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USA now abandoning the brave sailors who helped out in Fukushima nuclear emergency

Flag-USAIs America Abandoning its Bravest Heroes Yet Again?, WhoWhatWhy  By  on Apr 21, 2014 “…….U.S. sailors who went on an idealistic mission three years ago to help the Japanese cope -…….

text-radiationAt least 79 of those sailors now suffer serious health effects consistent with radiation exposure. Some of the sailors have filed a class action lawsuit  against the Japanese power company, accusing it of hiding what it knew about the escaping radiation and seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as $1 billion for a fund to cover their medical monitoring and treatment. Some of them also blame the U.S. Navy, which denies that its sailors were exposed to harmful levels of radiation.

They Came Out Cooked

Paul Garner, the lead attorney on the case, told WhoWhatWhy that a much larger group of military personnel were exposed to radiation, and he expects the number signing on to the lawsuit to rise as more people develop symptoms. He reeled off a long list of alarming health complaints among the nearly 100 former Operation Tomodachi participants he’s interviewed. So far, about half have developed cancer—of the brain, eye, testes, thyroid, or blood (leukemia). “These kids were first responders,” Garner says. “They went in happily doing a humanitarian mission, and they came out cooked.”

Radiation Déjà vu

The situation these sailors find themselves in is all too familiar in the annals of the nuclear age. Over the past 75 years, claims of harm by many people exposed to radiation through no fault of their own have been officially downplayed or denied. For example: Victims of fallout from atom bomb testing, workers routinely exposed at a nuclear weapons facilitypeople living near one, and those caught downwind of reactor meltdowns at nuclear power plants, as in the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania and the 1986 Chernobyl reactor explosion……..

Official Estimates Don’t Compute

A DOD report lays out how the Navy reached its conclusions about the doses that 17,000-plus sailors received. But according to nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, a former industry vice president who blew the whistle for radiation safety violations at his former employer, Nuclear Energy Services, as with the previous accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, nobody knows how much radiation has been released from Fukushima—because most of the radiation monitors did not survive the accidents. That means assumptions rather than real data were used to calculate the total amount of radiation released—resulting in estimates that Gundersen believes are much too low.

Another outside expert charges the Navy’s reconstructed doses are meaningless. Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and former deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Energy, who has spent several years auditing radiation dose reconstructions on ailing U.S. nuclear weapons workers, says the only way to get an accurate internal and external dose on any individual is to take continual measurements throughout the time they are exposed. People must wear special monitoring equipment and undergo a regular regime of monitoring. This is especially important in trying to assess the health effects from a multiple meltdown situation with large explosions involving reactor cores, as occurred at Fukushima.

Alvarez says that based on the illnesses that Operation Tomodachi participants are reporting, the real radiation doses were likely very large. “We’re hearing the same kinds of complaints that I was hearing from the people exposed to fallout from the bomb testing program—the metallic taste in the mouth, loss of hair, and sudden and unexpected illnesses,” he says. Symptoms like that indicate “tissue-destructive doses.”

A February 2014 report by Kyle Cleveland, an American sociologist at Temple University in Japan, affirms Alvarez’s assessment. The report includes a transcribed telephone conversation Cleveland received from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which reveals that monitors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan picked up radiation levels 30 times higher than normal out at sea 100 miles from the reactors. The nuclear expert quoted in the transcript was surprised to detect anything at that distance and says radiation levels were high enough to damage people’s thyroids after ten hours of exposure.

If the Navy’s questionable dismissal of radiation exposure is troubling, the actions of the Tokyo Electric Power Company are even more so. The Japanese Diet (Japan’s parliament) tasked an independent commission, known officially as the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, with figuring out what caused the multiple meltdown.

The report, released in 2012, is damning in its conclusions. Unlike the U.S. Navy, the Commission characterizes Fukushima as a “severe accident that ultimately emitted an enormous amount of radioactive material into the environment.”…….http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/04/21/america-abandoning-bravest-heroes-yet/

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April 22, 2014 - Posted by | health, radiation, USA

1 Comment »

  1. […] oh well, they won’t be coming back anywayIs America Abandoning its Bravest Heroes Yet AgainUSA now abandoning the brave sailors who helped out in Fukushima nuclear emergencyShould You Toss Your Microwave var TubePressJsConfig = […]

    Pingback by Space missions can cause cognitive deficit in astronautsBig Online News | Big Online News | April 24, 2014 | Reply


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