia, whose health will require a watchful eye well into adulthood, is also a plaintiff. So are 24 men and women currently living with various forms of cancer. So is a sailor whose son was born with brain and spinal tumors and lived only 26 months.

“We have a lot of clients with bone and joint issues, degenerative discs,” Cate Edwards told me, “young, healthy, active individuals who have trouble walking now.”

The most prevalent ailments, according to the younger Edwards, are thyroid-related. Thyroid cancers are some of the earliest to emerge after nuclear accidents because of the easy pathway for absorption of radioactive iodine. Childhood thyroid cancers skyrocketed in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine in the first two decades after Chernobyl. According to a study published in the journal of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, individuals who were 18 or under at the time of the disaster in Fukushima Prefecture were 20-to-50 times more likely to be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the period between the March 2011 and the end of 2014.

And health experts will tell you it is still too early to see many of the cancers and other illnesses that increase in incidence after exposure to ionizing radiation. Some can take 20 or 30 years to emerge. “That these sailors are getting the health effects they are already experiencing tells me that the radiation levels were extraordinarily high, and that we are likely just seeing the tip of the iceberg,” said nuclear-engineer Gundersen. “I think we’re going to see more of these people in the same boat as this initial wave of hundreds.”

“I can’t believe in a couple of years,” he added, “we won’t have thousands.”








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原発避難、国と東電に賠償命令 京都地裁判決 via 日本経済新聞












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大間原発 町民複雑な思い 建設差し止め訴訟19日判決 via 毎日新聞









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Thousands of records tell story of failed nuclear plant, could lead to SCE&G refunds via The State

In the fall of 2015, inspectors discovered that improperly designed and installed machinery at a massive nuclear expansion project in South Carolina could allow radiation to escape into the surrounding community if problems were not corrected, according to once-secret SCE&G documents.

Such problems weren’t isolated as workers scrambled to build two nuclear reactors northwest of Columbia. Similar flaws are detailed in tens of thousands of documents released recently by SCE&G to environmental groups, whose lawyers hope to use them to prove the utility’s customers deserve refunds for the now-abandoned project.

The legal case, spearheaded by Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club, could be the fastest route to refunds for SCE&G customers who unwittingly have been forced to pay $2 billion over the past decade for two nuclear reactors that won’t be built.


The 70,000-page records dump, reviewed over the past two weeks by reporters at The State, builds on previous reports about the project’s delays and cost overruns, painting a portrait of a mammoth construction effort in disarray.

The documents show some of the nuclear project’s machinery was built poorly or allowed to fall into disrepair.


Workers were cited as lazy, and some failed or purposely avoided mandatory fitness-for-duty tests.

SCE&G and its junior partner in the project, state-owned Santee Cooper, fought with contractors over invoices for incomplete work and bickered for months about an expensive no-bid contract granted to a subcontractor’s affiliate.

The documents show SCE&G managers tried in vain o push its contractors to improve, even as the power company’s executives publicly offered rosy comments about the nuclear project.

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東日本大震災 福島第1原発事故 技能実習生の除染を禁止へ 政府が答弁書 via 毎日新聞




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講演 原発も原爆も同じ 長崎の被爆者・井原さん、来月チェルノブイリ被害国で via 毎日新聞





続きは講演 原発も原爆も同じ 長崎の被爆者・井原さん、来月チェルノブイリ被害国で

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Latest radioactive scare should prompt faster nuclear cleanup via Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

Yet, Congress continues to dither as if the nuclear waste buried at Hanford is not a threat.

The radioactive waste at Hanford must be cleaned up. The sooner the better.

Yet, funding for the cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is at least a quarter of a century behind schedule because Congress has failed to fully fund the endeavor in the past.

A new report on mistakes and mismanagement at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation should be seen by Congress and the White House as yet another example of how the radiation poses a danger to the public.


The CH2M Hill study said primary radioactive air monitors used at a highly hazardous Hanford project failed to detect contamination. Then, when the spread of contamination was detected, the report said steps taken to contain it didn’t fully work. The Herald reported that at least 11 Hanford workers checked since mid-December inhaled or ingested small amounts of radioactive particles. Private and government vehicles were contaminated with radioactive particles.

Walla Walla is 66 miles away from the nuclear reservation where 56 million gallons of radioactive nuclear waste is stored in tanks. Sixty-seven of the tanks — buried relatively close to the Columbia River — have confirmed leaks.

Because of the close proximity to the nuclear waste, it’s clear to those in this Valley that the waste can’t be allowed to linger. At some point — as in “someday” — it will leach into the Columbia River.

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福島で原乳の出荷制限解除 4町村の一部区域 via Sankei Biz



続きは福島で原乳の出荷制限解除 4町村の一部区域

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Court orders Japan government to pay new Fukushima damages via Straits Times

TOKYO (AFP) – A Japanese court on Thursday (March 15) ordered the government to pay one million dollars in new damages over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, ruling it should have predicted and avoided the meltdown.

The Kyoto district court ordered the government and power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) to pay 110 million yen (S$1.3 million) in damages to 110 local residents who had to leave the Fukushima region, a court official and local media said.

Thursday’s verdict was the third time the government has been ruled liable for the meltdown in eastern Japan, the world’s most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.


“That damages for 64 people were not recognised was unexpected and regrettable,” a lawyer for the plaintiffs said, adding that they would appeal, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Around 12,000 people who fled after the disaster due to radiation fears have filed various lawsuits against the government and TEPCO.


Dozens of class-action lawsuits have been filed seeking compensation from the government.

In June, former TEPCO executives went on trial in the only criminal case in connection with the disaster.

Read more at Court orders Japan government to pay new Fukushima damages 

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<福島第1原発>放射性物質含む雨水漏れ via 河北新報






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