Eight U.S. sailors sue TEPCO, demand $40 million in compensation because of “dangerous” Fukushima radiation
In March 2011, the USS Ronald Reagan participated in Operation Tomodachi, an American military effort to provide aid and assistance to Japanese tsunami victims. The aircraft carrier, which was equipped with advanced radiation detection devices, kept a safe distance from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. At one point, the media reported that the ship had been exposed to a tiny and non-dangerous amount of radiation:
“The maximum potential radiation dose received by any ship’s force personnel aboard the ship when it passed through the area was less than the radiation exposure received from about one month of exposure to natural background radiation from sources such as rocks, soil, and the sun.”
The ship was apparently about 100 miles away from the plant, way beyond the evacuation distances recommended by both the Japanese government and U.S. government.
But that has not stopped some people from concluding that the sailors aboard the Ronald Reagan were exposed to horribly dangerous levels of radiation. Ever since 3/11, anti-nuclear activists have flooded the internet with scaremongering stories that insist, without evidence, that people hundreds or even thousands of miles away from Fukushima suffered from dangerous exposure to radiation from the nuclear accident. It would appear that 8 of the 5,5000 sailors who served on that ship believe the hype. They are suing TEPCO because it allegedly hid the danger from them:
“According to then-existing data uniquely known to the defendant at the time, the plaintiffs’ consequent exposure to radiation within their zone of operation, then indicated that radiation levels had already reached levels exceeding the levels of exposure to which those living the same distance from Chernobyl experienced who subsequently developed cancer,” the complaint states.
“Consequently, the potential for the development of cancer in the plaintiffs has also been enhanced due to the levels of exposure experienced by them during ‘Operation Tomadachi.’”
The sailors say they “face additional and irreparable harm to their life expectancy, which has been shortened and cannot be restored to its prior condition.”
And what should TEPCO do to make things better? Give the eight sailors millions of dollars, of course!
They are seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive damages for fraud, negligence, strict liability, failure to warn, public and private nuisance, and defective design. They also want TEPCO ordered to establish a fund of $100 million to pay for their medical expenses.
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- Fukushima Radiation Exposure Far Less Than Feared
- UN: Fukushima Radiation Health Effects Will Be Relatively Small / Not At All Comparable to Chernobyl