The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Only available remedy for irradiated sailors is to sue TEPCO

Is America Abandoning its Bravest Heroes Yet justiceAgain?, WhoWhatWhy  By  on Apr 21, 2014Legal Remedy Sought“………Meanwhile, the only remedy available to Cooper, Goodwin, Sebourn, Simmons, and the others is to sue the Japanese operator of the nuclear plant, TEPCO. Lead attorney for the class action suit, Paul Garner, believes he will be able to prove that TEPCO knew on the first day of the accident that the plant was spewing deadly radiation, but concealed that information from the world. He also expresses confidence he will be able to prove that if the military had been aware of the radiation levels, it would not have sent or kept U.S. troops in harm’s way.

But Judge Janis L. Sammartino, who is hearing the case in San Diego, has set a high bar, ruling in November 2013 that the plaintiffs must show:

…not only that TEPCO misrepresented the condition of the FNPP [Fukushima nuclear power plant] and the risk to soldiers operating near the damaged facility, but also that TEPCO’s allegedly wrongful conduct, as opposed to other factors, caused the commanding officers of the Reagan “(1) to move the strike force and associated personnel into an area of dangerous radiation exposure; (2) to do so without undertaking radiation testing and research; and (3) to fail to order the necessary precautions, such as locking down the Reagan and supplying radiation monitoring.…”

And further:

At a minimum, Plaintiffs must show that, but for TEPCO’s allegedly wrongful conduct, the military would not have deployed personnel near the FNPP or would have taken additional measures to protect service members from radiation exposure. Thus, Plaintiffs’ success inevitably hinges on the conclusion that the military’s precautions were inadequate or unreasonable and that had it not been for TEPCO’s misstatements, military commanders would have adopted a different course of action…….

April 22, 2014 Posted by | USA, Legal | Leave a comment

America’s loyalty to the nuclear industry, rather than to sick, irradiated navymen

Is America Abandoning its Bravest Heroes Yet Again?, WhoWhatWhy  By  on Apr 21, 2014Reason for Navy Cover-up?“………..Because U.S. military personnel are prevented from suing the government, their only recourse is to go after TEPCO. But given the interests involved, the outcome for the Operation Tomodachi victims remains very much in doubt. Robert Alvarez, the nuclear investigator and former DOE deputy assistant secretary, points out that about a quarter of a million U.S. soldiers were subjected to open air nuclear weapons testing in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

“If you use the treatment of atomic veterans who were involved in atmospheric testing as a benchmark, the government did everything it could to downplay the hazards, because from the military perspective, the mission is all important,” he says.

“Right now, the United States government and Japan are closing ranks because of their nuclear-related relationships,” he says. Although Japan’s 54 power-generating nuclear reactors are currently offline, the country still has the third largest number of nuclear reactors in the world.

But more important, Alvarez says, is the “extraordinary co-dependence” with Japan on nuclear-energy-related matters. “Because the U.S. has lost much of its capability in designing and building reactors, we have to depend on the Japanese and the French if we’re going to build any reactors or fabricate fuel or do anything to service the existing reactor fleet,” he explained. “We’re dependent on companies that are now owned by Japan and France.”

The case of the ill Operation Tomodachi veterans shines a spotlight on the intersection of competing interests between victims of radiation exposure, the nuclear power industry, and the U.S. government and its unwavering commitment to nuclear technology for both military and civilian use. So far, by denying the harm from the radiation U.S. military personnel were exposed to as they helped Japan clean up after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011—a position that supports the Japanese government and nuclear industry—the U.S. government is doing what it has almost always done: protect nuclear interests rather than its victims.

As the number of ill Operation Tomodachi veterans climbs, it remains to be seen whether their sacrifice will be acknowledged or if they, like so many others, will be left to fend for themselves.

April 22, 2014 Posted by | Legal, politics, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

The exposure of US sailors to radiation, near Fukushima

text ionisingNavy Sailors: Frozen Fukushima steam blanketed ship; Crew suffered massive radiation doses, dozens have cancer — Calls for it to be sunk… still too radioactive; Navy: There’s some contamination, but it’s ok — Tepco: No way US officials would rely on information we were telling to public

AP, Apr 7, 2014: Nearly 80 U.S. sailors are [...] alleging [Tepco] lied about the high level of radiation in the area [and] repeatedly said there was no danger to the crew when they were actually being blanketed with radiation that has since led to dozens of cancer cases and a child being born with birth defects [Tepco] said that there was no way the commanders of the aircraft carrier would have relied on the utility [...] “It’s wholly implausible… military commanders in charge of thousands of personnel and armed with some of the world’s most sophisticated equipment, relied instead only on the press releases and public statements of a foreign electric utility co.”

Orange County RegisterApr. 6, 2014: Sailors on the flight deck said they felt a warm gust of air, followed by a sudden snow storm: radioactive steam. Freezing in the cold Pacific air. Blanketing their ship. And there they remained for two days, until [...] aircrews returning [from] near Sendai identified levels of radioactivity [and] the Navy ordered the carrier to reposition much farther away [...] the lawsuit contends, the crew had already suffered massive doses of radiation. [...] dozens have developed cancers, at least one has borne a child with birth defects [Their lawsuit is] raising very strange and disturbing questions: Could the Reagan – one of the most advanced nuclear aircraft carriers in the U.S. fleet – really not know that it was being showered with massive doses of radiation? [...] Some critics on the ecological front say the Reagan, now stationed in San Diego, is still so radioactive that it needs to be sunk. It floated around the Pacific for many weeks after the Fukushima humanitarian mission ended, as no Pacific Rim country would give it permission to dock. [It's] slated to move to a new home port this year. In Japan.

Navy spokesman Lt. Greg D. Raelson:  “Low levels of radioactive contamination did enter ventilation systems, which have numerous inaccessible areas difficult to perform radiological surveys and decontamination [...] there is no indication that any remaining minimal levels of radiation pose any adverse health concern. Radiological controls are in place to survey, control and remove remaining contamination”

U.S. sailors’ lawsuit“[Those exposed to radioactive releases from Fukushima Daiichi] must now endure a lifetime of radiation poisoning and suffering which could have and should have been avoided” [TEPCO] lied through its teeth, knowing all along the plant was in full-scale meltdown [...] “rendered the plaintiffs infirm and poisoned their bodies.”

See also: Navy Officers on TV: “My body is falling apart” after Japan rescue mission, his right side “just didn’t work” — Another “can no longer use his legs” and unable to urinate — If 300 times normal radiation is OK, I don’t know what to tell you

April 11, 2014 Posted by | health, Legal, radiation, USA | 2 Comments

France’s prosecutor examining AREVA’s finances

French prosecutor probes Areva buy of Canadian miner France’s financial prosecutor has opened a preliminary probe into state-controlled nuclear giant Areva’s controversial 2007 purchase of a Canadian uranium miner, a judicial source said Thursday.

The probe focuses on the $2.5 billion (1.8 billion euro) purchase by Areva of UraMin at a height of demand for enriched uranium.

Areva was later forced to revalue its UraMin uranium mines to only 410 million euros.

Canadian media reports have suggested the sale was preceded by suspicious stock trades.

French newspaper Le Monde said France’s Cour des Comptes, which oversees state accounts, had referred the case to prosecutors. It said the Cour des Comptes is to release a report into Areva’s 2006-2012 finances later this month.

Areva’s chief from that period, Anne Lauvergeon, said in a statement Thursday that the deal was “strategic at the time”, noting that it was “submitted and approved by the group’s decision-making bodies”.

April 11, 2014 Posted by | France, Legal | Leave a comment

Danger of Fukushima radiation kept secret, as US navymen were exposed

justiceUS service members claim they were misled about Fukushima radiation dangers RT, 9 April 14, US service members who took part in cleanup efforts after the Fukushima nuclear disaster have since been diagnosed with ailments like cancer. Now, in a class action lawsuit, they allege they were misled about radiation risks, RT’s Ameera David reports.

Dozens of US sailors and marines who provided humanitarian assistance following the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan in March 2011 have been diagnosed with illnesses such as leukemia, testicular cancer, and thyroid disease.
The service members – many of whom were aboard the aircraft carrier USS Reagan – are now part of a class action lawsuit against the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). They allege TEPCO provided false information to the US Navy about the extent of radioactive contamination in the surrounding air and water.

While TEPCO is the main focus of suspicions, the service members are also pressing the US Navy to reveal whether or not it knew about the radiation, particularly considering the kind of equipment aboard the USS Reagan, a nuclear-powered ship.

There are “lots of radiation detectors both fixed in position to monitor the radioactivity from the reactor itself and also lots of Geiger counters,” said Paul Gunter, Director of the Reactor Oversight Project with Beyond Nuclear, an anti-nuclear advocacy organization.

“So we’re quite sure that the Navy was aware of the radioactivity but that was not being communicated to the sailors that were in harm’s way.”

The Navy denies the allegations, saying that the Pentagon and an independent group analyzed available radioactive data of that period.

“The worst-case radiation exposure for a crew member on [the] USS Ronald Reagan is less than 25 percent of the annual radiation exposure to a member of the US public from natural sources of background radiation, such as the sun, rocks, and soil,” a spokesperson for the Navy told RT.

But the Navy’s claims do not make sense, says Michael Sebourn, a former US Navy officer who was part of the Fukushima cleanup. In fact, he was responsible for measuring radiation exposure to equipment and US personnel.

“That was my job,” Sebourn told RT. “So to say that it is normal day-to-day radiation is 100-percent bogus……

April 10, 2014 Posted by | Legal, USA | 1 Comment

New lawsuit against TEPCO by US sailors exposed to radiation

justiceUS sailors sue Japanese utility over radiation, Apr. 07, 2014 SAN DIEGO — Nearly 80 U.S. sailors are seeking $1 billion from the Tokyo utility that operates the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, alleging the company lied about the high level of radiation in the area where they were carrying out a humanitarian mission after a tsunami that touched off a nuclear crisis three years ago.

Flag-USAA lawsuit filed in federal court in San Diego contends that Tokyo Electric Power Co. repeatedly said there was no danger to the crew when they were actually being blanketed with radiation that has since led to dozens of cancer cases and a child being born with birth defects, the Orange County Register reported Monday ( ). The Japanese company says its “wholly implausible” military commanders would rely on safety information from the utility.

This is the second time the sailors have targeted the utility, the newspaper reported. Their 2012 suit was dismissed because it named the Japanese government, which owns the utility, and a judge said that put it beyond the reach of a U.S. court. An amended suit names only the utility, which runs the plant where three reactors went into meltdown and exploded in March 2011, sending radiation into the air.

The 79 sailors served on the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which was ferrying food and water to the city of Sendai in the wake of a massive earthquake that triggered the tsunami.

In a motion to dismiss the new lawsuit, the Tokyo utility said that there was no way the commanders of the aircraft carrier would have relied on the utility to determine the safety of its sailors. It’s wholly implausible,” the company says in its response, “that military commanders in charge of thousands of personnel and armed with some of the world’s most sophisticated equipment, relied instead only on the press releases and public statements of a foreign electric utility company.”

Information from: The Orange County Register,

April 8, 2014 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Japanese municipality to sue central govt to stop new nuclear power plant

justiceflag-japanHakodate assembly OKs lawsuit against nuclear plant HAKODATE, HOKKAIDO – The municipal assembly of Hakodate in Hokkaido on Wednesday approved a plan to sue the central government and an electric utility to stop construction of a nuclear power plant in neighboring Aomori Prefecture.

The assembly plans to file the lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court as early as April 3 in what will be the first nuclear power-related lawsuit against the central government by a local government.Located at the southern tip of Hokkaido, Hakodate is only 23 km across the Tsugaru Strait from the Oma plant, which Electric Power Development Co., better known as J-Power, started building in May 2008.

“In the event of an accident, Hakodate’s core industries of fishery and tourism would suffer devastating damage,” Mayor Toshiki Kudo said after the assembly unanimously approved the suit.Construction of the 1,383-megawatt plant was suspended in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011 but was resumed in October 2012.

J-Power plans to apply to the Nuclear Regulation Authority for safety assessment of the plant as early as this autumn. The plant will house an advanced boiling water reactor using plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel, which contains plutonium extracted from spent fuel.

March 28, 2014 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

Radiation effects on family of US Navy man

exclamation-Wife of Navy Sailor: Our 1-year-old has brain cancer and spinal cancer resulting from Fukushima exposure — Wheelchair-bound Navy Sailor: It’s now affecting my arms and my hands, everything is still progressing (AUDIO)

Democracy Now, , Mar. 19, 2014:

Navy Lt. Steve Simmons, USS Ronald Reagan: Now the muscle weakness affects my legs, my arms, my hands — and now everything is still progressing. […]
Host: You’re sitting in a wheelchair right now?
Simmons: I am.

Charles Bonner, attorney:  This is a declaration from the wife of the sailor, who writes in here declaration to the court, “My husband was exposed to radiation particles while assigned to the 7th fleet on the USS Ronald Reagan assisting in Operation Tomadachi beginning in March of 2011. As a result of this exposure, our son who was born November 14th 2012, at 8 months was diagnosed with brain and spine cancer.”

Full broadcast available here

March 21, 2014 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Radiation exposure to US sailors far greater than Japan estimated

text-radiationUS sailors exposed to Fukushima radiation levels beyond Japan’s estimates Aljazeera 17 March 14Crew members of the USS Ronald Reagan’s March 2011 Fukushima relief mission encountered radiation levels that far exceeded the Japanese government’s estimates, according to a report in the Asia-Pacific Journal.

The revelations contained in the report could have a bearing on the lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Company by more than 70 U.S. service members who say they suffer from long-term health effects from their participation in the U.S. navy’s response to the nuclear disaster.  Continue reading

March 18, 2014 Posted by | Legal, USA | 1 Comment

GE Hitachi fined for concealing flaws in nuclear reactor design

judge-1Flag-USAU.S. fines GE Hitachi nuclear unit over flawed reactor design WASHINGTON Thu Jan 23, 2014 (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday said that General Electric Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC has agreed to pay $2.7 million to resolve allegations that it made false claims to U.S. regulators about a nuclear reactor component.

GE Hitachi, headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, is a subsidiary of the conglomerate General Electric Co and partially owned by Japan’s Hitachi Ltd.

The company allegedly made false statements to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy between 2007 and 2012 about the advanced nuclear Economic Simplified Boiling-Water Reactor (ESBWR), known as the steam dryer.

The settlement made no determination of liability on the company’s behalf. The NRC requires that applicants for nuclear reactor design certification show that vibrations caused by the steam dryer will not result in damage to a nuclear plant.

The government alleged that GE Hitachi concealed known flaws in its analysis of the steam dryer, falsely represented that it had properly analyzed the dryer, and had verified the accuracy of its modeling using reliable data.

“Transparency and honesty are absolutely critical when dealing with issues relating to the design of a nuclear reactor,” said Stuart Delery, assistant attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

The lawsuit is captioned United States ex rel. Dandy v. General Electric Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC, General Electric Company, 7:12-cv-009 (E.D.N.C.)

January 24, 2014 Posted by | Legal | 1 Comment

Surprising court sentence for anti nuclear activists in Kansas

judge-1Trial of anti-nuclear activists ends with unusual sentence National Catholic reporter  Megan Fincher  |  Dec. 30, 2013 KANSAS CITY, MO.  Defense attorney Henry Stoever meekly approached the bench of Presiding Judge Ardie Bland Dec. 13, complaining that security had refused to let him bring certain pieces of evidence into the courthouse: a full-sized wooden door with a banner proclaiming, “Open the door to a nuclear weapons free world!”, as well as an array of picket signs.

Stoever was representing eight nuclear protesters on this unlucky trial date, and Bland, who had sentenced other nuclear activists to jail just two years prior, was the inauspicious icing on the cake.

Bland’s eyebrows rose at Stoever’s odd request and the packed courthouse tensed for the inevitable ridicule.

“Well, I permit it!” Bland said.

With that statement, Bland set the tone for the next three hours, as protest songs, jokes about national security and even the elderly reveries of Oblate Fr. Carl Kabat, 80, and Franciscan Fr. Jerome Zawada, 76, were permitted in the Kansas City municipal courtroom.

The eight activists were pleading not guilty to charges of trespassing onto the relocated National Nuclear Security Administration’s Kansas City Plant July 13……..

On July 13, around 80 people gathered outside the plant’s new location, including priests, sisters, Catholic Workers and local activists. They came to protest nuclear weapons stockpiling, as well as the environmental destruction and exorbitant cost of the plant’s relocation. Twenty-four people were arrested after they walked through a full-sized wooden door (the same door that Stoever ultimately hefted into the courtroom) and onto plant property…….

 the courtroom was assailed with Louis Armstrong loudly singing: “I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield/Down by the riverside/Ain’t gonna study war no more.”

People in the gallery glanced at one another in surprise, and when Bland did not tell Stoever to turn off the video, the courtroom filled with whispers, and then outright laughter.,,,,,,,,,

Bland announced the sentence, shocking the courtroom.

“I want each one of you to write a one-page, single-spaced essay on each of the following six topics,” Bland said. “Your responses will be attached to the court record, which is a public record. They will exist as long as Kansas City exists. My way will give you a chance to say what you want to say.”……

January 1, 2014 Posted by | Legal | Leave a comment

New lawsuit: US sailors sue over irradiation at Fukushima

justiceUSS Ronald Reagan sailors to sue power company over alleged Fukushima radiation poisoning
Posted on: 1:07 pm, December 23, 2013, by 

A group of sailors who served in relief efforts aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan following the deadly tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011 will file a new lawsuit against Japanese power company TEPCO.

The sailor claim they suffer from a variety of illnesses triggered by radiation poisoning from fallout they were exposed to from the meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plants, according toFox News.

The plaintiffs claim the power company delayed telling the Navy the tsunami had caused a nuclear meltdown, sending huge amounts of contaminated water into the sea and, ultimately, into the ship’s water system.

Sailors stationed aboard the USS Essex have also joined the group filing suit.

an Francisco Attorney Charles Bonner, who is representing allegedly cancer-stricken sailors, initially filed a federal suit in the Southern District of California more than a year ago on behalf of a dozen sailors. The lawsuit was initially dismissed, when the court ruled that any ruling would hinge on interpreting communication between the Japanese and U.S. governments, which could violate the separation of powers. But Bonner is amending the suit to add new allegations that would fall under the court’s jurisdiction. And the number of plaintives has more than quadrupled as more service members come forward with radiation-related illnesses, he said.

“They went in to help with rescue efforts,” said Bonner, who plans to refile the suit on Jan. 6. “They did not go in prepared to deal with radiation containment.”

The plaintiffs don’t blame the U.S. Navy, which they believe acted in good faith, Bonner said. It was the plant’s operators who sat on the meltdown information during the crucial hours following the March 11, 2011 disaster, he said.

TEPCO officials did not respond to requests for comment. But a recent admission before members of the Japanese press on Dec. 12 during a meeting at the Tokyo Press Club, former Prime Minister Naoto Jan said the first meltdown occurred five hours after the tsunami, not the next day as reported at the time.

Bonner alleges that the statement means that the Japanese government knew radiation was being leaked and did not inform the U.S. Navy.


December 24, 2013 Posted by | Legal | Leave a comment

EU likely to call Britain’s Hinkley nuclear plan an “unfair subsidy”

UK-subsidyHinkley Point C nuclear subsidy plan queried by European commission  The Guardian, Thursday 19 December 13 Officials promise to investigate, saying they doubt claims of market failure and fear UK will start a ‘subsidy race’ The European commission has started an investigation into UK plans to subsidise the construction and operation of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, in a challenge to the government’s plans to overhaul Britain’s creaking energy infrastructure.On the day royal assent was finally given to the coalition’s controversial Energy Act, the EU’s executive arm expressed doubts that British ministers could justify state aid to nuclear which it estimated could reach £17bn.

The EC warned of the risk of a “subsidy race” between member states and Joaquín Almunia, vice-president for competition policy, described the aid package as a complex measure of an unprecedented nature and scale……The British government has always denied that the financial support is a subsidy ……

there has been speculation in Brussels that the commission has made up its mind that the Hinkley move is in effect an unfair subsidy, with the only question being what kind of changes or sanctions it may demand or impose on Britain.

Günther Oettinger, the European union’s energy commissioner, warned last month that the 35-year subsidy regime “may be a problem” while earlier describing the UK nuclear project in an unguarded moment as “Soviet” in style. The financial support for EDF and its Chinese partners includes a £10bn loan guarantee plus an inflation-linked “strike price” of £92.50 per megawatt hour for 35 years – twice the current price for electricity in Britain…….

December 23, 2013 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment

Uranium internally received by soldiers – this is the key to the next court case

eyes-surprised A hearing would take two weeks in June 2014      This case will be critical!justice

 We can win this case. The judge is interested in what happened. (So are we, so should you be). The radiation risk model and internal exposures, especially to Uranium is the key;

highly-recommendedCancer, Nuclear Weapons and Dirty Tricks by CHRIS BUSBY

The United Kingdom Veterans of the Atomic Atmospheric Testing in the Pacific and Australia have always maintained that they suffered harm, including cancer and leukemia. The government has consistently denied this.

Its argument is that except for very few of them, no-one received a radiation ‘dose’ significantly different from natural background. This was recently affirmed by the new Minister when she refused to concede that the test veterans were any different from any other ex-servicemen.

There have been two challenges. Continue reading

December 21, 2013 Posted by | Legal, Reference | Leave a comment

Public questioning about relicensing of Seabrook Nuclear Station – no satisfactory answers

questionCritics slam nuclear plant at NRC hearing,         Seacoastonline  Relicensing of facility opposed By Nick B. Reid December 20, 2013 HAMPTON — More than 20 members of the public criticized Seabrook Station’s application for relicensing Wednesday at a public hearing before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission…..

 the public was given a chance to address the regional NRC group……..Several public comments went as far as recommending the plant be closed immediately. No one spoke in favor of the NRC granting an extended license anytime soon.

Doug Bogen, executive director of the Exeter-based Seacoast Anti-Pollution League, encouraged the NRC to think long range, noting that no nuclear power plant in the country has operated more than 43 years. He said it was “premature” to even consider relicensing the plant nearly 20 years before its current license expires, adding, “It doesn’t pass the credibility test to assume you can project 20, 30, 40 years into the future,” ……

After the comment period ran overtime by more than 40 minutes, the session was cut short, with 20 percent of those signed up to speak left without a chance to voice their opinions. The crowd at the Best Western Plus in downtown Hampton numbered more than 100 in the early going of the four-hour meeting.

The eight-member panel of NRC representatives, which included David Lew, the federal agencies deputy regional administrator, heard the concerns expressed by the audience and in some cases agreed with issues brought up by scientists in the crowd……

December 21, 2013 Posted by | Legal, OCEANIA, USA | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 504 other followers